How I Christmas’d in 2020: Simplifying, Appreciating & Sharing

Christmas Wrappings // www.WithTheGrains.com

Christmas Wrappings // www.WithTheGrains.com

Making Cinnamon Rolls // www.WithTheGrains.com

As the Christmas season drew near, I found myself ruminating on loss. The pangs of my breakup hit me hard. Last Christmas, I had felt relieved to come up for air. This Christmas, I felt replaced. I found myself lamenting how the family I had loved would dote on a new love interest. Grief, I kept reminding myself, is not linear or logical, but we can steer our thoughts. We can contest the moaning of the wounded ego.

“I choose light and love, only light and love.”

Like snowfall on Christmas morning, I saw the brighter beauty. The soil, the roots, the dormancy of my past life still existed in me, but there was so much sparkle in this new coating, so much brightness. I wanted to pull all the warm moments close to my chin, like snuggling under a protective winter quilt.

There was so much warmth to this Christmas, much more than a day.

This is how I Christmas’d…

How I Christmas'd in 2020 // www.WithTheGrains.com

How I Christmas'd in 2020 // www.WithTheGrains.com

I Christmas’d by…

Simplifying. 

A Christmas pizza? A pizza that meant more time simply enjoying each other, less time aiming for the perfect feast, more time opening presents, more time outside. I hope there are years of Christmas pizzas in our future.

Appreciating.

A last-minute trip to a pristine mountain town. Sips of spirits distilled ever so intentionally. So many dogs. Strong feelings of community and connection. Singing Brandi Carlisle at full volume while surrounded by the blue majesty of snowy mountains. The bittersweet tears of loving someone so much that a temporary goodbye hurts. Emotional support in the form of a border collie.

How I Christmas'd in 2020 // www.WithTheGrains.com

How I Christmas'd in 2020 // www.WithTheGrains.com

Giving.

Gifts with stories. Gifts that celebrated how our lives have intertwined. Gifts that celebrate the importance of hot coffee, sipping cocktails, and a good night’s sleep. Gifts for dogs. Gifts for clinking glasses.

Christmas Presents // www.WithTheGrains.com

How I Christmas'd in 2020 // www.WithTheGrains.com

Julep & Honey dog tags // www.WithTheGrains.com

Transforming.

Time with thoughtful friends. The beauty of death, of dormancy, of clearing away one season to welcome the next. Dried artifacts from the garden. The special gaudy beauty of a Christmas car decorated “to the nines.”

How I Christmas'd in 2020 // www.WithTheGrains.com

How I Christmas'd in 2020 // www.WithTheGrains.com

How I Christmas'd in 2020 // www.WithTheGrains.com

How I Christmas'd in 2020 // www.WithTheGrains.com

How I Christmas'd in 2020 // www.WithTheGrains.com

Feasting (obviously).

All the meals alone, all the challenges of being scrappy with my fridge and pantry during the height of quarantine, made me appreciate a shared table all the more.

How I Christmas'd in 2020 // www.WithTheGrains.com

How I Christmas'd in 2020 // www.WithTheGrains.com

How I Christmas'd in 2020 // www.WithTheGrains.com

How I Christmas'd in 2020 // www.WithTheGrains.com

How I Christmas'd in 2020 // www.WithTheGrains.com

How I Christmas'd in 2020 // www.WithTheGrains.com

How I Christmas'd in 2020 // www.WithTheGrains.com

Slumber Partying.

Delightfully snowed in, in borrowed pajamas, leaning into the festivities.

How I Christmas'd in 2020 // www.WithTheGrains.com

How I Christmas'd in 2020 // www.WithTheGrains.com

How I Christmas'd in 2020 // www.WithTheGrains.com

How I Christmas'd in 2020 // www.WithTheGrains.com

How I Christmas'd in 2020 // www.WithTheGrains.com

How I Christmas'd in 2020 // www.WithTheGrains.com

Merrymaking.

A warm, festive home. A white Christmas! A walk in the snow. Feeling blissfully far, far away. Snow angels. An eager dog. A roaring fireplace. Home Alone. The amphibian version of Tiny Tim. The richest of costumes. An overly greased saucer sled. Blinding holiday lights. Tender beef, flaky fish, delicate glasses of bubbly, orange peels, and herbs. Peppermint chocolate cake with candy cane stars (more on that to come!). Cookies on top of cookies on top of cookies. Hot coffee, slow mornings, and green velvet chairs.

How I Christmas'd in 2020 // www.WithTheGrains.com

Reflecting & Feeling Grateful.

This season has been hard for many, for many reasons, but I hope that you have found some peace, something deeper, some meaning in these times. Be well, my friends. Thank you for sharing this corner of the web with me.

Love,

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Wonderful Christmas ❤️
    Hoping your New Year will be even brighter!
    Sid

  2. What lovely photos. Thank you for sharing. Your joy is palpable here.

  3. <3 Oh Quelcy

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