No parties, unless you count a brief masked outdoor lunch at work (that I skipped).
No shopping, unless you count online shopping, in which case there’s been plenty of shopping.
No strolls around the neighborhood to enjoy the light displays, unless you count the daily walk to the mailbox that is more of an exercise in avoiding clusters of unmasked people who have come to our neighborhood to stroll around and enjoy the light displays.
No live performances of any sort. No Dave Koz, no children’s choir, no Nutcracker, no Christmas Carol, not even a school winter holiday concert.
I’ve noticed that several of my friends have really embraced the holiday season this year, setting up elaborate displays and decorating their homes to the max. They aren’t going to let a little thing like a global pandemic get in the way of enjoying Christmas. They are the grit your teeth and get it done no matter what folks. I admire them.
I, on the other hand, have gone the other direction. I’ve gone low key this year. Yes, there’s a Christmas tree, and it’s decorated, but there’s another whole tote of ornaments that didn’t make it on the tree this year. It’s okay, though, because the special ones are there.
The stockings are hung, but they’re the only thing on the mantle, which I usually decorate with greenery and various other holiday items.
The picture above the mantle is the same one that’s always there, not one that I put up just at holiday time. In fact on the walls I have exactly one holiday quilt and one holiday cross stitch piece.
The dining room table is covered in a red table cloth, and the kitchen table sports a green one, but neither holds a centerpiece. And Hanukkah? I’m afraid that got skipped all together.
Still, the house looks nice, not overcrowded, and I’ve baked some cookies, so that’s something. My son is quarantining so he can join us on Christmas, and he’s preparing the main dish. He’s turing into a very good cook.
This holiday season may look different, and it may feel different, but I’m fortunate to be able to spend it with the ones I love, so I’m luckier than many people this year. Every day I’m grateful that we’re all still okay. Every day I hope that our good fortune holds out. Next year things will be different, hopefully they will be better. For now, though, I wish you the very best this holiday season. May you know peace, good health, and love.