And so we gathered beneath the mighty fir that stands sentinel in our yard. The one where Siddartha sits all year round welcoming everyone to our home.
We stood beneath its sweeping branches that cast welcome shadows on a hot summer day, its deep green branches a welcome respite from the black and grey and white of a prairie winter.
We gathered together as families do and laughed and told stories on one another and shared a mug of hot mulled wine and feasted on seasonal delights. We toasted one another and those who could not be with us this year, either because of time and space or because they are gone from these earthly realms forever.
We raised our mugs to Christmases past spent indoors decorating or gathering around a table laden with holiday fare. And together, toasted this year that has challenged each of us to find more creative ways to spend time together. Ways that nurture our well-being yet do not risk our health.
Bundled up against a winter chill, we festooned the fir with stars and bells and homemade decorations and did our best to keep our distance. No hugs. No kisses on cheeks. No sharing of bites of this or that.
It was a different kind of way to welcome in the holiday season, yet, as in all the years past, smiles and laughter filled the air spinning a magical web with the essence of this time of year.
Family and friends gathering together to build memories and share what makes life rich and beautiful.
Connection. Belonging. Joy in one another’s presence. The reminder we do not walk alone. We are all in this together. And, above all, Love.
We decorated the fir tree outside our door yesterday. And the beauty of this special time of year slipped into our hearts and made itself at home for the season.