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  • Writer's pictureA.S. Morris

Who needs Santa ....

Rumor has it Christmas is a week away. Part of me truly feels this. How did we get to Christmas and this holiday season? How in the world are we approaching a year of COVID. ONE. YEAR. Bah humbug.

I have started getting my act together in terms of handing out some gifts and attempting to get my Santa on. We gifted cookie decorating kits to a few families we are close with. Tis the season of quarantine, might as well add sprinkles. I crafted up cards unique to each of the families. One family got an angry yeti stealing a Christmas tree. Fortunately these individuals know me and appreciate that I am slightly off center. I mean who needs Santa when you can have a festive abominable snowman. I personally feel Hallmark needs to invest a little bit more into this Himalayan legend. Rudolph and Yukon Cornelius need to share the spotlight.

Shockingly enough this post is not entirely dedicated to the misunderstood yeti or his American cousin sasquatch; its about the lack of ho, ho, holiday and merriment. Most of us experience a heavy dance card this time of year and balance that with the gift wrapping, meal planning, church going, soak it all in holiday fun. At some point we have all said we should slow things down, not accept so many invitations, spend the day in pajamas ….embrace the true meaning of the season. Apparently that novelty only works when you are not on month 9 of a pandemic. My children are 7 and 8, they even struggled with a list for Santa. We are all clearly over all the things.

As I scroll though social media it seems that most are feeling more yeti than Santa. A high percentage of my friends on social media are in healthcare. Most of whom are transplant and critical care. Folks that have been hit hard by COVID. Friends all across the county and world who are too exhausted to care its the holiday season. Work isn't exactly a festive environment these days. Work hasn't been festive since February. We're over zoom and webex. COVID has become a part of your job in some way shape or form. Work is getting done, your not sure how, or if it even matters, but work is getting done. When they announce the pandemic to be over will it be reminiscent of Truman's announcement in 1945? Will sailors be kissing nurses in Times Square? Will I remember what my colleagues look like in person without a mask on? Is it wrong to admit that I will miss the ability to mute people or keep my camera off? That last point is a COVID silver lining.

Starting Tuesday I am off work for 13 days. While I know I will be in my email some, working on a writing project, and expect some phone calls, I will be home. No going to the hospital. Disconnecting as best as I can and trying to reengage. Its been a hard year to keep your footing. Professionally and personally. I'm pretty terrible when it comes to taking time off. I tend to get twitchy. However, I know I need this time off. I also know not all will be quiet at work and that pajama bottoms can't been seen over video chat. Balance.

Tonight my husband and I were briefly reminiscing on the past couple of years we have had. We may have used some colorful words. Christmas 2018, Christmas 2019, and Christmas 2020 have been far from idyllic. Individually, together, and as a family its been a pretty grueling time. We have put in a lot of work. A lot of effort. A pandemic does not help with progress. 2021 you better have much different terms and conditions, if not, yeti and his cousin are coming for you!. Or you'll have to deal with the scariest creature of all, an angry Italian-American.

This year the Christmas spirit or lack their of seems to be bringing people together. People aren't traveling, there are no parties, no crowded spaces. People are wearing masks that resemble Rudolph, dreidels, and snowmen. We are starting to accept that shipping updates are as accurate as weather reports. And all of this is okay. This isn't the year for expectations. You survived 9 pandemic filled months. Put that on a Christmas card and consider yourself done. It truly is that simple this year. If I have learned anything this past year its that surviving is simply enough.

On December 9th I officially hit the milestone of one full year back at work. I feel like I accomplished nothing and everything. I officially made all of my one year milestones. A lot can happen in a year. Good. Bad. Heartbreaking. There are no guarantees on how a story will end, even when you are the one in control. So take your favorite holiday snow globe and give it a shake, wind up the gears, play the tune over and over. See where the snow settles and glitter falls. Embrace the organic approach to the holiday's this year. I know this is easier said than done. Anxiety and depression do not come with festive lawn ornaments, they should come with flashing hazard or caution lights. However, I still advise you to shake the snow globe. The snow and glitter may swirl for a while, pieces may land and get whipped back up. But give yourself the chance to let go. It will be a growing experience. A long term, lots of growing, takes 10 plus years to even reach novice status kind of growing.

The holidays will not be perfect this year. 2021 will not be perfect. I am far from perfect. However we all have the ability to be great. So this year I will learn what greatness means to me.

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