Christmas Island © lynette sheppard

2020. It’s been the most stress filled year that I can remember. And now, the holidays are upon us. And yet. And yet. The holidays seem a bright spot amid all the angst. On our tiny island, Christmas decorations went up extra early. It seemed like everyone was putting lights on their homes.

If this were a normal year, our Christmas light parade would have kicked off the celebrations on the first Saturday of December. Of course, we had no parade this year. No parties, no concerts, no get-togethers.

I read a piece written by a physician who asked herself if mid-November was too early to put up decorations. She decided that she really needed the boost in her spirits and it really didn’t matter if she left them up all year long. She felt that her holiday was actually a prescription to decrease her stress this year.

I get it. Staying at home and listening to my inner thoughts about the season rather than rushing: to shop, to attend potlucks, to participate in cookie exchanges, and on and on and on. I am not baking cookies – especially since I don’t need any more goodies after all the comfort food I’ve indulged in during the pandemic. I’m not wrapping gifts. I am not signing cards.

I am enjoying the scent of the tree. I am playing old Christmas albums and singing at the top of my lungs. (My poor cat wishes I wouldn’t.) I have put more thought and less obligation into gift-giving. Nat Geo Kids subscriptions for the grandchildren, a few books and CD’s for close friends, nothing for Dewitt and me. For the rest, I will be making donations to the local food bank in their names.

We have hope. We have light. Covid 19 vaccinations started today. This is shaping up to be a very meaningful holiday. Enjoy yours as you can. Stay safe. Be well. Love one another.

I’ve included a video of our favorite Christmas decoration: Santa’s Marching Band. Enjoy.