This Christmas season is certainly different than any I can remember. Or at least any I can remember as an adult. In the interest of it being Thursday, I’m going to share 3 specific things that are unique to Christmas 2020.
- Dale and I are pretty much caught up on watching holiday movies. There are a bunch we always watch, from the silly like Christmas With the Kranks to the sentimental like White Christmas to our favorite, Love Actually. We generally have to formulate a plan of attack for when we will watch these, given that our lives are full with meetings and obligations, parties and socializing. This year, though, it’s mid December and the only one we haven’t watched yet is A Christmas Carol and that’s on deck for the weekend. I guess not having anywhere to go leaves plenty of time for movie watching.
- I’m not prepping for a Christmas Eve extravaganza. With only a week to go at this point I’d have a finalized menu (not that it ever changes much) along with shopping lists and prep lists and timelines. I’d have coordinated with Hannah to come over and help us make 8 pounds of Swedish meatballs. I’d have talked with various friends and family members to make sure they were coming. I’d have ordered wine and washed glasses and made sure I had plenty of napkins and paper goods and more. And I’d be complaining about a bunch of this, too. Not this year, though. This year we’re still deciding what we are doing on Christmas Eve, our options run the gamut from snacks and apps to a full on sit down dinner. Time will tell on that one.
- I haven’t participated in any Yankee swaps. You know what those are, right? Everyone brings a gift and you draw a number that determines when you get to open your gift and who you get to swap it with. They can be fun but both Dale and I feel like we always (a) put a lot of thought into the gift we bring, even if it’s a gag gift and (b) always wind up with a crappy gift to bring home. Bottom line? We aren’t missing this particular holiday tradition one little bit.
Rumor has it that focusing on the things that are different help you to accept that and move on. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
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I love the snow falling on your blog, Carole! Festive + fun…and helps it feel more like Christmastime. I’m right there with you on the swap. The group I’ve swapped with for the past 15 years, women in my neighborhood, decided to do a Secret Santa this year instead. Then we all toasted the season & opened gifts & guessed our Santa on a Zoom call. And I thought to myself afterward, let’s keep THIS ‘different way of doing.’ Because the I feel the same frustration you & Dale do some years. In fact, last year I stole my own gift back 🙂 (3 of us did, so I didn’t feel too obnoxious about it.)
I am puzzling over Christmas Eve because we will be able to see our kids after everyone doing the quarantine thing but we aren’t sure if we should share food or just a drink and time. And I am with on those swaps. We have done White Elephant swaps and I just don’t understand why you would go to the time and cost of finding something really crappy to give away. I don’t miss that one either.
If this were a normal year, tomorrow night would be our winter solstice party. I’m missing the party, but not the balls-to-the-wall prep. We’ve already decided that our future solstice parties (and there will BE future solstice parties) will be fully catered! (I’m liking the less-stress aspect of this December. A lot.)
(We have those swaps here. But they’re called “White Elephants.” “Yankee Swap” just wouldn’t work here in the midwest.) 😉
This Christmas is much different for us too. we are trying to figure out how to fill in the blank spaces where holiday traditions with family and friends used to be. I have participated in Yankee Swaps before (but I never heard of that term). Our running club used to have one after our pre-Christmas run. We would go out to lunch and swap gifts. Because everyone brought a running-related gift, I never felt that I gave better than I received.
They always did those yankee swaps at work but I never participated because there was this one person who took glee in taking everyones presents. Now they do a game where you sit around a square table (or whatever size) and everyone has a gift in front of them. One person throws the dice and the number tells you want to do with the gift, move it to the left, move it to the right, etc. Then they go around the table. That was fun to watch and it was always a good time. It sometimes took a long time to finish.
It will just be the 2 of us, so I really haven’t thought about it much. I don’t think we will do a very big dinner this year. Cases here in TN have gone through the roof, and I don’t want to get out again, so I will cobble something together festive enough for the 2 of us from what I have. That is certainly different this year, but I have resolved to try and enjoy the increased leisure time, although it will be weird. I truly despise Secret Santa, Yankee Swap, etc. It’s not much fun to get a crappy gift, and I always got one, so I am not missing that at all. I have been procrastinating about movies, but we have Love Actually queued up for this weekend. It will make me smile like nothing else I can think of these days!
That’s a lot of meatballs! Things have always been pretty simple for us at Christmas and this year won’t look much different than others which is good. I know for some there are more challenges with the way Christmas 2020 will look.
Jeannie Gray says
I love watching Christmas movies too! I was so excited because my daughter brought home 6 super cheesy Hallmark Christmas movies the other day from the library. They were all so bad but I still watched them each twice before sending them back. LOL
I’ve never heard it called Yankee swaps before. Here we call it Chinese Christmas. We do it each year at my sister’s house and I kind of hate it but everyone else loves it. The first few years were fun though because when we first started it, the rule was you had to bring something you already owned and no longer wanted. I received a candle holder that still had dead bugs in it that first year! LOL
Whatever you have for Christmas Eve, I’m wishing you a merry Christmas!
I love the idea of naming what’s different … some of it is good! I still haven’t watched a single one of our usual holiday movies. We did watch Last Christmas on Netflix last night and I fell asleep … looking forward to watching it again for the first time this afternoon 🙂