Friday, December 25, 2020

A Quiet Christmas

We always break out the wedding china for holiday meals. Why keep the stuff if you’re not going to use it?

Like everyone else with an ounce of common sense, we stayed home for Christmas this year. No trip out east to see my side of the family. Nothing scheduled for later to visit Kim’s side here in Wisconsin. Just the four of us at home enjoying a quiet holiday together.

We did our scaled-down version of the “Odd Number of Kinds of Fishes” dinner that my grandmother used to make for Christmas Eve when I was a kid, modernized for convenience and adjusted to things we’d actually eat. Popcorn shrimp. Crabcakes. Spaghetti with clam sauce. It works for us.

There was a family Zoom with the Eastern Time Zone folks, after which we opened presents. And then we played Phase 10, which is the ideal card game as far as I am concerned in that it is interesting enough to keep your attention but not so energy intensive that it gets in the way of food and conversation. It sits right in that sweet spot where all good card games should be.

Today was even quieter. Christmas Day has always been the secondary holiday in my family – a time to relax, have friends visit, and generally not do much of anything. No visitors this year, but perhaps next year. Tomorrow will be still quieter. This is a good thing, I think.

This has been a long and draining year for everyone. We started the year with an entire continent on fire and an impeachment trial, neither of which anyone remembers anymore because so much has happened since. We’ve been living with the pandemic since March here. We’re ending the year with The Election That Seditious Sore Losers Won’t Let Die and with the hopeful news of a vaccine – several, in fact. It’s been busy. I miss the big family get-togethers, but I have to admit that a quiet little celebration felt good too.

It will all start up again at some point. You can only take so long of a break, after all. But for the moment it is quiet. We share a meal with loved ones and serve it on the good plates and we hang out together and talk.

This can be a beautiful world, if we let it.

Maybe someday we will.