So I’m working on a special treat for my Christmas cards, wanting to “up my game.” It involves Christmas traditions that I love, memories of the holiday and of course my secret talents. Others have wonderful themes that make my eyes turn green with their creativity (I’m looking at you, Drea!).
So i started asking people two questions. 1. What is your favorite Holiday tradition, both from when you were a kid and now. And 2. What was your favorite present as a child at Christmas? These questions work across generations, too.
And it brings you closer to your family. Because in this time of Corona, there might not be a lot under the tree. We can always give of ourselves, tho. The gift of listening. Maybe a secret talent. Maybe just being a voice on the phone.
During World War II, Dad returned home at Christmas time. He brought his mom and sister a roll of… tinfoil like tape. It was used to jam radar devices while flying. My Auntie Mary told me the story, about how he brought it home and they used it to decprate the tree. They were poor– a poor we can’t imagine now. But that tape…. that tinfoil tape made her holiday.
Do yourself a favor and ask questions. Make up your own, or use mine. But ask. Find out about life in the family before you were born. It is the best gift you can give yourself. I have very few stories of my mom’s childhood, because she died when I was 24. Before I knew I needed those stories.
The holidays will be different. But that doesn’t mean they have to be horrible. Wrap yourself in your family’s stories, write them down and savor them. Who knows, Next year, you can turn those answers into a game of trivial pursuit!
So, we are in the second half of 2020. They year i wemt crazy and bought 3 planners. They all sit empty. Locally, there are more Covid cases exploding here than there were in March. But the local school board decided to do all in for the 2020-21 school year. All kids, all the time, unless parents opted for distance learning. No info on how it would work…
2020 is a bitch. If we had a naming contest for the year, I personally would vote for Cruella.
There is so much wrong with this year…. how do we make some good come out of it? Nt necessarily the huge,YouTube worthy videos (although those were great!) But in a personal way, that gives us joy and helps us through to that next day?
Personally, I write cards. I call people. I need that personal connection. My son has stepped up and learned how to cook my favorite eggs (thabk you kind people of redditt!). He is trying to help out, trying on who he will be as an adult.
In my writing, I have been writing literary stories and i miss magic. I’m in the last 2 weeks of the literary class, and i have learned a lot this year. It helped to have something to do instead of going to museums, the beach… all those places I long to be.
What about you? How are you coping with The social distancing? With not being able to go where you want? What sparks of joy have come your way, and unexpected sparkler i nadark night?
A lot of things are going on in the world right now, and what we need is inspiration. The docotrs and scientists need inspiration to find a way to navigate us out of this mess. And we need inspiration to help us remain human and connected in a world of social distancing.
Some things happened the weekend of March 20th that inspired me. Some people inspired me. The first was Jennifer Pastiloff. If you dont follow her on Facebook or Instagram, you should. In the face of losing her livlihood, she decided to hang on by asking “How may I serve?” She did one of her classes online for a donation… to help feed others. To buy diapers, food. To help. She could have set it up and done her confrences that way– Zoomed her way into a paycheck. I still think she should consider it. But at this time, when we needed help, we needed to remember that you can always find 5 beautiful things right here and now… she gave me that reminder. That hope.
The other person that inspired me was Jon Bon Jovi. He did a video of the start of the song and asked that the people watching help write the rest. I don’t remember the name of the song, but i do remember thinking that he has already made an anthem for these crazy days. Because We Can. And also Army of One.
Those who know me know that Bon Jovi wrote the soundtrack to my life. At one point I toyed with writing a monologe set to their music. Is it any wonder that when I was looking for inspiration and comfort and the “Hell yes we can do this!” I turned to them, to the band that I grew up beside?
How many have seen the meme about writing cards to seniors in rehab care facilities? On Monday night i got a wild hair and called the one Dad had been in here locally. They have 82 people there. Writing cards is my super power. I dont just sign my name, I write.
And then God laughed. I wrote Tuesday. I came home from work Wednesday and crashed (essential employee). I wrote Thursday. Ended up on the phoen a lot Friday, still wrote thouh. I wrote on my breaks. I wrote on my lunch. I wrote on Saturday and on Sunday morning. And at some point, your brain goes to sleep and magic happens and you’re just creating.
I delivered 82 cards on Sunday. All the cards opened with “To My Special Friend” and ended with the note that they are special and they are loved. I signed only with my first name. No phone number, no return address. Because while it would be great to know if the right card got to the right person… I am fighting my need for positive reinforcement.
I did it because I am an #Armyofone, and #becausewecan.
And also because Jen Pastiloff asked “How May I Serve?”
So things are getting wild. People hoarding….toilet paper and bottled water? Going to the grocery store has become an olympic event. The problem is, some are not competing, we are just trying to survive.
I am going to ask a favor of you. It’s a big favor, too.
I am sure you can do it, though.
I have faith in you. In us.
Unfortunately it needs to be said. When the police have to be called to protect the employees at a grocery store— we need to remember who we are. We need to thank those poor cashiers and stock persons, not attack them! We are not the United States of Anger. We are the US. We are US.
Do you remember getting yelled at by the neighborhood grandma to get your butt back home? Those neighborhood grandmas and grandpas need us to step into being neighbors. To being US. To asking if they are ok, if they need food. Keep the social distance, but please check on them. If you are at a store and know they have an endcap by the frozen food with sliced bread, and you see a woman staring at whats left in the bread aisle, trying to figure out how she is going to make it work, open your mouth and tell her. Tell the lady who asks where you got the flat of eggs. Go online and figure out who has toiet paper for your friend with Irritable Bowl Syndrome. Write letters to your friends and family, to strangers. Pick up a phone and call someone.