After a mid-December trip to California to spend a few days with our daughter as she recovered from surgery, we were home packing our bags again, this time for a trip to Minnesota – with an overnight stop in Chicago – to spend Christmas with our son, daughter-in-law, and three grandchildren. The night before we were scheduled to leave, however, we decided to cancel our trip. Although we had already dug through our closets for any cold-weather clothing we still owned – in anticipation of the below-zero temperatures we knew we’d be facing – the perfect storm of cold, snow, and wind painted a different landscape, with the weather forecast shifting from uncomfortable and inconvenient, to dangerous and deadly.
It broke our hearts to cancel the trip, but our family and friends understood. And we certainly weren’t the only ones who would not be going home – or anywhere – for the holidays.
So the next morning, instead of packing up the car and heading north, we headed to the UPS store to ship the kids’ Christmas gifts, and to the grocery store, since our cupboard was bare in anticipation of being gone for more than a week over the Christmas holiday.
Since I always try to look at the bright side of things, I’m doing my best to see this as a blessing in disguise. After all, a quiet Christmas at home gives us more time for reflection on what Christmas is really all about. Phone calls and Zoom get-togethers with our loved ones are still doable on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. That doesn’t hold a candle to being with them in person, but at least it’s something. And by staying safe at home this year, we stand a better chance of being around to make the trip next year, weather permitting. Not that we plan to wait a full year to see our grandchildren again!
Wherever you are, and however you are spending the holidays, I hope you are staying safe, warm, and dry. I hope you will enjoy time with family and friends, whether you are seeing them in person or through phone or video calls. I hope you will enjoy a blessed holiday, even if it’s different this year than you wanted or expected it to be.
And I hope you are looking forward to a promising New Year that lies just ahead for us all.
December 24, 2022
©Betty Liedtke, 2022