2020's been a year for the books,
 no one can argue that.
 We faced obstacles  
 we'd never dreamed of,
 some of us rising to the challenges
 with kindness and grace
 that surely landed them  
 on Santa's NICE list.
 Others, well,
 let's just say Santa wasn't pleased
 and be done with it.
 It is Christmas, after all.
 
 
 This Christmas will be different,
 there's no doubt about that either.
 We shopped online and
 kept our fingers crossed, hoping
 that packages would arrive in time.
 When we ventured out
 we wore our masks,
 kept our distance,
 and tried to let a smile
 show through our eyes--
 at least those of us  
 aiming for that NICE list did.
 So many traditions
 were put on hold.
 Families keeping safe  
 by keeping apart.
 Small intimate gatherings
 of people in our bubble
 and video chats  
 will have to do this year.
 
 
 Maybe that's a blessing in disguise.
 By stepping back from the chaos
 that comes with the holiday season,
 there's a lot less pressure to get it right.
 No cleaning frenzy  
 to make everything perfect for company.
 No marathon baking sprees
 or racing around to drop off gifts.
 With less pressure to impress,
 we are remembering the joys of Christmases past.
 
 While we're decking the halls and trimming our trees
 to ignite the spirit in our own hearts,
 we can reflect on what's most important
 and treasure the blessings we have.
 We're taking the moments to be thankful  
 for the good things all around us
 that we too often take for granted,
 like the family and friends
 we are still able to see—
 and lets not forget  
 toilet paper and paper towels!  
 
 
 With all the sadness 2020 has dished out,
 there has been joy too.
 People surviving Covid 19
 and vaccines being produced
 that will help this nightmare pass into history.
 People helping people.
 People realizing what is truly important—
 family, friends, human contact, and love,
 always love—for those we know  
 and those strangers we'll never meet.
 
 
 Let us celebrate this Christmas,
 whether alone or in our small groups,
 by holding hope in our hearts.
 One day things will go back to normal,
 and we'll revel in our traditions again,
 but maybe normal will be a little bit better
 for surviving the storm together.
 
 ~Elise Skidmore ©2020

Keep what traditions you can and embrace the new ones.

May the light of Christmas live bright in your heart all year through.

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