So This Is Christmas

To say that 2020 has been a long and challenging year, would be an understatement. However, there has been a lot for our family to be thankful for and celebrate including our newest member, Buddy.

For some reason this year, I felt pressure to get Christmas right, but also less motivation to get ahead of everything. Although I had extra time off around Thanksgiving, and everyone in the neighborhood set up their lights then, I waited another 2 weeks.

Our elf made its way out again on December 1st, and forgot to leave and move the first night. Thankfully, the pandemic helped with this as I informed the kids that the elf had to quarantine. The non-movement would happen several more times throughout the month.

We were not really sure what to do about traveling this Christmas. Getting the whole family on a plane to visit my family is always a challenge and can get a bit expensive, especially if you are late to plan like I typically am. But we decided that Grace and I would go Christmas afternoon because she was super excited about seeing everyone and attending our traditional big family Christmas gathering.

As the date got closer, and cases started rising, we realized that getting on a plane and visiting family probably wouldn’t be my smartest parenting move, and so we canceled another one of our trips for 2020. Grace handled it like a pro. She said, “I am sad that I won’t see everyone, but it gives me time to enjoy my Christmas gifts at home, so either way, I will be ok.”

So, instead of traveling home, we took a mini-staycation and cashed in part of a work trip I had earned earlier in the year that had to be postponed, and enjoyed 3 awesome nights in Vero Beach at a hotel that we never would have stayed at (if we were paying for it), and loved every minute of it. Since the hotel was pet friendly, Buddy also loved every minute of it. It truly was a family vacation.

After our pampered get away, we came home and had a nice quiet Christmas. Well fairly quiet, Nolin got a conga and bongo set, and Grace got a Karaoke machine. I had some extra time off as I tried to responsibly burn through a bunch of vacation I would be losing at the end of the year (I can’t complain about losing days because this year I had the potential to take over 7 weeks off), so while Uncle Kevin was in town, we took time to see the manatee and explore one of our favorite hidden gems the Florida Wetlands.

Christmas was definitely different this year, but I think it helped put a nice bookend to a challenging year.

Now, here’s to a safe, happy and healthy 2021!

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