Nothing about 2020 unfolded as usual and the Christmas season was no different.
We exchanged our multi-coloured lights out for warm white this year...
and rather enjoyed that change.
In previous years we would always take a few of the grands on a Christmas light tour.
That never happened this year.
There were no banquets, no live concerts, no get-togethers.
But there were plenty of wonderful concerts on TV and we watched them from the comfort of our own home.
And we did jigsaw puzzles.
We may not be able to travel...
but we can re-visit some of our favorite places by putting the puzzle pieces together.
The colorful houses of St. John's, Newfoundland...
and the canals of Venice.
And awesome sunsets!
One thing that became very clear to me this year is that
...the best things in life are free!
Whenever the rain let up...
we walked the trails.
Vedder River trail.
We had a Christmas party with our life group via Zoom.
It took a little planning but was a lot of fun!
We delivered desserts to each home...
which we enjoyed together later while opening gifts in a 'white elephant' gift exchange.
That is always the source of a lot of laughter and this year was no exception.
Connecting with friends this year has been more important than ever!
The cards and Christmas letters were a welcome reminder of many who we have not seen recently.
I have saved many cards through the years...and especially treasure those that were handmade.
This card was one my sister Bev sent me over three decades ago, shortly after my grandmother passed away.
She had copied the Christmas story (Luke 2) from my grandmother's German Bible for the background.
I displayed that card this year.
I'm sure it is the first Christmas that I have not had a card from my sister.
Or my dad.
They were both celebrating their first Christmas in heaven.
Christmas 2020 was different in so many ways!
Since there was no socializing with anyone outside of our household...
we found other ways to make Christmas special this year.
Every Sunday of advent...
we delivered a few of our favorite Christmas treats to the front door of the homes of our grands.
One Sunday afternoon,
Ranen met as at the front door and played a Christmas medley for us.
Early in December a local photographer came to take photos of our old barn for a local heritage project.
This barn has been in my family since 1959...
but we did a little digging at the local museum archives to see what else we could discover.
We learned the names of all previous owners since 1902.
The barn was built in 1905.
It has gone through a few modifications over the years...
but the structural framework is still original.
The animals were not meant to be part of the photo session...
...but Carsten couldn't resist.
We had not planned to be in the picture either!
A few days before Christmas...
As the sun sets on 2020...
I look back on a year that held many challenges and am thankful for God's faithfulness through it all.
I do not know what lies ahead...
but I know who holds tomorrow!
God with us...
today, tomorrow and through the next year!
Happy New Year to each one of you!