December 16, 2020

The COVID-19 Christmas Blues: Why we Must Sacrifice our Favorite Family Memories.

Christmas Eve has always been my absolute favorite day of the year.

My mother is German, and therefore, the 24th is our big celebration at her home. My mom is undeniably, to anyone who knows her, a superhuman hostess. Before COVID-19, she hosted a big Pinterest-looking family dinner every single Saturday. Her superpowers always come out during the holidays though, whether it be Halloween, Easter, or St. Patrick’s Day—even Valentine’s Day gets a special themed dinner. Christmas Eve; now that is her bread and butter. My mom waits all year for this day—her time to truly shine!

The house would be decorated from top to bottom, my mom would be dressed up nicely with some sort of Christmas earrings dangling, my stepdad in his infamous hideous holiday shirt. Christmas music would be loudly playing as my mom, grandma, and great-grandma would scurry about the kitchen working away, the smell of cooking sauerkraut filling our noses. We would gather along a big, beautifully decorated table with our paper crowns on, and eat until we felt like exploding, and then we would ditch my stepdad to clean up the dishes.

Before bed, we would always watch “Earnest Saves Christmas” and drink eggnog (my husband just gagged). I remember not being able to fall asleep, knowing Santa was coming.

My mom had the ability to truly create magic in one evening.

On Christmas Day, we would open our gifts together, and then I would be picked up by my dad to do it all over at his home. There, I would walk into another beautifully decorated house, Christmas music playing, more gifts waiting, followed by another incredible meal Martha Stewart would be proud of, made by my stepmom. She was another master of creating magical meals and memories every single year.

Over the years, the only thing that changed were fewer seats at the table, due to the loss of elderly loved ones, followed by more seats being added for the growing members of the family: husbands, wives, children.

My children and their cousins now get to experience the same magic that we did as kids during Christmas time, in both these homes.

Why am I painting this picture?

Simply to remind you that we are all making major sacrifices this year.

No big family dinners, no gathering to open gifts, no curling up to watch movies while sipping eggnog, no big hugs.

We are all putting these memories on hold this year and creating hybrid ones in our own homes for the greater good.

So, if you are considering gathering this Christmas, please remember that in doing so, you are risking one less seat at the dinner table next Christmas.

I wish you peace, love, and health this holiday season.

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