It’s January 19th – and my tree is still up.
On top of that – all the gifts are still wrapped underneath. #winning
We have had some weird Christmases the last three…well, now FOUR…years.
Christmas 2017 we all had the flu and by the time we could all gather as a family, we were into the month of February. #horribleAndDepressing
Christmas 2018 we were all together, but things were tense with some family dynamics and it just felt “off” (CAUSE IT WAS!). We “celebrated” but it was weird. #ugh
Christmas 2019 was not “our year” (for those with grown married kids – you know what that means…for those of you that don’t, that means the kids were all with the in-laws). The only one with us was our daughter that was going through her divorce. We were all sappy sad (aka: A FLIPPIN MESS) with not having her son/our grandson with us and spent the day sitting on the couch holding back tears. I remember going to bed that night and Tom holding me as I bawled. I made him promise we would NEVER have another Christmas day like that again. #theworst
So- I share all that to paint the picture that WE NEEDED A GREAT CHRISTMAS 2020! We all knew it…talked about it…and put extra effort into preparations and planning.
As December approached, I started an Advent study with two different groups of friends and truly enjoyed focusing my heart to what was really important about this season – Jesus. We put up the tree before Thanksgiving (as most people – thanks to COVID), went looking at Christmas lights several times, and I started watching enough Hallmark Christmas Movies to make the Grinch and Scrooge long to have a snowball fight, build a gingerbread house, drink some cocoa and fall in love!
“Eubanks Family Christmas” was scheduled to begin the morning of December 26th and last 3-4 glorious, fun-filled days! That morning I did final touches on food prep and was happy, happy, happy as I jumped in the shower before everyone arrived.
But things changed as I was drying my hair in the bathroom and Tom sat down on the edge of the bed, looked in at me and said, “Brittney has COVID”. The night before she woke up achy and while she thought it was just allergies, decided to go get a rapid test so she could report that she was responsible to be checked and that she was “fine”. Unfortunately, she’s wasn’t “fine” and since we had been with her much of the week previous and for several hours the day before, we had the potential of not being “fine” either.
Tom made the call to our other two girls…including our daughter, son-in-law and two grandgirls that were cruising down the highway on the way here. After pulling off to the side of the road and discussing the options, they made the U-turn and headed home. They were 40 minutes from arriving at our house but had to tell a VERY excited 4 year old that they couldn’t come to Papa’s house and had to go back home. They spend 7+ hours in the car to go…nowhere! #nearlyKilledMeToThinkAbout
For the next 10 days we quarantined. Truth is, I also cried…A LOT. Tom was gracious to let me grieve for the first three days and then I crawled out of my pity party pit and we spent time doing projects around the house…and eating a whole bunch of food in the fridge!
Brittney had a few hard days, but most of her symptoms were light. Her son ended up getting it 5 days later – which just furthered their quarantine time. Still, we remain VERY thankful that the rest of us tested negative and that they both fully recovered.
And so- that brings me to today…January 19th.
Tree still up.
Gifts still wrapped under the tree.
But- THERE IS HOPE!
This coming weekend we will gather, all of us together…I’ve been back to Sam’s and the grocery story and am stocked and ready! We will enjoy a few meals together, give and receive gifts, and will listen as Tom/”Papa” reads the story of the first Christmas from God’s word (and I’ve been PROMISED that before everyone leaves, they are going to help me take the tree down! WOOHOO!).
I did have to buy one more thing to prepare for this weekend – something that I NEVER expected to need for our “Eubanks Family Christmas 2020”…
Because TOMORROW – our newest grandgirl is arriving! And this weekend, she’s gonna need a onesie (that cost her Lolli .49 cents) to wear for her “First Christmas” as an entire family fights over who gets to hold her next!
While I could continue to grieve “Christmas 2020”, I think I’m about to FULLY embrace the sweetest that comes from Christmas in January!
#iStillHateCovid #itWasStillBad #andReallyReallySad But… #GodMakesBeautifulThingsOutOfAshes