It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas, or Is It?

Our Douglas Fir tree, a first!

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.

‘Oh how I miss the hustle and bustle of NYC at Christmas!
The Rockefeller Christmas tree in 2016. 2020 is the first year we have missed being in NYC during the Christmas season in many years.

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.

One of our two matching trees of 2019.

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.

This wooden Santa was lovingly made by our dear Shirshee many years ago.

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. 

Last year’s family Christmas ornament.
One of our annual family Christmas ornaments. Only the names of those who sleep at the house are on the ornament.

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.

From our Sesame Street ornament set purchased in Gadsden, Al in the late 70’s. So many memories!
Most of our White House ornaments, a collection started by Mike years ago.

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?

One of our family’s “rules” is no one can come into the presents area until everyone is up. This photo from 2019 is Virginia, Elsie, and Mary Grace patiently waiting on the adults.

More importantly, is it beginning to look a lot like Christmas in your heart?  

About Patti Fralix

Patti Fralix inspires positive change in work, life, and family through Speaking, Consulting, and Coaching in three specialty areas: Leadership, Managing Differences, and Customer Service. Her leadership firm, The Fralix Group, Inc., has been helping clients achieve practical and tangible results for twenty-two years.
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4 Responses to It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas, or Is It?

  1. Kelly Tripp says:

    Hi Patti,
    I love reading your blog and this one was not any different. You certainly are right that celebrating this year for Christmas will be very different for most of us. It’s been a rough year health wise as you know for me, so it will just be the four of us in our home. I agree it’s been been harder to get into the Christmas spirit this year but I finally found a spark on Sunday when I decided to make Christmas Cookies. It was a difficult task for me as I’m still recovering from some surgery in late October but I put my headphones on and listened to some Christmas music and spent most of the day doing a tradition my grandmother started years ago with her cookies. I just sent my husband to the grocery store with a list and I’m finally looking forward to celebrating as I have much to be thankful for. I hope you and Mike are well, Merry Christmas to you both.

    • Patti Fralix says:

      Kelly, thank you so much for your sweet words. Given all that you have been going through with your health challenge, I am more than honored that you took the time to read my musings, and to send such a sweet note. Your spirit of gratitude is inspiring. I am keeping you in my thoughts and prayers, and close to my heart. If I can ever do anything for you, please let me know. Merry Christmas to you and your dear family, and this, all of it, too shall pass.

  2. Ours may look a little different, but as you said, the real meaning of Christmas does not change even in the year of a pandemic. Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and sending love and hugs!

    • Patti Fralix says:

      Thank you, dear friend. I hope that your plans for Christmas dinner go as planned, and that you are able to be with sweet Coke Man. Our love to all of you, and stay healthy and safe.

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