Welcome to the end of 2020.
How are you feeling about it?
If I’m being honest, I’m over the moon to see 2020 end. But this year’s Christmas overwhelms me much less.
Normally, my head is spinning for the holidays. Worried about getting out cards. Attending loathsome parties (great people, I just don’t like big groups), wincing at group texts, and feeling that whatever I bought, whatever I brought, wouldn’t be good enough.
Which I know is beyond silly. Because think about it: do you remember what you got for presents last year? Was there anything that you ate or that you received that transformed your life?
It’s the gift of time I’m grateful for, and the chance to spend it less frenzied. I’ve been flipping through old photo albums, remembering how adorable my kids were when they were little as they decorated Christmas cookies and opened presents. Presents that I’d often bought at thrift stores, affixed a newer looking price tag. Back then, I was their sole supporter, and ignored a host of utility bills for the month of December in order to make Christmas work.
And it did. They were grateful for what they received, and if they ever expressed any sadness, it was that I appeared moody and stressed.
This year, in large part to the pandemic, I have no need to try the impossible, making everyone happy at once. I won’t be buying perfect presents or attempting a perfect meal. I hung a few decorations and have enjoyed my family, by phone with some who live out of state, in person with my kids. I don’t need anything special. Because if my family and friends are healthy and we have the time to connect, that’s what’s special. And it feels terrific. And since I’ve not gotten to sending all my cards, I’ve been leaving voice recordings via email to send love.
Please remind me next year to take a breath instead of getting whirred up about things don’t matter.
For you, I wish you the best holidays, filled with appreciation for simply being around to have it, and no pressure to make it some impossible Hallmark version that will cascade into debt and anxiety.
I’m glad you’re here. I hope you and your loved ones are healthy and connected. Every holiday season I think about who we’ve lost and how that can make holidays painful. Never more than this year.
Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas. However you celebrate it, I hope you know you’re not any more alone than the rest of us.
I hope to see you soon.