Christmas 2020

There are obviously many ways that Christmas has looked different for our family this year. We feel very fortunate to have our girls – little kids bring a certain magic to the Christmas holidays and have kept us focused on celebratory things.

One (non-COVID difference) for us this year was getting to look forward to having both Peter and Pearl home for the winter break. It has been lovely to be together and cozy at home.

We’ve baked and played and dressed up and read books and worn our pyjamas all day. Snow isn’t very common around here at this time of year but we have been able to head up into the mountains nearby to find some snow to play in.

Last year on Christmas Eve, Peter was home sick with Rose while I worked a busy shift. I remember rushing to the grocery store before it closed and buying the last three cinnamon buns for us to eat Christmas morning. This year, with nowhere to be, we made homemade cinnamon buns. In a more optimistic time, a few weeks ago, I had made a ferry reservation, hoping we would be able to head to Vancouver to see my family. Instead we drove to Halfmoon Bay and walked along the pier and showed the girls where we used to live and snacked on confetti squares and hot chocolate.

With church buildings closed, we attended Christmas Eve service on-line. We opted for a 7:30 service which might as well have been midnight for our kids, but they did enjoy our cheese and cracker dinner and new, matching pyjamas.

And, of course, Christmas morning was as exciting as it can be with a five-year-old and a three-year-old!

We were extra fortunate this year that we were able to have Peter’s parents over on Christmas Day. Because they live close by and because they provide regular childcare for us, getting together with them was permitted under current regulations. Since everything was already different and our celebrations would be much smaller, Peter and I offered to host Christmas dinner. This meant cooking a turkey dinner for the first time.

I realize this is something plenty of people my age have done but it still felt like a big undertaking. I did quite a bit of reading, recipe researching, and polling of friends. In the end, it was actually quite doable and we were very pleased with the result. Peter and I agreed that we would do it again, though our biggest barrier to hosting a larger Christmas gathering is probably space. (I did have to borrow a roasting pan from my mother-in-law!)

A famous line from an old song has been repeating in my head this season:

A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices,

For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

It is a weary world indeed that we live in right now. Yet there is a lot of hope around us. There are many practical reasons to hope that 2021 will be better. Even better, as Christians, we place our hope in something greater than the things of this world. We celebrate our hope in Jesus Christ, whose birth we celebrate at Christmas. He entered our weary world and a thrill of hope was felt, is still being felt.

I hope that whatever this season has held for you, there has been some joy and that you may experience that thrill of hope. Happy Holidays!

15 thoughts on “Christmas 2020”

  1. Merry Christmas to you all, and I hope you’ll have a happy new year as well! The photos are lovely, and I’m glad you were able to do a few festive things together to celebrate the holiday. 🙂

    1. Thank you! Merry Christmas to you too! New Year is generally very quiet around here but we have a bottle of Prosecco at the ready!

    2. Thanks! New Year’s is one of my favorite times usually, it just feels so hopeful and exciting, a time for change. We could all use a bit of that about now, I think, even without a big celebration! Wishing you and your family well, in any case. 🙂

  2. The odd thing is that the Covid restrictions have made Christmas more like it used to be when I was a kid – each small family unit spending it together at home, rather than large parties and gatherings. Our big celebration back then was Hogmanay (New Year’s Eve), when neighbours visited each other’s houses after the bells to bring in the New Year, and partied till the drink ran out! 😂

    1. Growing up we always either travelled to see grandparents or had guests at our house. And since having our own kids, we’ve had to juggle seeing two sides of the family. Honestly, I do not miss the travel and packing and disruption of sleep schedules this year!

      Hogmanay sounds fun! It reminds me of an east coast tradition I’ve heard of called mummering. There is a lot of Scottish heritage in that part of Canada so they have a common origin.

    2. Oh, yes, now you say it I remember the word “mummer” from way back when, though I think that tradition had more or less passed up here by the time I was growing up. Oddly, I think a lot of the older traditions are better preserved by Scottish emigrants than us stay-at-homes!

    3. The city I used to live in (Victoria) bragged about being “more British than the British”. Do you celebrate Robbie Burns Day in a big way or is that only a Scottish emigrant thing?

    4. Hmm, there are still Burns Suppers, but I suspect it’s mostly older people who go to them nowadays. I don’t feel it’s as big a thing here as it is among emigrant stock. I’m betting lots of Scots would be hard put to say what date Burns Night falls on…

    5. The Canadian-Scots I’ve met who celebrate it really celebrate it! I attended a Burns party once years ago and they were very serious about it. Lots of scotch, lots of reciting poetry, marching the haggis around the room, everything!

    6. Haha, yes, it’s the haggis that puts me off! Though lots of them offer vegetarian haggis these days – but that always seems a bit like alcohol-free beer… 😉

  3. What a lovely post! I enjoyed all the little touches, like the hanging oranges and the fireplace on the laptop, in your photos. What are confetti squares? In the photo, they almost look like Klondike Bars, but that would be so cold in the winter!

    I also made my first turkey this year. I realized it’s not hard, but you can’t go anywhere (okay, we totally left the turkey in the oven and went through the Taco Bell drive thru) and you can’t use the oven for anything else at the same time. I also made sure to watch a video about how to carve a turkey so I didn’t decimate the poor thing.

    1. Thank you! It was our first year making orange garland and it was so easy in the dehydrator! The laptop fireplace is also a bit of a tradition now!

      I think confetti squares may be a Canadian thing. They are no-bake bars with chocolate, peanut butter, and marshmallows. Normally you use small, coloured marshmallows but we couldn’t find any this year so chopped up regular ones.

      I’m glad I’m not the only one who made it this far without cooking a turkey! We made a whole schedule about how we would cook all the sides and when! And carving was less pretty but it worked out in the end.

    2. Oh!! I know what confetti bars are now that you’ve described them! They’re so good. In my town there is a company that makes something called Chocolate Charlie that reminds me of these confetti bars. They are marshmallow, chocolate, and peanuts, and they are to die for.

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