Last week, my dad stopped by unexpectedly to drop off Christmas gifts, masked. As he cracked open the door and hollered into our home what he was doing, sadness overcame me. I grieved touching and hugging on him; I grieved our sacred family traditions; I grieved for my children, for my beloveds, for me, for all of us. Tears spilled, washing and moving and making room. They spilled into my next zoom meeting…and kept spilling.
And making room for my honest tender-heartedness with colleagues in that moment; later, candles sprinkled throughout our home; a new DIY Christmas Celebration Howton-style around the fire with songs and stories and poetry; too much cookie dough that is still taking up too much room in the fridge; unexpected joys and surprises and wonder–unimaginable gifts that I didn’t even know to dream of.
My youngest, Meg, learned the truth about Santa this year. She’s eleven. It was time. And like all of 2020, this truth came with loss: Santa doesn’t look like what she’d imagined all her childhood. And, this truth came with gifts: Santa doesn’t look like what she’d imagined all her childhood.