As this is my fourth Christmas post on Austen Authors, longtime readers of this blog will know that I love Christmas. I’ve written of it several times, commented on favorite carols and beloved traditions, spoken of how the season makes me feel. My brother wrote a post last month where he referenced a Christmas where my dad purchased a silver tree for Christmas and upset my mother. Let me state without equivocation that while I have heard that story many times, that happened in the family’s PJ era. (i.e. Pre-Jann!)
It is to my mother that my thoughts have turned this year. Because of the situation with Covid and the extra precautions governments are imposing, there’s a very good chance that she won’t be able to spend the holidays with the family–odds are she will be stuck in the retirement community. I won’t debate the efficacy of lockdowns, masks, vaccines or any other disagreement that so consumes us these days. The only thing I will say is that it rather sucks to think that mom will not be able to join us for Christmas this year, and that those family gatherings I mentioned last year will not likely happen.
Is it just me, or has 2020 really stunk? No, it’s not just me—sorry to burst your bubble there. If you had one. It seems like everything that could go wrong this year has gone wrong; it’s Murphy’s Law on a global scale. To put a cap on this wonderful year, my primary work machine decided to give up the ghost yesterday, and now I need to replace it. Sorry for this tangent, but I’m trying to illustrate how difficult this year has been on all of us.
For my mom, the kids have all gotten together, and those of us who live nearby have decided to do a twelve days of Christmas event for her. There are four of us, so we have each gotten little gifts to put under her tree which she will open each day leading up to Christmas. It’s a little thing to be sure, but I hope it will make her Christmas merrier. She will have the people she lives with, including a couple of friends to help her through this time, and while I know that’s no substitute for family, she will feel closer to us as she opens our gifts.
Though the overall tone of this post has been negative, I believe it would do us all a disservice if I did not acknowledge the great blessings in my life and the lives of those I love. Though this year has been a difficult one, none of my close family has had Covid, and we have been able to keep food on the table and warm our houses. We have close support structures when we need to call on others for assistance. Above all, we have a loving God who watches over us and comforts us when we need it, and his Son whose birth we celebrate. Life intrudes and situations occur which test our faith and fortitude, but if we press forward, I know in the end we will overcome all. The true meaning of Christmas brings peace and sustains us in this, the holiest of all seasons.
Please accept my best wishes to everyone in the Austen Authors community. Our lovely administrators, authors and contributors, and those who read and comment with their thoughts. You are all the best! Have a Merry Christmas, and may 2021 be a better year!