At the end of every year, many holidays are being celebrated all over the world from many different religions. December is a month of celebration, gift exchange, festivals, beautiful candles and colored bulbs, feasts, and a time to gather with family, and sing songs about your preferred holiday. In my house, we celebrate Christmas and its my favorite time of year. I think Decemeber is the most beautiful time of year because of all the decorations everyone puts up on their houses, streets, towns and businesses. It just feels so magical!
But this year was different. Different because we had to change our ways of living to prevent a deadly virus from making us ill. Many families lost loved ones due to complications of COVID-19. It has taken the lives of many around the world, so this year when families gathered, not everyone was there. But we made the most with what we had. On a normal year, on Christmas Day, we have our coffee and a light breakfast, open gifts, and get ready to go to my grandparents’ house. This year was different, because we couldn’t see my grandparents this year. They were in my thoughts this holiday season. I prayed for them to have a peaceful day and to stay home and stay safe.
Earlier in the year, I planned my recipes ahead of time and bought my ingredients and did my Christmas shopping early. Some gifts were store-bought, others were ordered from Amazon, and some I made. Nothing shows love more than a handmade gift and homemade food. During the week of Christmas, I made homemade hot cocoa that was based of my great aunt’s recipe.
On Christmas Eve, I got up at 05:00 and pulled out my pie crusts to make 2 cherry pies. My brother and his family were planning to come for dinner, gifts and laughter. I prepped and got my pies in the oven, and they were done baking just as my Mum woke up. Of course I couldn’t make them without spooning out the remains of the cherry pie filling and eating it. In November, Mum showed me how to make a Honeycrisp Apple Pie, and it only took her showing me one time for me to remember how to make them. Making these 2 pies were the first pies I made on my own without help.
After the pies were baked and cooling, I put my eggs in the egg cooker to hard boil. Then I made a homemade vegetable tray and Ranch dip. I also prepped my sweet potatoes and got them cooking in my crockpot to make sweet potato casserole. Then I made a small tray of deviled eggs and the Dad and I prepped the ham and I cleaned the kitchen after that. Then Dad told me to take a break and I played Super Mario Odyssey on my Nintendo Switch, and later helped Mum with some housework before putting the finishing touches on the ham and sweet potato casserole.
My brother and his family arrived just in time to eat dinner and everyone enjoyed it. They loved the cherry pie. One pie was for Christmas Eve and the other was for Christmas Day. Then after I put the leftovers in the fridge, we opened gifts. I was so excited to give my nephew Super Mario 3D All-Stars for his Nintendo Switch. I got Super Mario Maker 2, a cardinal birdhouse and a German Shepard phone pouch. I gave my brother and his family each a bag of hot cocoa mix that I made. Then while the adults were visting, my nephew and I played his new game together and I showed him how.
Then after they left to go home, I finished cleaning the kitchen, and got ready for bed. I slept in the next day, but not too late and after I had my coffee and my breakfast, I got my pot roast cooking in the crockpot. We opened gifts later that morning and I got alot of clothes, a rock painting set, an art set, 2 poinsettia blankets and an apron. Then while my pot roast was cooking, I played my Nintendo Switch and played with my new art set. The art set is not the kind you get for your young child. It was the professional kind and I love it. I recently used the water colors and had alot of fun with them.
For Mum, I gave her a sign that she wanted, a palm tree necklace, an infinity scarf, a dog mug, a mug rug and a table runner. Dad got a book, and a “Tom & Jerry” DVD, and I gave both of them a box full of bowl cozies that I sewed for them. They loved the gifts that I got them and while we were sitting at the table to eat our pot roast, Mum looked at me and told me that I saved Christmas, by making 2 big dinners and getting everyone wonderful gifts. I made sure we all had a great Christmas, especially since we couldn’t see my grandparents like we normally do. But we had to do what was best for everyone and that would keep my grandparents safe from this nasty virus.
New Years Eve was peaceful and quiet. I spent day crafting and playing my Nintendo Switch. I cooked sloppy Joe’s for dinner and made a salad. My salads are simple, but very tasty! My parents don’t need a fancy meal to be enjoy it. They aren’t fancy people. Then we had our Christmas Panettone bread for dessert, which was really good. I ate most of it. Couldn’t help myself!
One of my brother’s gifts did not arrive in time and arrived a couple weeks after Christmas. On Wednesday, January 6th, we did a late Christmas celebration at my brother’s house. Everyone wore their masks, and I wore my favorite one with poinsettias and birds on it. It takes an hour and half to get there, so I practiced my crochet stitches and played both my Nintendo Switch and Nintendo 3DS in the car, going both ways. My aunt showed up and gave everyone gifts and I got lots of seashells, a handmade rock bowl, handmade poinsettias, poinsettia cupcake liners, poinsettias for crafting, and a box full of little trinkets. I made scarves that had dog paw prints on them and gave them to my aunt and uncle. I also gave them some of my homemade hot cocoa mix to share. My aunt gave Dad a really funny book, called “How To Tell If Your Cat Is Plotting To Kill You”. While we were at my brother’s house, after opening gifts, Dad and I looked at it and were giggling like 2 little kids. After we got home, I stole the cat book and read it and nearly passed out laughing.
Overall, the 2020 holiday season was good, despite having to celebrate differently than we normally do. But everyone in my family stayed healthy and covid-free. That was better than any gift I received this holiday season. That was a gift that you cannot find wrapped under the tree, in shiny paper and ribbon. As Cousin Eddie in “Christmas Vacation” says, “That’s the gift that keeps on giving.”. Cherish these moments with your family, because life is to short. The pandemic is a prime example of that. My parents are older than most and I cherish the times I get to spend with them. I cherish my shopping trips and TV time with Mum and watching “Laurel & Hardy” with my Dad and hear him talk about how things were in the old days. I enjoy going with him to pick up food and talk about different things with him. Your parents, grandparents and older relatives won’t be around forever and its important to spend as much time with them as you can. Disagreements and arguing are normal in families, but what is important is making up and forgiving. Hug your family members and pets, young and old and do something kind for them.
How did you enjoy your holiday season in 2020? Did you stay home or safely visit family. Mask up and see family? Please share below in the comments. Hopefully we will have a sense of normalcy later this year.