Debbie and I really were looking forward to Christmas this year.
COVID really put the “bah humbug” in the holiday the past few years. This year it was over — not really, just the government restrictions are — but we were ready to do it up big.
I went into our unfinished basement and brought up probably 10 containers of stuff. There’s the artificial tree — I finally caved in on real ones once they went from $30 to $75. There’s the dozen or so Santas we like to collect. There’s the outdoor lights I finally started putting up a few years ago after being asked for many years before that. There’s the big blow-up Santa for outside, which ended up being broken so I bought a new smaller one. There’s the stockings — mine’s the WSU Cougar one of course. There’s various other decorations, such as snowmen. There’s the pillows for the couch and ornaments for the tree. There’s small Rudolph cartoon stuffed animals.
New this year is an elf my wife did at one of those paint-and-sip wine events. There’s cute little signs that say things like “Santa’s Diner” and “Reindeer Roadhouse.” There’s even a photo of my wife sitting on my lap when I played Santa for a chamber fund-raiser a few years back. And for the second-straight year, Deb made decorative swags for neighbors and friends.
Yes, we’re not the Griswolds, but Christmas is big at our house.
But we should have known it wasn’t going to be the perfect Christmas we were hoping for when in early December our flight to Florida for a vacation was delayed two days because of just a little snow at Sea-Tac. We still did in five what we were going to do in seven days — including driving to Key West, going on an Everglades tour and visiting Little Havana in Miami, all from our home base in Fort Lauderdale.
It was so fun but exhausting. Not a relaxing vacation.
I’ve been sick since we’ve been back. Not COVID but some other illness that just has hung on for weeks. My wife, who is a nurse, held off for about 10 days but now she’s sick, too.
My youngest daughter’s family is sick, too. So we had to cancel having my oldest daughter’s family come over from Port Angeles. We were all so looking forward to that. It would have been the first time in about five years or more. She also didn’t want to drive over because of the snow. Bah, Humbug to “Let it snow.”
We didn’t cancel, but barely got to see our granddaughter who flew up from California as she goes to college in Eureka. We only see her a time or two each year. It was just a quick meeting, with masks on of course.
Our plans were also shortened in having Christmas with Deb’s two sons and their significant others. It would have been tough to eat their big dinner with masks on.
And finally, we didn’t have the big, extravagant Christmas with my youngest daughter’s family — again due to snow and illness.
So as New Year’s approaches, and I take all that stuff back down to the basement, all I can think about is the “Christmas that might have been.”
Not that much different from the previous two years.