Big fat flakes are falling, just like when we landed here a year ago. The moving truck didn’t arrive until New Year’s, but we got to camp out and enjoy some NYC holiday magic. Seeing the displays today made me a little teary-eyed.
Times Square is still bare. I recall the ghosts of Christmas past, when we moved through a sea of holiday revelers at every turn. I could not have imagined then that my first year in NY would be mostly void of tourists and crowds.
We have all faced what is possibly the most unique year of our lives. Sometimes I can recognize the value in having routines derailed. Other times I am sad in being sequestered.
This is the first year EVER that I will not travel at the holidays. When I was a kid, we would pack the big blue van full of presents and drive from FL to NC to see relatives. After I got married and moved away, we’d return to celebrate Christmas in Florida. The South calls me home for the holidays, but I will not be going this year.
It’s such a weird feeling. I have been in a decorating frenzy like never before. Memories are jogged by tree ornaments (many made by my grandma); my husband Mark and I both have our stockings from when we were young. I see visions of our families here in this living room.
I will do more to bring the spirit of loved ones near. Having only been a holiday traveler, there will be many firsts:
NEVER HAVE I EVER baked Christmas cookies, never have I made a Christmas dinner, never have I made a good old Southern chess pie. But this year I will. I want to bring as much tradition as I can into this most untraditional situation.
Sending you love and comfort, wherever you are. May you celebrate joys big and small – giving gratitude for each moment of stillness, each snowflake, wave of the ocean, or sunset – swirled in sights and smells and memories you hold dear.
May your heart be light.