I thought our big move to Bainbridge Island four years ago and the subsequent reworking of our Christmas traditions was challenging. We went from multiple celebrations that teetered at times on the edge of overwhelming (in sheer volume and number) but were unquestionably full of Christmas cheer and goodwill, to quieter rituals that, while more intentional in nature, sometimes felt like ghosts of their former selves. Little did we know what was waiting for us in 2020.
And so we find ourselves having to whittle down the already whittled-down traditions to versions that would be unrecognizable to us in the days of yore. Christmas shopping is mostly online, there are no parties, no visitors, no concerts, and the sing-alongs will be virtual. Gifts sent to far-off friends and family will contain pre-packaged treats instead of homemade.
But some things won’t change. We’ll bake the same cookies and decorate the tree with the same much-loved ornaments. We’ll read the same books and listen to the same Christmas music we always have. And there will be the usual peace-filled moments, celebratory moments, silly moments, and, I’m sure, moments when I feel utterly overwhelmed by my to-do lists (which somehow never seem to get shorter).
There’ll be moments of wonder, too, like when the girls and I saw these wax-coated amaryllis bulbs at Trader Joe’s. They don’t need to be potted, they don’t need water. They just grow. How amazing is that?