Sunday, November 22, 2020

A Pandemic Holiday in 2020


Thanksgiving is nearly upon us. I'm reflecting, this year, on what makes holidays so important. It's being with our loved ones, it's everyone taking "time out" and "time off" to be present and re-focus on what's most important. I'm guessing that very few of us who share our lives and families and activities and children and grandchildren on FB would not say that "family" is the most important thing in our lives.

So this year will be special, but in different ways. Many of us will not be gathering in the large family groups that are traditional for us. "Come one, come all" is not the hail this year. And that's OK. We will celebrate our traditions in new ways. T will be staying at home in Portland, cooking his 1st turkey for he & Mom C, and is calling to ask for directions and advice. 2nd T is spending the holidays with M in NB, and is calling asking for recipes for favorite side dishes that he can contribute. What a wonderful continuation and extension of family traditions!
And G-Bob, T-Bob and C-Bob are all snuggled in with their respective families. Nobody all alone is the key for me.
Mr. C & I are actually spending our first holiday season in Hawaii. We've spent quite a lot of time discussing how we want to frame this -- traditional? Hawaiian? Pineapple on the turkey, or Kahlua pork instead? If we are going smaller, for just the two of us, does that mean we cut down on the # of side dishes? So which are "must-haves" and which are "can-do-withouts"? It's led to some interesting conversations and reviewing what exactly makes the holidays the holidays for the two of us.
Of course, for those who know me best, you'll know that it's hard for me not to have 20+ people at my table. Uncle P& Aunt D, I feel a bit like I've deserted you back in St. George. (At least I know what a great cook D is, so you won't suffer too badly, Uncle P!) I've even toyed with the idea of doing a TG dinner for the staff here at Beach Villas -- but then we can't gather in groups more than 5 (inside or outside) right now anyhow, according to the Mayor's edicts, so that's a no-go.
So we re-focus this year on the prime thing. Staying safe and well. Making sure that all of us will be present at NEXT YEAR'S holidays is the only priority for THIS YEAR'S holidays, in my book.
Yes, it will look and feel differently, that Pandemic Holiday season of 2020. But we'll still be here to talk about how it looked and felt different. I, for one, do not want to face an empty chair at next year's TG table if we can avoid it by taking precautions to protect each other. It's 20+ or bust for next holiday season at my table -- and I'm looking forward to that.
And you're all invited.

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