This Christmas our family took a while to work out holiday plans which felt safe. We tracked the weather closely and had honest conversations about the nature of our individual contacts. Ultimately, we concluded an outside visit for a few hours on Christmas Day could work.
The day was cold, but at least the rain from the prior day had stopped. We had a fire burning in an old fire pit for the whole visit. We opened presents outside. We ate lasagna from plates we held on our laps (sitting at a table felt too close). And, we ended the short gathering at the agreed upon time.
It was an odd day, at least as measured by past Christmas Days, and yet something felt ‘not that unusual’ about our outside, socially-distanced 2020 Christmas. The day was just one more adaptation in a year of many adaptations, and we appreciated the brief visit.
I hear from many a wish to just move forward from 2020; to just get this year behind us. I get that. It has been a year of deep challenge, loss, and disruption. While 2020 will shortly be in the past, we know for 2021 we will need to continue to be careful and adapt.
I do hope that as we each welcome in 2021, we take time to reflect on 2020. What have we learned? What have we appreciated? I know I end the year grateful for this community, and the many ways everyone has generously cared for one another this past year. I end the year grateful for those who have worked patiently with me and with one another as we’ve figured out how to ‘do’ church differently. I end the year grateful for short Christmas visits, even if my clothes (even after washing) still smell a bit smokey!
I have confidence we’ll work through these next months together, one step at a time, one more adaptation at a time.
Happy New Year,