Holiday's here and a year has past. Last year, only weeks after we fell into the swirling current of our national crisis, we staged a Christmas for the record books. With all the fear of a new, upside-down life situation, we made a daily decision to keep stepping forward, to remember what was important. This time last year, that was to fulfill the annual obligation to our family and friends. Christmas, Come Hell or High Water.

And it was a great Christmas. I can still feel the relief of December 26th 2008, knowing what we accomplished working with a daily (recession) recipe of nausea and resentment. We managed through the holidays with even a bit of cheer and festivity, by inviting people around and sharing a laugh. Community helped us come face to face with the pound of flesh we were about to donate, and despite the anxiety, propelled us forward.

Oh, those days, how I wished for a crystal ball. I remember thinking that if I could just pace myself, I'd make it the weeks or months of joblessness, wondering, waiting. If I'd had a crystal ball would I have believed that another Christmas would come, replete with fear and wondering, and we'd still be breathing? Indeed, if Santa had given me that crystal ball and I'd been seen a vision of the longevity of this limbo state, I think I'd have gone down in a puff of smelling salts.

We're still here. We're facing into Christmas with the same gritted teeth as last year. Committed to making the season light for our passengers, the three who didn't sign on for a year like we've had, much less another to come. The task is, again, daunting, but since I know I've done it up to now (still breathing), I can go a bit further.

Here's what worked last year:

  • Scented Candles, always. Pomegranite or fir from K Hall
  • Cocktail gatherings - manchego cheese, fig bread, music, someone else bring the wine
  • Easy dinners - roasted chickens from the butcher, arugula, dates & parmesan
  • Good and constant playlists from Pandora: type in "holiday"
  • Setting up a team gift for the extended family with Heifer

What I'll add this year:

There's a great deal of relief knowing we've made it this far. John goes off every day to a tentative workplace, intent on making it permanent. I throw creative balls in the air and hope they don't drop - but if they do?????

There have been so much inspiration and resources gained during this year of unpredictable tides. The threads are here, now we move to tie them together.

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