Christmas was hard this year. For everyone. 2020 has been a hard year.
Jon and I have spent many Christmases alone and I can relate to everyone’s sadness and frustration over not being able to celebrate with family this year. Let me just tell you, the best thing to do to combat this year’s Christmas blues is to still try and make it as cozy and nice as possible.
Because of Trump’s executive order, I had the 24th off. I would have taken it off otherwise anyway because I facetime with my family in the late morning on Christmas Eve. Usually, they’re all gathered at my sister’s house for Christmas Eve, but in true 2020-Coronavirus-fashion, everybody was tuning in from their own couches this year. It must have been harder for my family to not be together on Christmas Eve than it was for me and Jon to just see everybody over FaceTime, but I am just so thankful that technology makes it possible to check in with everyone virtually these days. It did make us all feel a little bit closer.
In the afternoon, I set our table and prepared our dinner. I always make a point to plan a nice meal, print a menu card, and decorate our table, even if it’s just the two of us. It puts me into a good mood and I simply love doing it. People have previously commented on the fact that I always go through so much trouble (no trouble at all, really) to set the table nicely for Christmas Eve Dinner and that I always cook something nice and even print a menu. I admit that it obviously doesn’t make up for the fact that we can’t see family, but having a nice meal and putting in some effort surely helps make the holidays a little bit nicer. We’ve also come to embrace the quietness of cozying up at home for a couple of days.
This year, we made a bacon-wrapped pork roast with homemade bread dumplings and red cabbage. For dessert, I tried a crust-less apple-cheesecake recipe that my Mom sent me. Everything was delicious and we really enjoyed our meal together.
We opened a few gifts on Christmas Eve but also saved a few for Christmas Day (combining both German and American traditions). Later in the evening, we watched “A child’s Christmas in Wales“, one of Jon’s favorite holiday movies.
We slept in a little bit on Christmas Day. I made a big pot of coffee, then talked to my uncle (in Germany) for a bit, and watched a German Mini-Christmas-Series on Netflix in the afternoon. It was nice to watch something in German for a change. Christmas Day also always includes a “Christmas plate of cookies” and a big pot of tea.
In the evening, we had leftovers for dinner and watched ‘It’s a wonderful life‘ because there’s no Christmas around here without George Bailey. This movie always puts me in such a good mood.
As I mentioned before, December 26 is an official ‘second Christmas holiday’ in Germany, so I still tend to treat this day as a holiday (even if people start taking down the tree around here on the 26th. Our’s stays up at least until January, 6th). I spent most of the day in my lounge pants, I talked to a family friend on Skype in the morning and went for a run in the afternoon. It was just so nice outside!
I didn’t get around to watching all the Christmas movies that I wanted to watch this year (oh well, I guess there is still time and who says that I can’t watch Christmas movies in January, right?), but one movie I definitely wanted to see before the holidays were over was “Jingle Jangle” on Netflix. If you haven’t seen it yet, I urge you to make time to see it. It’s delightful.
And as always, the holiday cards that I received over the last few weeks put a huge smile on my face. Thanks so much to everyone who sent out cards this year. It’s been so nice to hear from all of you. If our card hasn’t arrived yet, I am assuming it’s in USPS limbo. Be patient and I hope you can still enjoy it when it arrives!
Tell me, how was your Christmas? Were you able to embrace a quiet Christmas this year?