Archives for December 2020

It’s Thoughtful Thursday : The Christmas Letter I didn’t Write!

Well it has been quite a year and as I was telling a good friend the other day  ” I am in no hurry to get to the end of this year because who knows what is waiting for us in 2021″  In other words be careful what you wish for!

I am one of those hold outs who still sends Christmas cards and I really do love getting them, seeing the photos and reading the letters but I couldn’t bring myself to write a detailed letter this year.  I may have just heard a collective sigh of relief from those on my Christmas card list.  🙂  No worries….there are a few I dread as well.

In any case it has been a year of ups and downs for us and most of it not Covid related.  I am grateful I can say that and yet I wish I could change some things.  I’ve had quite a few friends endure serious much so that this nurse ran to the doctor to get a long overdue physical (so unlike me).  Like most nurses I often conclude that a few Motrin will fix everything.  I actually got laughed at when I broke my wrist and I opted for Motrin rather than Demerol in the emergency room.

In 2020 I had and still have a front row seat to the tragedy of dementia.  It is a cruel condition that I would not wish on anyone.

This is also the year we have all experienced some form of in person and online bullying, plain old meanness and bad manners.

And yet this is the year I have also witnessed extreme kindness, laughter, support, love, understanding and prayers received and given.

That kindness is what I want to remember about 2020.  How we came together to support one another in creative ways over zoom, via texting and sometimes in person 6 feet away.  We left meals on doorsteps, sent real mail, talked to our neighbors across driveways, checked in on those who were alone, helped parents navigate virtual schooling, and realized once again the true value of our teachers and healthcare workers.

Young couples got married in small intimate ceremonies. New parents got to have much needed quiet time with their newborns.  It was hard to stay away but what a treasured time for those new families.

If our dogs could talk I’m sure they would say this was the best year ever, they love having us home!

In a way I wonder if the younger kids will remember this year fondly as the one where we all came together, ate more meals together, watched movies, played games.  Much like I fondly remember our young married days with 10 cents until payday and a black and white TV with a 15 inch screen.

There are a few things we might not look fondly bad at home haircuts and what I like to call the “pandemic pudge” but it is all good.

So no Christmas letter this year…there was so much I could have written but I thought of my grandfathers’ old friend named “Hitch” who wrote us one year and in essence said ” this year really sucked ..if you want the details send me a buck”   He said it with more style and flair and better poetry but you get the gist…also I would charge you more than a buck.:)

On one of the last Thursdays in 2020 I gently ask you to be kind to all you meet…we have survived and mostly thrived in 2020 and yet more kindness is always the answer.

Santa says to  go make it a Thoughtful One 🙂  Jennifer


2020 Santa





The Perfectly Imperfect Christmas Tree

Every single year on the day after Christmas I make myself the same promise.  Next year will be different, next year I will be the one that has it all together for the holidays.  My shopping will be done early, the decorations will be up right after Thanksgiving, cards will be mailed out on time and I will sit back and relax and enjoy the holidays.   Oh and my tree will be one of those gorgeous ones that everyone ooos and ahhs over.

Oh yes…except it didn’t happen this year and it probably won’t ever happen.  Not just because of Covid and all the crazy things that happened this year but because it is just who I am.  Would it really be Christmas if I didn’t feel like my hair was on fire at least once?  Nope!

Honestly I think its in my DNA .  I will never be one of those people that has it all together all at the same time and at my age I am waving the white flag.  It’s who I am and it’s never going to change.

I KNOW I am not alone.

Let’s just take the tree for example.  For years when I was very young the tree didn’t go up until Christmas eve (my friends that put their tree up in Oct are going to need to be revived).  It is true. Oh and Santa dropped it off. One year my parents laughed and laughed because when the tree was delivered (I guess Santa just dropped it from the sky) it leaned to one side and evidently the Christmas tree place where Santa got it was next to a nudist colony. Wait , what?

For one I was too young to know what a nudist colony was and just now as I was thinking about it I realized that we lived in Indiana.  A nudist colony in December in Indiana?  Those are some hardy people.

We had Christmas tree lights that were so hot I’m surprised the tree didn’t catch on fire and we took great joy in just flinging that silver tinsel everywhere despite my mothers repeated requests that we “place” the tinsel carefully on the tree.  That just never happened.Who me? Iwasn't throwing the tinsel!

Who me?  I didn’t throw any tinsel!

So is it any wonder with that history I am unable to create a tree with the perfectly placed ornaments that are uniform in size and  all the same shade of red and green, while the base is surrounded by a variety of perfectly blooming poinsettias?

I thought about it this year as we pulled out the decorations.  At the base of the tree is the Christmas tree skirt I made when we were newly married and had no money. It is a patchwork of red and green squares. It is a reminder of simpler times, and has seen more than 40 Christmas’, 3 children, 6 grandkids and many friends.  On the branches are the photo ornaments of our children on their first Christmas, macaroni and falling apart construction paper ornaments,  decorations from all the different places we have lived, pets that have loved and left us and the pipe cleaner angels and a ballerina that adorned my parents tree for more than 60 years.  I am honored to place them on our tree.

So House Beautiful won’t be calling to photograph our tree, and my hair will catch on fire at least once before Christmas actually arrives. There will be at least one Christmas gift that gets lost before it is wrapped and one room in my house ( or maybe two) that looks like a wrapping paper bomb went off in it. We may or may not get a family Christmas photo with everyone looking at the camera and unlike last years photo my youngest grandson will NOT be flipping everyone off  AND I will forget and burn the rolls.

You have your traditions we have ours and burnt rolls is one of them.

Oh and before all this happens I will have to refrain myself from strangling the person who tells me how all their shopping is done, wrapped and cards mailed on Nov. 30th.

Just in case I do lose control the above is NOT a confession even though it looks like one.

Our tree and our Christmas will be perfectly imperfect.  We will do what we do best, laugh, make more memories and hope the macaroni ornaments hang on for one more Christmas because those are my favorites!

May your holiday be one filled with laughter and the blessings of family and friends even if we are all on Zoom.  Oh and I am here with the fire extinguisher for those hair on fire moments…plus lots of wine.

As always..doing what I do best..I keep triing.