The Holiday Week in Six Pictures

The 2020 holiday week was one of the strangest (and loneliest) we have ever had. Here is what our living room looked like the day before Christmas, when we Zoomed with our kids and opened presents.

A wind storm and power outages—which have unfortunately become the norm in Maine—were predicted for Christmas Day, and we decided to play it safe by celebrating the day before.

We made the occasion as festive as possible with drinks and special snacks. But, as I’m sure you all know, there is no substitution for having those you love actually with you. Zoom was certainly better than nothing, but we sure did miss our family.

On the bright side, along with many other lovely presents from family and friends, I received a stack of books as well as chocolates and snappy bookmarks. Woo-hoo! Few things fill my heart with more pleasure than having new books to read and chocolate to nibble on. Readers of my Great Library Series will perhaps get the “man who doesn’t smile” reference on one of the bookmarks. Beware, indeed!

On Christmas Day, the rain bucketed down. Fortunately, the wind wasn’t as bad as forecasted, and we didn’t lose our power.

We watched Pixar’s new movie Soul, available on Disney+. Such a deep, beautiful film about a middle-aged musician who has had a disappointing life and must come to terms with this. Not for young children, but it will certainly ring true for many adults, and it moved me to tears more than once. My favorite movie of the year, and I highly recommend it.

All that rain melted the snow, and out came the patio chairs for hardy friends who don’t mind visiting when the weather is a little on the brisk side. Actually, more than a little brisk, and I certainly understand why this kind of visit isn’t for everyone.

On the second day of the New Year, snow came. The chairs, along with the and blankets and little tables, were tucked down cellar.

Will we bring them out again? I expect we will. Several of our friends have indicated they would be up for a driveway visit if there is too much snow on the patio. With my creaky knees, standing in one place is not a good thing, and even though the weather might be chilly, sitting is a better way for me to visit.

The pandemic has been terrible, but it has taught us how to be creative and patient. Nevertheless, I certainly hope that the vaccine is widespread enough so that the 2021 holiday season isn’t as lonely.



62 thoughts on “The Holiday Week in Six Pictures”

  1. A new year is here with its own set of challenges and opportunities! May yours bring much joy!

  2. Laurie, I’d say you made the best of a situation not of your choosing. Losing power is a real nuisance — whether it’s hot and humid outside or frigid and snowy, it’s hard to get comfy inside without our A/C or heat. Such a nice stack of books you got for Christmas — now you’ll be stocked up for what, a month or two?! 😉

  3. Hi, and happy new year. You’re so right about how the pandemic has forced us to become creative and patient in our approach to things. I suppose that those are among the pandemic’s only good points. But Trump probably lost because of how he has mishandled the pandemic, and that’s the best thing of all to come out of the pandemic. Bye bye Trump!

  4. I hope so too. Our politicians have decided to eke out the vaccines we have by not following the guidelines. Here’s hoping that pans out for the best. On cheerier matters, I read a review about Soul and thought I would enjoy it if an opportunity presents itself.

  5. Laurie, I feel for you. Our son contracted COVID and it was touch and go if he would recover and be free to visit us again before Christmas – he made it by Christmas Eve. It has been a difficult time – not festive at all. Yet, here we are in the middle of round two: longer curfews, more closures of public places … it must end sometime. Patience, resilience and a positive attitude is what will bring us through this tunnel. Enjoy reading!

  6. Lonely is definitely the right word to describe the past 9 months for me. We didn’t lose our power, but our propane is so low we’re almost on fumes with no delivery scheduled today. We’re rocking four heaters to keep from freezing and running out, but they can’t tell us what day this week they’ll deliver. One computer croaked over the weekend, and the repair store is closed due to exposure. I didn’t blog today because I didn’t have anything positive to say so thought I should be quiet. 🙂 Enjoy your new books, and I raise my coffee cup to hopefully vaccine distribution that will reach our age level before too long.

  7. I love your cozy photos, Laurie. It’s a nice slice-of-life post.

    My youngest son stayed at college. It was so painful having him away for the first Christmas in his 20 years. We zoomed and made the best of it.

    I’m sorry to hear that you, too, had a lonely Christmas. What a difficult time. xo

      1. For those of us that have not lost a loved one, this part is the worst. We have so much to be grateful for, but what I wouldn’t give to go out and hug all my friends and loved ones. I’m grateful for my “home bubble” with my oldest son and Mike.

        In unrelated news, your box of books arrived yesterday, placing a big smile on my face. I look forward to tucking in, and also to populating a few Little Free Libraries around town.

  8. It certainly was a very different holiday this year. It can get to us if we let it (and sometimes we do), but the only choice is to ‘keep calm and carry on.’ It is teaching us so much on many different levels. I echo your hope that next Dec. we will be able to safely gather once again. I miss seeing family so much!

  9. I remember making a mental note, which I quickly forgot, to tell you how much I like ‘the man who doesn’t smile’ non-name. I also saw Soul, on Christmas Day, I think, and share your positive remarks. Considering the limitations, it sounds like you made the best of things and had a full holiday week.

  10. Your snow photos are glorious — even though that snow does add a bit of complexity to visiting! To be honest, I was so glad to be home after my great auto adventure, I just smiled and smiled — talked on the phone a bit, and opened a few gifts, and had a glass of wine. It couldn’t have been better. I suppose one of the good things about not having family is that their absence isn’t such a jolt in a year like this!

  11. Laurie, your pictures spoke a thousand words. You did the best you could and I spent it alone, only FaceTimed kids and grandkids~so different. I’m glad you’re safe and sound. I did enjoy your pictures. And wish you peace, great health, and blessings this year.

  12. It sounds as if you made the very best of things at Christmas but I’ll bet you’re longing to see your girls for real. We were lucky enough to have both our girls with us for Christmas but now the U.K. is in lockdown again so we’ll have to see what happens next. Bring on the jab!

  13. I have done Christmas on my own before so knew how to prepare for it and make it enjoyable but it is hard the first time, especially as you usually have such a big gathering. Virtual hugs to you both.

  14. Sorry it wasn’t in person but so lovely you have a loving family (and wonderful gifts) to share it with via Zoom. Love the patio pics ❤️👍

  15. Wow! you have got some nice gifts. I am glad at least you were able to have zoom call with your kids. Good times will be back.

  16. This was a lonely Christmas, Laurie. Thank goodness for the internet and zoom. And the perfect presents (books) for waiting out this virus. Great personalized bookmark too. I got the reference immediately! Happy Reading.

  17. Happy New Year, Laurie. Thank you for sharing your holidays with us. It was an odd, unsatisfying, Christmas, but, like you, we made the best of it. I got my husband a metal fire pit as a gift, so we can huddle around it when people come to visit. It’s been used a lot already!

  18. Could you have a winter campfire outside for your visitors? I think that might help. Perhaps with a grate and a kettle of hot water for tea or hot chocolate.

    I thought at Christmas of how hard it must be for people with families. I come from a tiny family of which I am the only one left, and Allan’s sister and brother are miles away and not into family Christmas without their mom and dad, so I am used to it being kind of a nothing. But for those with a family, a zoom meeting just is not enough. That is a nice stack of books, though. I have been so darn busy reading the news that it has cut into my winter reading time.

    1. Very hard to be so far away from our best beloveds. And I know just what you mean about being so busy reading the news that it cuts into reading. Hard to focus on anything else.

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