This will be a Christmas like no other, not just for our family, but for many families around the world. A global pandemic really puts its own twist on the holidays.
Four of my adult children will be celebrating remotely with us this year. And yes even though 3 of them live only minutes away in the next town over – they will not be coming to our house.
We do this remote celebration this year in the hopes that we will all be able to celebrate together next year.
As a mom who is and has always been into celebrating Christmas (our tree typically goes up Thanksgiving weekend) planning a remote celebration has been challenging.
Amazon wish lists have come in handy, but I also wanted to make sure that everyone got personal family gifts to open on Christmas morning. Advanced planning and getting packages out early helped with the one who lives in Tennessee and having the other boys stop by to pick up their Christmas boxes from our porch is how we are delivering gifts this year.
It’s all working out, with the exception of one tiny detail.
When the kids were little, Santa hung a Candy Cane Bouquet on their door when he came to visit. It was a way for the kids to know that Santa had visited and it gave us a little bit of time to turn tree lights on and start the coffee while they ate their Christmas Candy Cane.
Over the years, this has been a favorite tradition in our house. Well except for that *one* year when Marc and I, exhausted, went upstairs at around 2 am to finally go to bed for a few hours before the kids woke up. On the way to our bedroom a bouquet was carefully placed, and a certain little toddler heard the jingle bells and that was that.
He knew Santa had come and he knew there were presents under the tree for him. We managed to get him back to bed but that only lasted 45 minutes.
That was the Christmas eve when mom and dad didn’t get any sleep. At all.
It was after that event that we instituted the “crack of dawn” rule. You couldn’t leave your bedroom until the crack of dawn (and of course one of my very literal kids came up to our bedroom early one Christmas morning because he was convinced, he had heard the crack of dawn.)
Funny memories like these are what makes the holidays so special in families. We will all miss being together this year. We will miss going over the highlights of the last year and we will miss reminiscing over some of our favorite family stories.
But one thing that my kids will not miss during this pandemic is a Candy Cane Bouquet. Santa was nice enough to deliver them early and so each remote family member has one tucked away in their Christmas box.
Because during a time of great upheaval, uncertainty, and frustration – sometimes it’s the little bits of normalcy that can bring the most comfort.