As I told you yesterday, I worked on getting lights up on our front bushes today. This involved two trips to Menards and one to Target to get lights, more extension cords and a coffee at Starbucks.
Because holiday cups, you know.
The aisles are jam packed with stocking stuffers, necessities for trimming and wrapping, holiday plates, cups and napkins and even food items specially packaged for serving and giving.
And it all looks very normal until I realize how very not normal the holidays will be this year.
It reminds me of the weird sensation I get when we have had a baseball or football game on the past few months.
I hear the roar of the crowds and the banter of the announcers discussing the action on the field. after months of hearing only the details of flattening the curve and washing my hands, this background noise seems comfortable.
Until I glance at the screen and see the empty stadium and I am reminded the business as usual is just a pretense.
The reality is we have friends who have tested positive and experienced a wide range of symptoms and recoveries. We have heard the shocking news of deaths from young to old as a result.
There is the perplexing rate of recoveries that don’t seem to get talked about and the ever-changing guidelines for what to look for, how to be safe and checking numbers around the country and world.
We talk with friends and family about the fact that most likely we will all get it and we wonder how much longer businesses can continue with limits set on how they can offer their services. It’s a puzzle what is allowed to be open and what is closed.
And the commercial world continues on with stocking shelves with holiday clothes while we are told to not gather with even our family. Lexus is still trying to convince us a luxury car would make a great little gift for someone on our list.
All this to say if you find yourself strolling through some aisle of wrapping paper and cards and suddenly feel overcome with a wide range of emotions, you are not alone.
I would remind you that the holidays were a mixed bag of nostalgia, new traditions and change before we added a pandemic. If you are overwhelmed, I recommend a nice cup of something warm, several deep breaths and a prayer to focus on what today’s tasks are.
The holidays will be different but if we have learned anything over this year of 2020, it is that there will be some hard things, some bittersweet things, some things we will miss terribly and some beautiful blessings we would have missed completely if things had gone on in the usual way.