Actually, Christmas 2021 being "odd" is more akin to it now being a loaded affair. This time around, this is not going to be like our Christmases past for me and my family.
First off, my mom just recently fell from a ladder and broke her left shoulder. She is doing fine and has at least been able to get around. However, with her having surgery on it Thursday and Dad working, our "normal" Christmas plans have changed as such.
Unlike our "COVID Christmas" last year, in that we were more or less in and out but nonetheless making it like we always have, we aren't going to be as a unit this time.
The idea, as I understand it now, is for my grandma to come to our house to open up presents and such. My sister and I are to then go and visit with Dad's family in West Terre Haute for a few hours or so. Meanwhile, it should be a nice day weather-wise.
I am not too enthusiastic about it all, and it's not because of them. It feels convoluted, and maybe this is because it was how it had to become through no fault from anyone.
This has been a pretty rough year just in general for my family. We lost my Grandpa Jerry on my mom's side last May and then my aunt "Isten" on my dad's in October. I would say both of their deaths were unexpected. However, there were some difficult circumstances — I don't need to get into them here — which led up to their passing.
I guess that this Christmas will be "awkward," for lack of a better term. Apart from this being the first one without Grandpa and Isten, I just don't have the Christmas "spirit."
Christmas has become another holiday, but is still one all about being with people you care about. Having friends over for a good bourbon this Saturday sounds pretty good. I feel the same when it comes to Thanksgiving and New Year's as well as my birthday.
As a free-wheeling adult who doesn't have a family unit of his own, there really isn't any giddy excitement or joy to Christmas like it was when I was six years old. Presents should be more about quality than quantity. Giving does turn out to be better than receiving. Still, it's nice to get a gift from someone. All I want is the thought to count.
Call the rest pessimism or being Scroogy. I just no longer care all that much for the festive aspect. Maybe it's part of growing up. Maybe it's being a little too serious, too.
The more I'm thinking about this, though, the more this seems part of my continuing evaluations about what — as well as who — are most consequential inside and outside the newsroom, both professional as well as personal. Oftentimes, they run together.
Christmas this year will be different for us. However, it still remains a time for all of us to take further stock of the people and opportunities we have been fortunate to have.