Christmas in place

I’m sure the holidays are strangely different for you, too this year. As we shelter in place and alter our plans, many of our traditions are temporarily on hold.

My family ordinarily travels to Long Island, NY where I grew up and my parents still live. We are not going this year, needless to say, due to the pandemic. This is a big deal for us as Christmas is not just a one-day thing for us. Our traditions span the entire week as my sisters and their families all come to Long Island, too.

I have to be creative. It is all on me to make it special for my kids, a challenge under the circumstances. Being that we are not usually at home for Christmas, I don’t decorate, and so I don’t own any decorations. Plus, I just moved, and we still have boxes all over the place.

You may relate to this: some of my neighbors are doing less. Several of them are the ones who usually host their children and grandchildren, and as they are not doing a whole big shebang, are going light on decorating this year. One neighbor is not putting up a tree this year.

And to my pleasant surprised, offered to lend me her tree. Then she coordinated with another neighbor to loan me decorations that the other neighbor is not using this year, knowing we were not doing our usual travels. As I put together and decorated the beautiful tree, I was overcome with emotion, tearing up with the combination of missing my family and the warmth of kindness from my neighbors. Sometimes when things are tough or just weird, we have opportunities to give and receive love and compassion in new ways. This tree, and what it now represents to me, is our little Christmas miracle.