What comes to mind when you hear the familiar melody and the song that begins, “On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me—a partridge in a pear tree”?  Do you anticipate a nice long Christmas carol carefully walking through all the gifts the true lover has given and received—many of them fowl-related?  Or do you cringe a little and tune out for a while or maybe jump to a new station or forward to the next song?  Sometimes for me this old carol is a welcome addition to the Christmas season…and sometimes it is just, well, too long.

In 2020 it seems we have forged a new relationship with time.  How can a week feel like a year?  Do you sometimes find yourself wondering what happened to spring, summer or fall?  I know I do.  Sometimes it feels like time stopped in March, yet I see Christmas lights in town and am jolted back to the reality that December has arrived.

And much like the song, I recognize that there are gifts that this particular holiday season brings with it, but maybe not a long list of livestock, farmhands and birds doing various and sundry things.  So here are a few gifts I see with the advent of this Christmas season.

  • This Christmas can truly be a vacation. If we take the mindset that less is more it may clarify how over packed our holiday schedules have been in years past.  While there are fewer typical holiday events and attractions available, this scarcity creates more space for the peace and comfort of home during a normally overscheduled month.  And more time for hanging more lights on your roof, if that’s your thing!
  • Silent nights are not a bad thing, and neither is being home alone. A quiet evening at home connecting with the people in my immediate circle can be very restorative and fulfilling.  So can an evening alone with a long overdue movie or a good book, accompanied in front of a blazing fire and anything chocolate.
  • It really is a wonderful life. Sometimes it takes rain to appreciate the warm sunshine.  The year of 2020 has offered a clear view of what is truly important.  Being restricted from certain relationships has unveiled the specialness of important connections in our lives.

I could have gone on to craft a complete dozen.  But then this blog post might have felt too long too.  Sometimes brevity is a gift in itself!  So whether you sing all the verses of the 12 Days of Christmas (maybe really getting into the 5 golden rings verse-you know who you are if you do!) or pass it by altogether, know that you are not alone this year.  Time has not stood still and we will turn the calendar page into 2021 in just a few short days.  But before that happens, take a few minutes to see what gifts you can find in this particular, maybe even peculiar, holiday season right where you are, right this very moment.