This is a bizarre holiday season that is unlike any we have ever experienced. The coronavirus presents a formidable Scrooge and we have no choice but to utter bah humbug in agreement. Rosemarie and I, as the senior members of the family, have traditionally hosted most, but not all, of the dinners. Some credit must go to our having a table that opens for 12 place settings upon which we place family recipes that have been perfected over the years. Regardless, there will be no holiday feasts at our house this year, nor will we attend any festivities that may be planned elsewhere. We are extremely virus-sensitive. Not only is our age a factor that leaves us vulnerable, but we are both having health issues that are not conducive to fending off the virus.
Even without the virus threat the holidays would have been a logistical challenge this year. Rosemarie and I left Fort Lauderdale after 28 years and moved across the state to the Gulf side. Now, the family is spread all over Florida, from Davie to Jacksonville to Naples.
So, what to do? Well first, I am insistent that Rosemarie and I carry on with some semblance of holiday celebration if only between the two of us. I am a traditionalist and big on nostalgia. The thought of Thanksgiving without turkey or Christmas without presents under the tree is…well it is unacceptable is what it is. So, the two of us—just the two of us—will proceed accordingly.
The first item on our holiday to-do list is the annual debate—make that, robust confrontation—on whether or not we buy a real or artificial Christmas tree. I’m the naturalist and have insisted that only God and Santa Claus can make a Christmas tree and, as such, nothing but “live” shall bless our humble holiday home. I have won the battle a relentless 52 years in a row. Yesterday, we pondered a 7-foot phony tree on display at Costco. I agreed the tree-making technology has improved impressively and this tree came with the lights already installed—a game changer for me. It was the closest I’ve come to giving in to Rosemarie’s preference…but maybe I need more time.
Next, I will have to make sure everyone in the family is familiar with Zoom or Skype since we will want a video link Christmas morning. We can have a rehearsal on Christmas Eve when all the grandchildren open the pajamas we will have sent them. This is a Christmas tradition that Rosemarie and I are charged with every year…and yes, all but one pair have already been ordered or sit in a box in our closet waiting to be wrapped and mailed. It’s hit or miss all the time as we guess right or wrong on sizes. It’s easier once each child stops growing.
As for gifts for Rosemarie, that gets more difficult each year. Other than a big ticket item–say, a cruise which is out of question right now–she’s getting to be a challenge. Now that she is retired clothes for work aren’t needed and I can buy her only so much knitting wool or artist paint. Yikes, I’ve got to get thinkin’ on this one.
Well then, there’s my plan for this year’s viral holidays, so far. I am not sure I’ve embedded enough HoHoHo yet…guess I’ll have to work on that.