I have welcomed these four days off from work over the Thanksgiving holiday. I was feeling a bit overwhelmed and had been working too much during the day and staying up even later at night to complete additional work for other clients. Needing a break, Thanksgiving has provided just that.
I planned ahead and started cooking Thanksgiving dinner the day before so that our meal, even though it was just for the four of us, wasn't going to keep me in the kitchen all day. We had a lovely meal at around 1 p.m. and we had the dishwasher loaded and the kitchen cleaned up by 2:15 p.m. Josh and Zach carried all of the Christmas decorations bins upstairs from the storage room and we as a family assembled and decorated the tree. I had 12 bins ready to be returned to the storage room that evening, with only 5 left to sort and unpack. 3 to fill with normal house decor that I put away once I put all of the Christmas items out and two that still need to be sorted and purged. Yes, I have 17 bins of just Christmas stuff. What can I say? We love Christmas!
I loved looking at all of my table and serving items, towels for both the kitchen and bathroom and going through many decorations that have been passed down through our families. Disappointed that a crystal platter had shattered in its box, but then I realized I still have two more that I love. I placed three plastic platters in with the two remaining crystal ones, and found all of my Christmas goblets and place settings were ready to be consolidated. Quickly, I got rid of a few plates and small bowls that I do not use and got rid of a few mugs that just don't hold a cup of coffee the size that I need to be able to function on a daily basis.
I placed all of the platters, service items and towel bins in the stacks to be sent back downstairs. I actually found myself to be a bit sad. The tears came quickly and there was no hiding them. Christmas won't look the way we are used to this year. Christmas will probably look the same way that Thanksgiving did. Just the four of us. There won't be any need to pull the service for 20 out, the goblets and other stemware. There won't be a need for 5 platters and 10 bowls. Because it will just be the four of us.
Covid weighs heavy on my heart. I miss my family. I miss my friends. I miss being able to host large get togethers and feed lots of people at once. I miss celebrating with the people that I love. And it took downsizing and repacking all the Christmas glassware for me to realize it.
Yes, I like the quiet. Yes, I like being home. Yes, I like not having to run everywhere on holidays when I am already a bit worn out already. But I will still miss hosting in my home. Covid is here for the long haul, this I know. It will take quite some time for a new normal to be established. And that new normal may not include large numbers of people for some time. But in the meantime, I will be more intentional. I will text frequently. I will knock on neighbors' doors and leave plates of cookies and pumpkin and banana bread. I will make more cards than I normally do. Not just Christmas cards, but Thinking of You cards. I Miss Your Beautiful Face cards. I Can't Wait to See You cards.
Many of those cards will also include dinner invitations that will let the recipient know that when we can be together again, I can't wait to set the table with platters and goblets and fold the napkins just like my mom taught me so many years ago. They will be invitations back into my home where we can share a meal, enjoy a beverage and revel in the storytelling we have all missed.
Until that time occurs, I have made the decision to use all the napkins and towels in the kitchen and the bathroom. I will light all of the great smelling seasonal candles. I will set the table and enjoy the winter berry centerpiece. I will use the beautiful hosting items that have mostly been gifted to me, even if no one other than the four of us are here to enjoy them. Because they are too beautiful and hold too many precious memories of meals shared with the people we love to be boxed and stored for the season.