The Virus Diary: Post Holiday Thoughts


Although we are still in the Christmas season (doesn't end until Epiphany, January 6th), I think it's safe to say that Christmas has come and gone in our house and despite the strangeness, it was pretty good.  And in a year like 2020, I think that's a win.

Some thoughts:

  • Christmas Eve morning I made my Raspberry-Cream Cheese Candy Cane Crescent Danish, but didn't bother to make it a candy cane shape.  (Photo below is before I threw it in the oven...recipe can be found on the Pillsbury website...I don't even bother to brush it with the glaze once it's out of the
    oven.  It's got enough sugar in it as it is!)  I'm glad I didn't bother because I got one piece (large, but not too large) and by the time I got home from volunteering at the thrift shop (I was off work that day;  although I did check in as I always seem to do), it was 75% gone.  This is what happens when you have a teenage boy in the house.  (This is also the reason that I find crumbs throughout the living room every morning when I go downstairs...such is life!)  This is a new semi-tradition and I'm glad I did it.
  • I made a semi-special Christmas Eve dinner; something I usually don't do because there is too much going on.  The family sat around the dining room table TWICE last week (Christmas Eve and Christmas).  This is a new record.
    • My son and I did go to church Christmas Eve.  The service was an hour earlier than usual, which I was extremely thankful for as although it was raining the major part of the storm didn't hit until after we got home.)  There were more people than I expected, about 25, which for a pandemic Christmas Eve is pretty impressive.  As always, it was a quiet and reflective service.  It was also kind of strange, with only the choir director singing (masked).  We still lit our candles, but did so with the pastor passing the light at the end of the pew and standing a slight distance away.  Normally we would form a circle around the sanctuary and pass the light.  It was not possible and while it was nice to do this and was strange.  Volunteers snuffed out the candles when we were finished (usually we would walk with the candles and then blow them out as we exited.)
    • BEST part of Christmas Eve was afterwards, being at home safe from the storm which blew like crazy.  (We had battened down our outside decorations and only one blew down...that is a win).  The three of us had our respective Christmas Eve drinks and sat basking in the glow of our tree watching A Christmas Story There was a lot of silliness and laughter.  That made it a perfect Christmas Eve for our trio.
    • I got up late for me on Christmas (but not late), surprisingly both guys were up before 8.  Had some coffee and cinnamon rolls (which I burned a bit...will I ever learn?  They are either not cooked enough or burned).  Think everyone was pretty happy with their gifts. (That's a big win.)  Son was especially happy with his Union Suit (Google it; it tells you a lot about my son.)
    • I was worried about my ham defrosting, but it worked out fine. (Moved from freezer to fridge on Monday night.)  I had planned on eating around 2, but son wanted to eat later in the day.  (Probably had something to do with going to see his girlfriend.)  Since it was only the three of us, it was no problem.  Actually a ham is no problem.  It's easy enough to stick in the oven and let go.
    • Son got dressed to the nines (as is his wont) and headed over to his girlfriend's house in the late morning/early afternoon.  Worked fine for me.  I had some wine and Boursin cheese (hubby and I devoured...good thing the kid wasn't around while continuing to watch A Christmas Story and doing some reading.  I did put on a dress, but was comfortable.  
    • Son returned around 2 with girlfriend in tow.  SURPRISE!  It was fine as we all watched A Christmas Story (girlfriend said she'd never seen it before!  Heresy!)  It was actually pretty nice to all be together.  (My son usually asks us to go upstairs when she comes just about every night at 7 hubby and I are banished to the upstairs.  On one hand I completely get it; on the other it's a little annoying.  Advice?) My only "problem" was dinner.  Did I invite her to stay?  From a text from her mom I knew her dad had to work and that they weren't having an elaborate dinner.  I had more than enough food, but I didn't know what to do.  Thankfully about a half an hour before we were going to eat, my son walked her home.  Of course he didn't come BACK until I texted him five minutes before dinner!
    • Dinner was good.  (Again, ham is pretty easy.)  At the end of the meal, I we called our cousins in California and talked using the speaker, which is easier than passing around the phone (as we have done in the past when there are more of us...why I don't know).  It was really a nice way to wrap up dinner.  Hubby did most of the clean-up while I packed up some food and with my son drove across town to my aunt's.  Did a quick drop off and then settled in for the night.  (Girlfriend came back and I was banished upstairs again.)
    • Boxing Day (the 26th) was relatively quiet.  I wanted to bring some more holiday leftovers to another aunt, but she wasn't in or up for it, so that will have to wait. (Do I get points for trying?)
    • Sunday (the 27th) I drove solo down to my parents to share more leftovers.  (I was also able to listen in to church using zoom and my car radio.  Don't worry...I only listened and it was really nice to be able to sort of take part while zipping down the GSP.)  I also did some grocery shopping on the way.  (Why can't I find LIGHT corn syrup?  There will be no more of my famous Chocolate cinnamon sugar cookies this year if I don't track some down.  And at the rate my son is consuming them, I'll need to make AT LEAST another batch before the year is out.)  My parents really didn't do the holiday this year.  (Mom has never been a real holiday person; it doesn't help that her mother/my grandmother died right after Christmas in 1990s.)  I wish I could have brought the guys with me and I wish we could have done something festive, but at least I was able to spend some time with them (masked).  Now to figure out a way to celebrate my mom's birthday which is coming up in January.

    So although this was a strange Christmas, it was okay.  For 2020 that will do.  For you who are reading this (thank you), I hope you had an okay one too.  Okay is okay; at least it is for now.



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