It’s the most wonderful time of the year and somehow- it feels a little off.
- It’s the anticipation of missing relatives around the dinner table.
- It’s the feeling of 2020 ending without it ever really starting.
- It’s a lot and simultaneously not enough.
As we prepare for yet another holiday, I’m taking every simple moment and valuing it more than ever before. A few of my favorite holiday traditions will survive 2020 and I am so thankful for that.
Here’s a few of my favorites that will stand the test of time (and COVID 19):
Each year since I was a little girl, my mom has gifted me and my siblings an ornament for our trees. Each December (or in my case, October because I couldn’t wait to decorate this year), we pull out our collections and adorn our trees with years of memories. Mine is filled with big and little life accomplishments (like the ball I received last year, pictured below), ballerinas from my years of dance and many black and gold ones for the tree I am yet to have. One day, when I have a house of my own, I’ll have a big tree with only black and gold ornaments and it will be spectacular.
Each year my mom’s family gets together on Christmas Eve. In both of my heritages (Italian and Polish) we celebrate Christmas Eve far more than Christmas Day. On Christmas Eve, We get together and eat a meatless meal of pierogis (dough dumplings filled with cabbage), 7 types of fish and Borscht (soup) and homemade Gnocchi. One of my favorite traditions is sharing Oplatki (a Eucharist wafer). As the tradition goes- you break the wafer into smaller pieces and pass it around to everyone in the house. Each person takes their piece and “breaks bread” with one another. While breaking bread, you wish the other person good fortune and well wishes for the new year ahead. This tradition won’t look the same this year with Covid 19 but we will surely make the best of it.
Holidays can be a really stressful time for families with little kids. I remember spending many of them in the car hopping from one relatives house to another. When my nieces and nephew came along, my parents created a new Christmas tradition lovely refers to as “Nana’s Sleepover”. (my mom is Nana) Soon after the actual holiday on 12/25, my siblings and their families come to stay with me and my parents. We make tons of food, hang out in our matching PJs, drink Hot Cocoa, bake cookies and watch Christmas Movies on repeat. It’s the perfect excuse to get everyone together and to enjoy the holiday- stress free. When it comes to Covid, I thinks it’s only right to note that our circle is very small which allows for such an opportunity.
No matter how big or small your traditions are- its so important to hold on to what makes the holiday so special. I know this year has been a challenge but it could also be the opportunity to create a new tradition too! For me- Church will look different this year and I am actually excited to attend the midnight service even if I have to listen to it from the parking lot.
So let’s break bread!
I am wishing you peace, love, wealth and health as we embark on this season and into 2021. May this new year bring you to new places, new challenges and many rewards.