Christmas has come and gone and we are facing a new year. The past two weeks have been full and busy and joyous and (at times) trying. The lead up to Christmas is a busy time at my job so I worked extra days to both help out and make some extra money. My days felt rather dominated by lists of things to do before Christmas – baking, gift wrapping, gift shopping, packing – but we tried as a family to also enjoy the anticipation of Christmas Day and I tried hard to stay focused on the season of Advent by praying and reading my Bible.
The week before Christmas also took an unexpected turn when we had some much-loved extended family visit. They had initially planned to visit the Coast after Christmas but decided to move their visit up as Covid-19 restrictions have ramped up once more in our province. We were able to get some visiting time in all together and Peter and the girls had a fun time with them on the days that I worked.
On Christmas Eve we celebrated something we dubbed “Bonus Christmas” in our house. This was essentially a recreation of Christmas morning before we left for a few days in the city. Pearl and Rose wore their matching jammies, we had cinnamon buns, and we opened our presents for each other, as well as stockings. Maybe my favourite thing on Christmas morning is watching the girls open their gifts for each other. We make sure to give them opportunity to pick gifts for each other and they do so with great thoughtfulness.
That afternoon we caught a ferry and headed to Vancouver for 3 nights to spend Christmas with my parents and my brother and his family. Christmas Eve we joined them for a family church service. This was only the second time the girls have been in a church building since March 2020 and it felt so special to be able to worship in person on Christmas Eve.
Christmas morning came bright, early, and snowy! We did indeed have a white Christmas – a real rarity for the West Coast here. In fact, we still have snow on the ground and have broken records for cold weather at this time of year. Here on the Coast, we hit -11, which blew the previous record of -6 in December out of the water. Again, if you had any doubts about the reality of climate change, we in BC are living it.
We had 3 days in Vancouver with the whole family and enjoyed some quiet days together, some walks in the snow, and lots of yummy food. The girls love hanging out with their big cousins, who kindly shared rooms to make space for all of us. For the first time ever, Pearl and Rose bunked with their cousins and they did pretty well.
On Monday we unfroze our car and headed home. (The locks on the car were literally frozen!) We were very excited about a week full of absolutely nothing and have enjoyed it to the fullest.
Once back home, we got another load of snow and had a morning of sledding at the nearby hill followed by lunch with friends. We’ve been enjoying simply being at home and the girls had a sleepover with their grandparents so Peter and I got some quiet time, just the two of us.
Unfortunately, omicron is spreading in the province just as it is everywhere else. Numbers are rising close to home and we are seeing cases closer to us than ever before. School in BC has been delayed by one week (for now) so though Peter will be back at work next week, the girls and I will be home. Our New Year’s Eve was quiet – we put the girls to bed at their usual time and Peter and I stayed up until midnight. We read, talked, ate chips, split a bottle of Prosecco at midnight. In the morning, seeing the empty chip bag and the bottle, Pearl accused us of having a party!
It’s hard not to feel a bit demoralized, going into yet another year under restrictions and lockdowns. It feels impossible to know what 2022 will hold or to know how to make plans with so much uncertainty around us. I’m not much of a goal maker at the best of times so I’m not making any grandiose goals for 2022. I want to continue to read good books, to make time for the people I love, to be patient and loving with my family, to find beauty in small things. As I journaled and prayed before midnight on New Years Eve, the Bible verse that came to mind and that I have decided to make my only goal for 2022 was Micah 6:8
He has told you, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?Micah 6:8
Do justice, love kindness, walk humbly with my God. That’s my plan for 2022. Happy New Year to each of you!