Holiday Magic, "It's Just One Year", and 2020 Winding Down

Toddler decorating Christmas tree

The last 2 years I have been talking about the holidays in this way, thinking of the magic and special memories to come:

  • 2018 when pregnant with Ethan: "Can you believe next year we will have a 7 month old?! I can't wait, it's going to be so special"
  • 2019 Ethan as a 7 month old: "Can you believe next year he will be 1.5 years old?! He will probably jump on the Christmas tree...and rip open all his presents and then just play with the box!"
  • And when referring to my nephew, "The cousins are going to be so cute! It's going to be so fun to see them together!"

Well now it's 2020 and we have a 19 month old, who actually hasn't toppled the tree (haha), but has provided holiday joy in ways that are needed even more this year. We decorated the house with a Christmas tree and various lights in the living room. Every night he comes home from school and goes around the room, asking for all the lights to go on and clapping. He loves snuggling a Grinch stuffed animal (that was mine as a kid), putting on a Santa hat, and laughing at The Mensch on a Bench.

Hanna Andersson toddler Santa hat

In addition to talking about next year's holiday season, and how Ethan will be 2.5 years old (!!), I am also saying, "I can't wait for us all to be back together" and "it's just one year."*  It's just one year that I won't see my brother, sister in law and nephew; my dad and stepmom; and my extended family. And while it is just one year, it doesn't negate that this sucks. Zoom and FaceTime are bridging the gap and there is some comfort knowing that this is not unique to us, people around the world are experiencing different holidays this year and missing family members.  So we are making the best of things and are lucky that we have our safe quaranteam/pod with some of our family and a friend nearby.  

Despite it all, I'm feeling optimistic heading into to the new year. I don't expect the virus to disappear when we ring in 2021, but with the vaccine roll out and Biden taking office, I believe in the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel. One of my go-to resources for good info, not only on the virus but on parenthood, is Emily Oster.  She had this in her recent newsletter and on her Instagram:

So I am hanging on to that optimism, taking in the holiday magic, and focusing on the good things that 2020 brought such as a new job closer to home and a thriving toddler who we are spending more time with given being home more (versus if he was in school the entire year), and art from school like the below :)

homemade ornament kids craft

Happy Holidays and New Year! 

*WE HOPE. 🙏

Pics by me.


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