With so many changes in 2020, the traditional holiday celebrations are also on the list of "new", "strange", "cancelled" or "changed". The rituals and gatherings we are so used to are not happening, or at least not in the same way.
As a single parent, there was never enough budget for the kids wish lists. I'm sure that's familiar to many this year. One year we changed the rules. The kids could put three items on their list. Mom would get to choose one. Other than that, our holidays were comprised of the following:
* Chinese Food for Christmas Eve DInner
* A black friday trip to Target for movies to watch during the year
* Annual Sugar Cookie decorating party when the kids were in grade school
* Movies & Dinner. Turns out the #1 thing my kids wanted was time with mom. We capitalized on that by picking all the new release movies we wanted to see and scheduling date nites with simple dinners and a movie multiple times thru November and December. My kids probably cant remember any of those things on their Christmas lists, but we still laugh about the movies and dinners we shared.
Wistfully thinking of Christmases' past, I'm happy to have already gone thru the 'downsizing' and releasing of the dozens of bins full of decorations and bling. My entire Christmas repetoire now fits in two bins plus the tree. Gone are the villages, the cute wreaths, the candles and garland. Here to stay are a few homemade santas, simple ornaments, stockings and the tree.
The tree is worthy of mention. No, it's still not up. We will have to see how last years modifications impact using it this year. It was somewhere around 1990 that I pushed "add to cart" on costco.com for a pre lit tree. Unknownst to me, this was a fiber optic pre-lit tree. I also didn't realize I'd ordered a blue spruce with flocking, pinecones and those thousands of lit tips. It turned out to be so gorgeous, that some years it gets no ornaments and stands simply in it's own beauty. Friends will come in, sit down and admire it for hours. No conversation necessary, just appreciation.
After 25 years, and a journey across the ocean, lots of those fibers have broken, and the tree has unlit spots. It was also almost 6' across, making it hard to place in my current home. Last year I decided to remove the bottom branches with the broken fibers, which will make it narrower. Will it work this year? Wait and see!
The only other tradition I keep is roasting a turkey or two, and some years, baking goodies. This year will be a candy and cookie year for all the Instagram live broadcasts and to gift the neighbors. Nothing else pending. Time call or zoom with friends and family. No stress. No demands. Simply staying in gratitude for the opportunity to just be. Lots of holiday music, Christmas scents in the diffuser and connections with friends. Oh - and of course - a great cup of lavender Aloha Spiced Cacao.
What are you grateful for in 2020?
2019 Lighting the Christmas Star at Lona Ridge, Maui.