Just one week prior to the big day, we received two feet of snow here in New Hampshire. Even the dogs weren’t sure what to do with such a sudden dumping, and naturally the cat-called-Mille chose to stay indoors in protest.
By Christmas Eve, the weather warmed to near balmy temps and rain started to drizzle down. Overnight, it turned into torrents of “hooves,” prancing on the rooftop like, well, reindeer, but without the magical fanfare of the holiday. We did our best to ignore it, until we couldn’t, by watching “The Polar Express” and gorging on popcorn and homemade cookies. It was, due to the nature of the times, just the four of us humans, plus our four furred companions.
It should have been a restful night for sleep considering there are no longer wee ones in the house but two full-fledged teenagers who cherish their sleep like they do their devices. Instead, Zelda-the-not-very-brave-canine, insisted on nestling into bed with her “parents” because nothing is more scary than hourly avalanches of snow crashing off the roof-made-slippery-from-the-pouring-rain. Surely, the sky was falling…
Despite a fitful night for the shaking dog and her “parents,” morning dawned
bright gray and, well, rainy. Fog cast the false shadow of white on the land until it lifted and all that remained was an increasingly soggy and brown earth.
It couldn’t be more fitting. After all, it was Christmas 2020, and we had nowhere to go, and no one to come to visit. Presents (at least those that had arrived in the mail in time for the big day) and stockings were opened without much fanfare after a breakfast of french toast casserole and tiny bowls of pomegranate seeds (the fifteen-year-old left his bowl untouched). Then the day loomed before us. What to do?
In “normal” times, we’d have made a rather quick show of the morning at home before we hastened back upstairs to shower and dress for part 2 of the day. Another pile of wrapped gifts would be loaded into the car and off we would go to celebrate with an extension of relatives. Not this year.
So while the teenagers talked to their friends on their devices, the husband and I broke out the scrabble board and settled in for a “friendly” game. At noon, I retrieved the Christmas Eve lasagna from the fridge, fed the dog, and got ready for our after-lunch-walkie when the seventeen-year-old made a sudden appearance from her room to request Chinese food for lunch. Why not?
“Get me an egg roll,” I hollered up the stairs before we set out with the dogs, my stomach still quite full with lasagna.
The afternoon rolled by to the tunes of carols piped through the Bluetooth speaker as my daughter and I assembled the fixings for a dinner that could easily feed double our party, but you never can have too many leftover, right?
After a quiet, but delicious meal accompanied by more Christmas carols, we settled down to Zoom with a few extended members of our family. It was not ideal, a bit awkward at times, but it was the best we could all do to celebrate the day together. Although we had just lost a beloved member of the family (from the natural decline of age), I think we were all counting our blessings that day.
Here’s hoping and fervently praying that 2021 brings a year filled with an abundance of joy and health for all.