Christmas 2020 was back to the basics in the Alaska Caylor home. A few of the tools I learned from coaching served me well — Permission, Perspective, Engagement.
We normally love to travel and see friends and family during the holidays. However, with COVID19 numbers peaking around the country, we decided to stay home for the holidays. And, while we normally have an annual get-together at our home for friends and/or family, this year we did not.
Permission: It’s a lot of work to put up all the decorations, and we had enough stressors in life, so we gave ourselves permission for limited decorating. The bare minimum for us included my Granny Harden’s cardboard nativity (I think it was originally from TG&Y), 2 stockings hung by the wood-burning stove, and our outdoor entryway mini-Christmas tree, brought inside this year. Our Christmas bears and our kids’ favorite photos of themselves 😉 on tiles made 21 years ago rounded out the décor. It was simple, and I loved it. We permitted ourselves to skip sending Christmas cards, though after receiving so many from people I love, I will reengage in the process next year.
Perspective and Gratefulness: Instead of dwelling on all that I missed, I focused on what I had. I love Christmas in Alaska. I’m so grateful my husband and I still have great health and can enjoy the outdoor activities, hot cocoa by the fireplace, and cheesy Christmas movie traditions. We made a dinner for two (well, let’s be honest – a dinner for 6-8 - but we do have left-overs).
We went with a non-traditional fare - crepes for breakfast and arepas for Christmas dinner. I tried my hand at poached pairs for a late-evening dessert. A few meaningful and practical gifts were exchanged. This was the first year there wasn't a "To Mark, From Mark" gift under the tree. (I'm taking that as a sign I've gotten better at my gift selections over the years). I enjoyed putting the rejected asparagus treats piled up at the office in Mark’s stocking (who gives asparagus treats at Christmas 🤷♀️). Also, he was momentarily impressed with the utility gloves I put in the stocking until he realized it was the same pair he ordered a month ago that I intercepted. Laughter is good.
Engagement: It's a bit different this year, but it still counts. We were able to live-stream our Christmas Eve Service of Hope. We also are grateful for our family and friends around the country that are healthy and happy, and just being able to video chat with them was wonderful.
So, with a bit of permission, perspective, gratefulness, and unique engagement, our simple and quiet Christmas was full of love, connection, and joy!
We have 1 of 4 vaccinations down in the Caylor home, so there is hope on the horizon for travel.
May you all have a Joy-filled New Year! Tonya
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