2020 is soon to end, but not before Christmas is celebrated. We would probably all agree that this has been a year unlike any other. So, it is expected that this will not be a “normal” Christmas. Of course, I am referring to the secular part of Christmas. The real meaning of Christmas is not affected by COVID.
I respectfully acknowledge that everyone reading this does not celebrate Christmas, and I ask that those who do not celebrate Christmas read this in the spirit of celebration, not just Christmas celebration.
I mentioned in a previous post that I was not excited about decorating for Christmas, and I wasn’t even sure that I would. But, I did. I did not decorate as much as I normally do, but I did decorate. I am glad that I did, although there have been some challenges.
Whereas I normally have (at least) two live Christmas trees, this year I only have one. It is a good thing that I decided to only have one tree, for although I went early to select our tree, there were very few trees left, and no Fraser Firs. I had to settle on a Douglas Fir, and I am not happy with it. The branches are not sturdy, so it is difficult to hang any ornaments on them. It looks bare in too many places, and it isn’t easy to hide those bare places. Worse than this, however, is the fact that the tree is dying one week after it was decorated! Although I have filled the stand with water, the tree is not drinking the water. When I realized this, I googled “Douglas Fir not drinking water.” I found this to be a common problem with Douglas Fir trees. I discovered that the base of this particular tree has to be cut a certain way, or this problem happens. Obviously, the young man who prepared my tree did not know this either or did not do it if he did. There is no solution to this problem other than hope it holds up until Christmas day, and ignore how sad it looks while it is dying. Although I am disappointed, I am not really surprised. Since this year is unlike any other, it is fitting that this year’s Christmas tree reflects this.
One of my favorite things to do at Christmas while decorating the tree is remember where our ornaments came from. So many of our ornaments were given to us by friends and family through the years. Our collection is extensive, and I can remember who gave us most of them. Then, there are our two family ornament collections that Mike started, one of them thirty-seven years ago, and the other also a long time ago.
Our daughter and her family who live in Georgia will be coming home this week for Christmas, and we hope that we will all stay healthy. We are not unconcerned about COVID and would understand if they chose to forego coming home this year, although we are certainly happy that they will be with us. So that part of our holiday will be normal. Other parts will not be. We will not go to our church’s Christmas Eve Candlelight service, preferring to watch it virtually instead of exposing ourselves to a number of people outside of our bubble. We will also not go to Christmas Day dinner at a relative’s, so as to not expose his elderly mother to those of us outside of her bubble.
How will you celebrate this year? Is your planned holiday celebration similar to years past, or very different? Is it beginning to look a lot like Christmas at your house?
More importantly, is it beginning to look a lot like Christmas in your heart?