The 2020 holiday season – pandemic edition
The holidays are different in every way this year, but I'm embracing a more laid-back approach this season
We are 10 days away from Thanksgiving, but between abnormally warm temperatures last week and the pandemic, it doesn’t feel like the holidays at all.
I miss our families that live far away, especially those who we only see two or three times per year, or even annually. Our niece and nephew have grown so much, and we’ve missed a lot of it this year. The kids miss their cousins. My aunt from Georgia has come every Thanksgiving for 10-plus years, and we are missing her terribly this year.
But I am growing more accustomed to our “little” lifestyle and the more laid-back approach this holiday season. There’s no pressure to entertain, I don’t have to cook extra food, and we aren’t running from house to house. Christmas will certainly quieter.
We have always been home on Christmas Day. It is something that matters to me, because as a child of divorce I shuffled between houses, and I hated it. I just wanted to play with my toys in my pajamas. So, that is my one constant every year.
I am also looking forward to embracing 2021. I was in such a hurry to rush away 2020 and ring in a new year, but honestly it doesn’t appear that much will change in 2021. Instead I am working hard on embracing the closeness I have with my kids and husband. Also, we have been taking breaks from our “pod,” but I know we have each other and will play together periodically throughout this.
We also decided to ease Carter back into brick and mortar learning. Remote learning has proven to be more of a struggle than ever. His social abilities are regressing and it is apparent that even only two days per week, he needs to be around other kids his age.
Making these decisions and accepting life to be the way it is has been freeing and a relief. I am not OK with the way everything has turned out with the pandemic and the friendships that have vanished, but I am OK with the relationships my kids have developed, the closeness with their pod friends and the personal growth it has forced within me.
This, like so many other things, was unexpected. The unknown is scary, but we all have to find our way in ways that work for us.
Lauren Martone is a blogger for ParentingNH from southern New Hampshire. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Lauren and her family’s story were featured in the July 2015 issue of ParentingNH, and also in the July 2018 issue.