December 2020


Christmas 2020— YAY or YIKES?

photo by Molly Kendrick

W hew! What a year it has been, to say the least… and I mean the very least. Pandemic. Economic shut down. School shut down. Church shut down. Quarantining with our people. Masks. Stage one opening. Stage two opening. Back to stage one opening. School re-opening with a virtual option. The election of the century. Good night! I’ve never seen anything like it! It makes me wonder, can something as regular as celebrating Christmas be a valid option this year? Well, my friends, I’m just going to go ahead and claim Christmas as a YES! YES, to seeing family, and YES, to celebrating Jesus’ birth like it’s going out of style! There will be presents and gatherings and celebrations and treats and heartburn galore! Christmas is coming and ain’t no crazy year gonna stop it! I mean, can’t all my adult friends remember the transition from your last “kid Christmas” to your first “grown-up Christmas?” It was quite a leap. Don’t you remember how wonderful it was looking forward to Christmas as a kid, and all the excitement and anticipation? I was a child of the present hunting variety. By the time November 30 rolled around, I was already scoping out the regular hiding spots to see if Christmas booty was anywhere to be found. Many times, I was successful, but other times my clever mom beat me to the punch and already had them wrapped. While the hunt was so much fun, the element of surprise was even better. The weeks leading up to Christmas were always a good time for my parents to get us to do the things that my brother and I were otherwise great at avoiding. You know, things like making the bed

every day, unloading the dishwasher, feeding the dog without being told, not calling each other “butthead” and then throat-punching the name caller. I will admit, the atmosphere of my childhood home was never more pleasant or better smelling than it was in December. Then there was Christmas Eve, and oh, the wonder of it all! We would go to church for the candlelight service and then have dinner with my mom’s family. Once complete, we would go back to our respective homes full and pleasantly sleepy. Sleepy, that is, until my brother and I would come in and see the tree all lit up with the gifts underneath. With just one look at those twinkly lights, it was as if a jolt of caffeine had surged through our veins. We didn’t just get our second wind, we got our second tornado. My parents would try to bribe us to get to sleep with the dangling carrot of getting to open one gift before bed. Well played, Mary and Jeff (those are my parents)… worked every time! So, we would open that one gift, strategically selected by my mom, and then we were compliant enough to be sent to our rooms. Sleep? No way! That wasn’t happening, but we agreed (most years) to staying in our rooms past 4 am. It was the longest but best night of every year. The sheer possibilities of what might be waiting for us the next morning were intoxicating! As we got older, my brother and I would sleep in a little, but I don’t think I woke up after 6 am on Christmas morning until half-way through college. Finally, it was morning... Christmas morning! And it was always great! No matter how many presents were under the tree or in our stockings, we laughed and squealed and carried on. Once everything



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