Of course, when this started, I never thought we would be looking at the holidays in the midst of the worst wave of the virus. I was in New York City in March, right before everything went crazy. I was seriously thinking about coming back and spending NYE in NYC, despite the fact that it would have been a budget breaker. But of course that idea went out the window around May when it started to look like the virus wasn’t going to just “disappear” as some were promising.
I love the holidays. My birthday is just a couple of days before Christmas and despite the fact that it gets forgotten or I get the Christmas/Birthday gift, it is kind of fun having it rolled in with the holiday season. The D-Man and I would make our yearly trek to Six Flags Magic Mountain, see all the wonderful Christmas decorations and ride all the rollercoasters. I have hosted a Christmas Eve open house for over 25 years, missing only two years in all that time. Seeing the pictures of kids who started coming when they were in diapers who now bring significant others is always part of the party. New Year’s Eve is always a working holiday, but always a gig I looked forward to doing. It always felt cool to do the countdown and make sure people had a fun time and got their year off to a great start. New Year’s Day was always the Rose parade in my pajamas and football all day. In recent years, I started going to see the Rose parade floats the day after New Year’s extending the holidays just a bit.
2020 will have none of those traditions. I wouldn’t be honest if I said I wasn’t disappointed and a little sad, but I realize these things are not gone forever. They will be back, hopefully bigger and better in 2021, but for now, we are hitting the pause button. In the meantime, we are experimenting with some new traditions.
CHRISTMAS LIGHTS AT MAGIC MOUNTAIN
If you had told me last year, that I would pay money to drive THROUGH Magic Mountain, not able to get out of the car, just to look at the Christmas decorations, I would have laughed hysterically. But that is exactly what the D-Man, Kody and I did a couple of weekends ago when we went to the Six Flags Holiday in the Park Drive- Thru Experience. Was it worth the 25.00 per person? Not really, but I am glad we went. It was fun to get out of the house and feel like at least we got to SEE the decorations I love when we go for my birthday. Kody sat in the backseat and realized he was playing the role of our child. He was attentive and looked like he was enjoying himself for about half of it, until he went to sleep. Who knows? Maybe some real kids did that too.
In a real break from Christmas tradition, we have rented a VRBO in Palm Springs and will be spending Christmas in the desert. The D-Man has a small family that we have seen throughout the pandemic and they will be there with us. It was something we had talked about doing for years and not wanting to risk a big gathering this year, we decided this was the time to do it. Since we were not going to be hosting Christmas Eve and because I was hoping I might be starting an addition (still waiting on permits!), I cut the Christmas decorating way back. Having Aja, who still thinks everything on earth is a cat toy, also factored in the decision to pass on having a tree this year. The only year I haven’t had a Christmas tree was the Christmas I spent in the hotel after my garage fire, so I have to confess, I do miss it. But I didn’t miss the work it takes to get it decorated and I REALLY don’t miss seeing it in shambles after Aja either tried to climb it or broke every ornament on it, which I am almost positive, would have happened. Sometimes you have to go with head over heart.
Someday I want to spend New Year’s Eve in New York City. It will probably not be next year, but one of these years. Next year, I would love to be back to having it be a working holiday. This year, the D-Man and I are going to cook a nice dinner, spend a little time by the fire pit and drink some champagne. It will be low key and not as crazy as some years have been, but it will be one of the few years we actually ring in together. I am also going to take some time before midnight to think about all the things that I have to be grateful for, even in what was a year none of us expected. Maybe that’s a one of the new traditions that I can keep.