Post Christmas 2020 Wrap Up Discussion...

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luludou

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Dec 28, 2007
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I finally got to write down my notes last night. a VERY different year for us. I know dh did NOT like not seeing anyone - I missed people too but I must say it was very relaxing and probably better for me as I still don't have 100% energy. I now understand how some people aren't all tired at Christmas, they NEVER host! so no cleaning, making food, ....

FOOD
Did not make ANY Christmas desserts - we did buy 1 strawberry shortcake for NY'S day. I did make jello. All was fine. Asked the kids if they missed anything and they said no - they are all trying to be careful so all was ok
Tourtière- usually dh's aunt bakes it for us for 30 people. dh ordered one for 15... we were 2 on Christmas day! we did give some away to his sisters and froze the rest. - fine too
Did a buffet for NY's day - all quantities were good and not many leftovers - nothing was thrown away.
I did use my crockpot for a few meals (spaghetti sauce, soup, beef burgundy) during the holidays and it was great.

GIFTS
We gave the gifts to my family 2 weeks beforehand, which was fine as everyone got to enjoy them (not everything at the same time). We gave our gifts on Christmas Eve at ds's house but the stockings and 1 more gift were given on NY's day. I liked the fact that I had added one gift for each (when we received the order to stay home for the Holidays) and that everyone had the same thing.. a throw... adults and kids alike. Will try to give something 'alike' for all next year too - it can be the Christmas gift from Santa.
Most everything was ordered online (except for a small shopping trip beginning of Fall) - no choice all stores are closed except for essential services and it was no fun shopping when they were opened... waiting lines, maskes, distanciation.

DECOR
Even though I did not host I did put up ALL my Christmas beginning of November. It was fine but I do have a few pieces I would like to give away (without dh knowing as they are from his sisters), I just have too much and would like to simplify a little.
I did bring down Christmas decor before NY's (a 1st for me) but I left the Christmas tree (to take pictures as we forgot to take some... finally we got some but only with the baby - the others didn't want to) and I put some more lights in the basement where we had our NY's day celebration. I left a winterwonderland mantel.
Hummm? since everyone has already seen my Christmas decore maybe I could do the same for next year? Christmas tree and winterwonderland mantel, it would feel less overwhelming with everyone in the house.
I would like to find a fur tree skirt, buy some more fairy lights for the tops of the cabinet that I'd like to leave up all year (with a remote and white / multi-colored options), a lighted paper star for the bay window (saw that in Scandinavian Christmas decor and they have it at IKEA).

BEDS
Since I only had my children there was no problem - they each have beds in their old bedrooms.

Had much less cleaning to do afterwards too.

ADVENT CALENDAR AND ELVES
That was a bust. Never opened my 'zen' advent calendar and elves did not do anything.

WRAPPING
Most gifts were in fabric bags - excellent and quick! Except for baby gifts which I wrapped.

FOR 2021
If I do host NY's Eve which I have done for the last 30 some years, thinking of buffet only, no supper - will have to convince dh of that.
Do games in the evening. we loved it last year
Maybe a crafting afternoon when my parents & sis arrive earlier than the others.
 

sweetpumkinpye

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Apr 23, 2008
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Lucie, I bought chocolate advent calendars for DS this year (not for DH as he did not use his last year.) It was untouched so might not do advent calendars in 2021
My countdown to Christmas day was not used either, will re assess this.

Sounds like you had a lovely day.
 

halimer

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Aug 30, 2008
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I actually got some feedback from DS, which was great.

The Hanukkah themed food bags were a success. However, DDIL is having some stomach issues so I might have to curate the bags a little more next year. Hanukkah is very early next year (Thanksgiving weekend) so they will have plenty of time to use the foods. You can never tell if DH likes his gifts or not so I worry less about them each year; next year maybe sox and underwear.

Did not have our usual big Hanukkah party and that was a disappointment. Hope to have it next year. We did have a gathering of the 5 of us in our "pod" and did a virtual candle lighting with other friends and relatives. Since we were only 5 we sat at the DR table instead of a buffet. I did not make all the salads I usually do but there was more than enough food. In fact, DS and DDIL brought a lot of the food. I should have made dessert, though, since some of the bakery stuff by BFF brought was not too good.

Since DS and DDIL were quarantining before their Vermont trip DH and I were alone on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Very disappointing, very slow, very sad. DH watched war movies Christmas Eve and I went upstairs and read. The friends we usually visit on Christmas Day did not get together. I made a nice dinner but got no compliments or feedback of any kind. Next year has GOT to be better.

When we finally did Christmas last Sunday I didn't know what time DS and DDIL were coming so I made a cheese plate and pigs in blankets which were OK. We ordered wings for dinner. No problem with that.

DS said that he and DDIL feel we should cut back on the gifts. I do a full stocking and then "something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read" and something from Santa. DS Said maybe cut out the Santa gift and we would all try to stick to the four gifts above. They live in a modest two bedroom apartment and have limited places to put "stuff" which I understand. So I will try to get more edible, experience type gifts in the future - stockings will not be as "stuffed" as they usually are. This is all OK with me.

I made an advent calendar that I could put things in but couldn't find anything that would fit. So I bought two paper advent calendars from the Met, on sale, and will give them one next year. Problem solved!
 

sweetpumkinpye

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Apr 23, 2008
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Debbie, I love reading about how everyone spent Christmas.
I think one of the main themes I am hearing lately is that a lot of people are wanting to pull back a little, make this simpler. I will be pulling back again this year on stockings, gifts and foods as per the request of the kids.
 

Merry Mary

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Nov 5, 2020
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Lessons learned? Things you want to try next year? What worked well? What didn't?

I know this year was very different for many/most of us! Anyone struggling with post Christmas blues? How do you fight them? Dish it!!!
Don't want to be Debbie Downer but I started to cry when M took down decorations. I'm not ready for that yet. He stopped & said he won't take any more down. I'm okay now.
 

Merry Mary

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I put out everything I could find and it wasn't too bad. I didn't feel up to baking cookies this year. I had bought all presents online for my family & had them shipped so no wrapping this year. None of M's presents were wrapped either. They just stayed in the shipping wrap. We still managed to have a very nice Christmas. We used to watch the Christmas mass from the Vatican but didn't this time.
 

Holiday_Mom

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Don't want to be Debbie Downer but I started to cry when M took down decorations. I'm not ready for that yet. He stopped & said he won't take any more down. I'm okay now.
I get it. I've decided that I need to keep some Christmas decorations up until the second weekend in January. This week I'm starting to take down the decorations. I'm leaving the artificial greenery and white lights up through most of February if not most of it.
 
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AuntJamelle

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Oct 22, 2007
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I get it. I've decided that I need to keep some Christmas decorations up until the second weekend in January. This week I'm starting to take down the decorations. I'm leaving the artificial greenery and white lights up through most of February if not most of it.
I too just could not part with Christmas decor early this year. Partly because it makes me sad to see it go and partly because I was too exhausted, mentally and emotionally from the whole year!!!

Normally everything is down no later than New Years Day. I just took Christmas down this weekend on Saturday. I left up greenery and white lights in certain places to cushion the "blow".

In a few weeks I'll get out the Valentine's decor...
 
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sweetpumkinpye

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I too just could not part with Christmas decor early this year. Partly because it makes me sad to see it go and partly because I was too exhausted, mentally and emotionally from the whole year!!!
Once again there are no hard and fast rules about when all the decor needs to be packed away. If it does your heart good to leave it up well then do just that.
 

AnnieClaus

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Nov 6, 2007
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Merry Mary- I cry every year when my brother comes to take my tree to the curb.
On Friday, the gentleman I hired to put my Christmas lights up outside came to take them down and that made me cry too!

Annie
 

Ahorsesoul

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Oct 13, 2007
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Merry Mary- I cry every year when my brother comes to take my tree to the curb.
On Friday, the gentleman I hired to put my Christmas lights up outside came to take them down and that made me cry too!

Annie
You can always keep part of your tree. Cut of a slice of the trunk for an ornament. Cut off the “leader” top of the tree plus several branches to make an old fashion whisk. There are several ways to do the whisk online.


 

Holiday_Mom

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AJ, Merry Mary and Annie, I thought I'd share something that I did this past weekend that has helped me. I was able take Saturday to process and grieve "what was and what wasn't" happening from September through now due to the coronavirus. My crew has been dealing with various things and while we are digging deep to find the joy, the fact is, some days are just darn tough. Even for me, cruise director extraordinaire ;), these last few months have been hard. No matter how we tried to make it fun, the Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's was just different. As a family, we talked about it and sat with it. We acknowledged the nice part of different and the hard part of different.

I told the family that I was using Saturday as my day to grieve. I gave them a heads up that they may see me cry and that I was really ok. I found it very therapeutic to bullet point every event that happened or didn't happen in September. I wrote how I felt. I repeated the same thing for October, November, December and up through this point in January. When I wrote out all that has happened, it is no wonder I was feeling the way that I was. It's been so busy that I didn't really make the time to process what was happening and how I felt about it. I have found that when I don't do that, I feel like my heart and soul is left behind while the mind and body has moved forward. I would like to do this more often than quarterly. I really felt so much better afterwards.
 

Merry Mary

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Nov 5, 2020
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AJ, Merry Mary and Annie, I thought I'd share something that I did this past weekend that has helped me. I was able take Saturday to process and grieve "what was and what wasn't" happening from September through now due to the coronavirus. My crew has been dealing with various things and while we are digging deep to find the joy, the fact is, some days are just darn tough. Even for me, cruise director extraordinaire ;), these last few months have been hard. No matter how we tried to make it fun, the Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's was just different. As a family, we talked about it and sat with it. We acknowledged the nice part of different and the hard part of different.

I told the family that I was using Saturday as my day to grieve. I gave them a heads up that they may see me cry and that I was really ok. I found it very therapeutic to bullet point every event that happened or didn't happen in September. I wrote how I felt. I repeated the same thing for October, November, December and up through this point in January. When I wrote out all that has happened, it is no wonder I was feeling the way that I was. It's been so busy that I didn't really make the time to process what was happening and how I felt about it. I have found that when I don't do that, I feel like my heart and soul is left behind while the mind and body has moved forward. I would like to do this more often than quarterly. I really felt so much better afterwards.
Yes....thankyou. Its always a good idea to anaylize your feelings. Seems to help getting through the tough times when you can talk through unhappiness with someone you trust it should help. That's exactly how these online discussions can get you through the blues! So thankyou all for discussing.☺