Life Lessons

Decorating 2020

How will you remember 2020?

This year, my husband and I are making plans for a holiday season on the home front. With most of our family in the States, we will be spending a rare year with just the two of us and our furry cat in Canada.

The two of us are working on a holiday menu that highlights favourite traditions from both of our families. We are creating playlists on Spotify for upbeat background music during our “couple cocktail hours.” Merry. Bright. Simple.

We went out and got a tree – a simple pleasure that we often skipped due to our travels during this time of the year. Between US Thanksgiving and Christmas of a normal year, our house was mostly vacant and the cat doesn’t appreciate having a piece of outdoors indoors. Or at least not in a way that his humans appreciate.

Our tree stands in the window to our lane way, a beacon of light and sparse decorations. The two of us have contributed hand me down trinkets from our parents’ trees or old school made ornaments. We have ornaments from the year we were born or highlighting our past hobbies.

Mike, as it was later told to me, looked at the tree and wondered what trinkets or ornaments would mark 2020 – the year everything was put on paused, changed and rerouted.

Truth of it is, we will all have a different memory of this year. For some, it was a year of betterment. For others, it was going into work during a time of fear, anxiety and uncertainty. For some, it was isolation from family members, friends and those who kept us rooted in our community. For others, it was a time to try making sourdough or learning French.

Mike had considered purchasing a mask ornament. Or a mini rolling pin on a string. Sure it was part of it, but it didn’t really reflect the bigger picture.

For us, it was a year of simple. We reduced our shopping to the essentials. We had one weekend trip away from home, and not the trip to Europe we had anticipated. It felt like we were learning to do more with less, including making masks out of the leftover table runner fabric from our wedding (seven years ago). What used to be a date night out is takeout and a movie in.

It meant changes. It meant reducing our connection with family and community (in person). It meant making big deals about holidays and celebrations. It meant getting creative to maintain our mental health and fitness.

Mike decided that our tree needed something that reflected the holidays and our year. Merry. Bright. Simple.

He purchased vintage-style indent and reflector ornaments plus a string of tinsel broken up with the same style of glass ornament. It contained the same vintage look of our other ornaments, but was purchased to add the “merry, bright and simple” exclamation point to our 2020 year.

The year we had to buy ornaments for our first tree in Canada.

2020 was hard. It was lonely. It was heartbreaking. But it also had hope. Love. A sense of community. And a few lessons on how I could be a better person.

Merry. Bright. Simple.

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