Christmas. Unplugged.

I am standing in the middle of the pedestrian bridge that spans the river connecting the east and west end of the city, just before the rolling plains leading to the foothills and the Rockies begin.

I can see where I was standing as I sit at my desk now.

It is early. The sky a grey covered cloudy blanket full of misty, snow-filled moisture.

The world is quiet. Calm. Serene.

There is no traffic on the separate vehicle bridge on the far side of the one on which I stand. No sign of pedestrians on this one either other than one bicycle track that had ploughed through the snow earlier than even my morning saunter.

I shake my head at the thought of someone riding their bike through the snow and am reminded of my friend J.H. who no matter the temperature or conditions, rides his bike everywhere. All year-round. We worked together for several years and some mornings when the wind was howling and the snow blowing, he would arrive at work looking like the Abominable Snowman. It never deterred him. It was one of the things he had to do to help save the planet, he said.

I helped save my sanity yesterday.

I unplugged. Mostly.

Other than FaceTime with my daughter and family, and a check in with La GrandeFamille in France and India via WhatsApp, I kept my online time to the bare minimum.

It was self-preservation. The Christmas blues lurked. Real close. And, without the excitement of preparing to receive family and friends for dinner, the slope into self-pity yawned before me with its alluring view into oblivion.

To keep myself from heeding its siren’s call, I kept myself out of the Christmas chatter that fills my Social Media feeds.

The messages are all so beautiful but yesterday, it kept reminding me of how different (and strange) this Christmas was.

I had awoken early. 4:30 am. At 5, when a girlfriend text to wish us Merry Christmas, I was still awake. I text back a few times and then lay in bed debating about getting up. At 6, my Auntie Maggy called from India. We laugh and chattered and when we hung up, I was wide-awake. I decided to get up.

I wandered through the house. Turned on Christmas lights and music. Bundled up and took Beamont the Sheepadoodle for an early morning wander.

The world was quiet. The sky midnight blue. The river flowed with its normal winter chatter. A Canada Goose honked somewhere in the dark.

The world was as it usually is early on a Christmas morning, though this was a very different kind of Christmas.

C.C. still made his Finnish pancakes but we packaged them up to deliver to his son and girlfriend who, because they live on her parents property would be having dinner in her family bubble.

We still cooked a turkey but instead of sharing it crowded around a table of family and friends, we packaged it up in the late afternoon and delivered it to my daughter’s for The Great Exchange between my daughter, sister and us.

Like soldiers in the trenches on Christmas Day of 1914 who carried out an unofficial truce and crossed the no-man’s land between them to exchange Christmas wishes and even gifts, we approached one another, holding out our packages like peace offerings in a time of war. Except our enemy is an invisible microbe that does not announce itself with guns blazing but slips in undetected until it’s too late to take up arms again.

After The Great Exchange, we drove to dear friends, stood at their front door and from a distance, wished them Merry Christmas and left behind a container full of turkey dinner and fixin’s to enjoy. When we returned home, I made up a heaping plate of turkey dinner and took it to a neighbour. Her husband has been ill. She wasn’t up to cooking a turkey dinner, she’d told me earlier in the day when I’d dropped off a Christmas card and ornament at their door.

And that’s where the Christmas Spirit prevailed. In the small acts of kindness we could share wholeheartedly with one another.

There are still gifts under the tree that haven’t been unwrapped. The roasting pan sits on the kitchen counter waiting to be put away. The dining room table is still set for two, a lonely reminder of the different circumstances of this Christmas. Like year’s past though, there are left-overs in the fridge. The pot of soup we started making last night sits on the deck chilling.

And through it all, woven like threads of gold in a tapestry lovingly crafted by the hands of the many lives that touch ours day in and day out, is the Love that binds us, sustains us, fills us up.

I unplugged from the virtual world yesterday to spend time savouring the magic all around me.

Just as the virus finds little room to create its havoc when we take loving measures to keep our distance, there was no room for the blues to take up residence in my heart. It was too full of the love and joy of the spirit of this season.

May the sacred nature and giving grace of the spirit of Christmas embrace you and your families. May the New Year bring all of us great joy, good health and the closeness that comes without Covid in our midst.


13 thoughts on “Christmas. Unplugged.

  1. LG,

    Great post – you seem calm, settled and genuinely unplugged. Me too. The year winding down, a finite number of tasks left and lots of flexibility – so I’m setting that all aside one more day and heading out for a long walk right now. There is a 50% chance of snow, so goody-goody!

    I wrote a column yesterday – don’t know if you saw it, but I’ve had a lot of feedback; I think it’s one of my best in a long while, so I’m posting a link here for you and your readers to check out if you like:

    All the best to you and yours for continued happiness and virus-avoidance …



    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Mark — and thank for sharing your link — I hadn’t seen it and am grateful you brought it here for others to link into.

      This– sooooo true.

      “When we lift people, we lift families.

      When we lift families, we lift communities.

      When we lift communities, we can lift nations.

      That’s heavy-lifting, to be sure, but essential lifting that benefits everyone.

      We all CAN make a difference in helping our fellow citizens of this planet. As we always have, we can make progress, but we need to do that with a greater sense of urgency than ever.”

      Enjoy your walk! Beau and I are off for another one now. ❤


  2. It looks to me that you are the epitome of Christmas spirit, Louise. Going out and sharing your food with neighbours – is there anything more beautiful? It think not.
    Chase those blues away, lovely lady. Your light is shining.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. How we think alike, no news, minimal connect with family via text, just Christmas music playing gently in the background as dinner was being prepared for four. It was our last get-together with two of our bubble that are alone. We all agreed that it was a grand evening, no talk of pandemic or politics, just about the future.
    Mark, thank you for the link to your Musings blog. You have captured the true sentiment of this Christmas season, such as it is.
    Louise, thank you for the drop-off Christmas dinner and fixings’ you know where. I could hear their lips smacking as a they described in great detail their dinner. Distance is such a great barrier at this time and I do worry.
    Today is an R & R & R day – relaxing, reading and re-energizing day.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Louise,
    I always enjoy reading your meanderings in thought and deeds….I admire the poetic sense of
    your life view, of beauty of love!

    Christmas unplugged was your flower grown from your kindnesses and the kindness of “others” as brushstrokes holding everyone to the beauty of your flower….the best one yet!

    Liked by 1 person

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