I keep thinking back to how I felt this time last year – I was definitely a lot more isolated, but it also seemed like there was a glimmer of hope on the horizon. We’d just gotten the exciting news that the first vaccines were being authorized, and that the rollout was going to get started. It made it feel like it would only be one year of “missed” holidays.
Clearly… that has not been the case. It is a little bit wild to think about, and hard to fully wrap my mind around. In some ways, I really don’t mind a more laid-back holiday. Now that my sister and I are older, it’s nice to be able to sleep in, leisurely open our presents in our pajamas (while listening to the Snoopy/Red Baron song, a family tradition), and then watch a movie as a family later on in the day. Sometimes, as exciting as the holidays can be, they’re also stressful, and having a much more low-key celebration is somewhat of a relief.
But – I do miss getting together with friends and family. Every year, my family has a big party sometime between Christmas and New Years, that ends up being a revolving door of people we’ve known throughout our lives. Sometimes it’s the first time I meet a friend’s new baby, or the first time my friends and I are all in the same room in a year. It felt like the one constant that we could always look forward to – and this will be the second year in a row that it doesn’t happen. Even with vaccines and boosters, it just didn’t feel safe to have that many people all gathered together inside, and it feels like more of a bummer this year than last. It feels like we were so close and now, we’re just…stuck again. Stuck in this uncertainty of not knowing when, if ever, things will feel normal again.
So this will be year two of a different kind of holiday, and it’s bittersweet. I don’t have anything super insightful to add, but wanted to write this post in case anyone else is feeling the same way. There’s strength, I think, in knowing that you’re not alone.