Sunday, December 26, 2021

Covid Christmas

It's almost a tradition now. Every year I can count on my daughter's boyfriend's sister to send me the most Christmasy photo to land in my inbox for the season. It's always of our girl and her guy, and now their dog Munch, too, standing next to the Christmas tree amid wrapped presents, in matching Christmas jammies that his mom picked out for them before they arrived. Not gonna lie, it looks like the Christmas I once wished I felt capable of creating, but I have come to accept that organizing such an occasion is not my gift. It was my mother's, however, which is why I've always felt this is what Christmas should look like, but I just didn't have what it took to pull it off. My husband will tell you that after I began living away from my home of origin, I didn't ever have a Christmas tree until I married him. He is still the one who goes out, usually with our children, and gets the tree, and he and my daughter are the ones who decorate it, while I sit across the room and point our holes where an ornament is needed. 

I'm happy that my girl now gets to experience this immersive family Christmas with her love and his extended clan upstate, because I do think she is more like my mother in this way, and that when its her turn, she will manage the festive pajamas and decorations, too. And if last week when it seemed our girl might have Covid was any indication, her love enjoys being able to celebrate these rituals with her as well. He said all the right things to relieve her guilt at possibly not being with him for Christmas. But my girl knew he was disappointed. "He's texting without punctuation," she said. "That's how I know he's sad."

As for me, I had a peaceful Christmas. It was just the man and me, which meant I felt no pressure to "make something" of the day. We woke up slow, I made my father's Christmas morning cheesy, oniony scrambled eggs with bacon, then we opened presents while my husband ran a playlist of carols on the new Vizio surround sound speakers our daughter's love gave us for Christmas—it was like the choir was in the room with us! Later, we watched the movie Klaus on Netflix and then spent the better part of the afternoon cooking a honey-glazed ham and truffle mac and cheese for dinner while watching the always good-humored contestants on The Great British Baking Show. 

Our son was working at the firehouse, where he has been exposed to covid all week, but seems to have no symptoms. He called us on Christmas eve and on Christmas day, and I asked him to send me a photo of him at the firehouse, to which he simply responded, "No." So no Christmas photo of our darling boy but there's my man with the GoPro I gave him for Christmas, and the accessories to the main bundle that our children added. "Happy adventuring!" they told him. He could have used that camera when he was swimming with sharks on the reefs off Belize last week.

I loved all my gifts, including the book Renegades Born in the USA that my husband gave me. It transcribes the historic taped conversations between Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen, with photos and other documents and memorabilia of their friendship.  


My son just called. He got off his shift at the firehouse this morning and is now home alone, as his live-in love is at her parents home in New Jersey.

"Do you want to come over?" I asked him.

"Nope," he said. "Definitely not coming over. I just tested positive for Covid."


He says he has only a slight cough and some fatigue, the latter easily attributed to his having worked last night. He sounded almost pleased, or maybe it was merely relief that he no longer has to play cat-and-mouse with the thing, after successfully evading it for two years. I suppose this was probably always going to be an inevitable outcome, given how out there and exposed he has been from the start. I pray that his symptoms remain mild. In that photo of my boy on the train, I still see the mischievous expression he had as a little boy when he'd done something that made him rather pleased with himself. We never stop seeing our babies in the grown men and women our children become, do we?


  1. Your Christmas was very nice, pleasant, low key, I love that. Your boy, dammit- his strong constitution and antibodies will bail him out but I am sorry he feels punk and the virus moved in. Erik stayed in bed for
    Christmas- said it is a cold but I don't know.

  2. What a beautiful post! I adore the picture of your daughter and her love. I can see her, a few years in the future planning and executing her own Christmases for sure. I was never any good at it either, but I tried so hard to make it magical for the children and I think I did okay but now I don't even pretend to try. Which feels fine.
    I love the picture of your man, too. He looks like Santa, finally home to rest. Our fellows are precious. And what a gorgeous gift he gave you. You know, it's pretty darn cool to live in a world where Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen are friends. If I had created a world, I think I would have made that happen. It pleases me so.
    And now your boy- oh, he'll be fine! I command it! And then he can quit worrying, right? Or actually, YOU can quit worrying.
    About that, at least.

  3. Your Christmas photos are so beautiful, so full of love. The best part of this holiday season is seeing all love spread all around.
    I agree with Ms Moon, your son will be fine. I add my command to hers. Wishing all the best for him, mild case, and then all better. May it be so.

  4. Hope your son feels better soon. Our Christmas was noisy and fun so I am enjoying my quiet day today! :)

  5. You and your family are dear to me. I'm grateful to you for sharing your family in the way you do. I continue to be startled when family members of friends contract COVID. I am picturing your strong son weathering his case of COVID well. Just before I read your post, I was talking on my cellphone with a local friend who has 40-year-old son who lives in New York City with his wife and children and has just tested positive for COVID, too. And yesterday I was talking on my cellphone with a friend in Cleveland who spoke about the overwhelming number of COVID cases there.

    As always, I love looking at the photos you share here.

  6. Sorry to hear your son finally was infected but it was inevitable really given who he is, being out there when needed. Hopefully he's as sick as he will get. But so nice to hear about how good your holiday was. It doesn't always have to be flash and shine to be the best and I'm sure your kids were completely enthralled with your efforts when they were small.

  7. We don't - my 'babies' are in their fifties and one has a grown child of her own, but I still see them in every iteration. I do hope your son has an easy, easy case and will then have a fine arsenal of antibodies if this scourge keeps on. And I note that your husband was, um, swimming with sharks, eek. Maybe he needs a stainless steel wet suit? Holy cow!!!
    The Christmas photo is a classic. The dog's outfit is hilarious.
    Wishing you all good health and a tooth free swim in 2022.

  8. Ugh! I'm sorry about your son's Covid. I understand his sense of inevitability about getting it -- I sort of feel that way myself, working at a school. Your daughter's Christmas certainly looks festive, and I'm glad yours went well too. :)

  9. Up until about 2007 I was totally in to Christmas, big tree, decorations, and package wrapping became a competitive activity. The glue gun and I made works of art. After we left that house I lost interest. It's really nice to see that the boyfriend's Mom still has the desire to create all of that. Your day looks delightful to me.
    I had to laugh at myself, I've never heard of a Vizio surround sound speaker.Slowly losing touch with my culture...
    Sorry your boy-child has tested positive, here's hoping he fights it off quickly.

  10. Happy belated Christmas. Here's hoping the 'vid was mild for your son. I try to do Christmas but my heart's not really in it. Only little kids truly love Christmas I think. They still believe in the magic.

  11. Damn this virus. I'm so sorry your son is dealing with this... and on Christmas, it all just seems unrelenting. Your daughter and her love in their Christmas PJ's look adorable. The tree behind them is sooooo beautiful. In some ways Christmas seems surreal. Maybe this is just me?

  12. I hope he has only a mild case...I love your daughter's photo. Happy New Year.

  13. This variant is everywhere. It's really wild that we're two years in. It's bewildering.