Christmas 2020

Christmas was okay, it just didn’t feel like Christmas.

We did get to enjoy Mymom’s famous sausage/spinach lasagna on Christmas Eve and woke up Christmas morning to made french toast and opened gifts. We ate and drank and listened to Phil Spector’s A Christmas Gift to You All. We spoke with family and friends via Zoom. We even got to spent the day after Christmas like every year — in our PJs watching movies and playing games. The holiday was lovely, but it just wasn’t the same.

The lack of other people felt strange. We were lucky to be able to spend time with my parents (they are our pod, although we are still careful). Our tiny table of six was filled with delicious food and lively conversation, it just felt a little festive then Christmas should be.

The entire holiday season feels a little underwhelming. We weren’t able to see our beautiful nieces and nephews or party with the extended family. There were no December Saturday nights where we Uber from one party to another. There were no lunches with my girlfriends to escape from holiday shopping. There will be no party with close friends to ring in the new year. I didn’t even have the heart or the energy to send out a holiday card. 

COVID was the Grinch that stole the holidays. 

We keep saying to ourselves that next year will be different. It better be. We need to fill this house again! 2020 has taught us all a lot about appreciating the small things AND that nature is powerful and sometimes cruel. Lesson learned 2020 — now let’s move onto 2021 with a new vaccine, a new president and (hopefully) tons of time with friends and family!!!

hApPy NeW yEaR!!!!!!!!!!

Love, Jess

DecemBLUR Magic!

We’re off for a week in Miami to visit my older brother, Pablo, and his family. Dan, Jack and I are beyond excited with the idea of getting out of town for the holiday and spending time with family in weather over 30 degrees, but Anna gave me a little bit of a hard time, “We’re gone on Christmas? What about Santa?” I did hesitate for a quick minute before realizing that she was more concerned about missing fun parties than the old man with a white beard not being able to find her stocking.

The truth is that I don’t think our children ever believed in Santa Clause.

And I can’t even blame ALD. Long before ALD entered the equation, our kids were realists. They went through the motions, but they weren’t fooling anyone, “Mom – it just doesn’t make any sense.” It’s as if they came into the world a little jaded.

Or, maybe it’s just that Dan and I were too lazy to create a truly “magic” holiday.

Sure, we’ve always gotten a tree and decorated the house. We even put out cookies every year – and carrots for the reindeer. But, Jack and Anna always knew it was a charade. They went up to bed early on Christmas Eve without a fight so that Dan and I could set things up for the morning, and neither could really mask their rolling eyes as they saw the plate of half eaten cookies and the note left from Santa (even since ALD, Jack can still roll his eyes when he needs to).

Dan and I love family time and creating traditions and memories, but we aren’t very good at all the hocus-pocus required to create real holiday magic. Once we get through the planning and the cards and the gifts and the decorating, we’re too exhausted to keep up the performance. We also have done a terrible job at focusing attention on the religious stories behind the holiday. Yet another thing we have managed to mess up.

Despite scaring our children by not fulfilling our parental duties, we do appreciate the holiday season around here. More then the trees and lights and candles, it’s the holiday feeling that I most appreciate. Opening the mail every day and seeing whose faces are hiding in the envelops. The music that is always lingering in the air. How (most) people take an extra moment to thank you and wish you a “Happy Holiday”. With all the ugly in the world right now, a pleasant moment with a stranger can be a pretty magic thing.

Try to pause for a second this DecemBLUR – look past the lights and the trees and appreciate all the real magic that is around us.

Wishing everyone a very MERRY, HAPPY and JOYFUL season!


Love, Jess