COVID Christmas

Posted by Amber Collie in Life After Paralysis on December 22, 2020 # COVID-19

I have written about the coronavirus a few times now. Since March of 2020, the entire world has been affected in some way. In the beginning, I thought it was going to be a couple of months of disruption. As I learned more, I realized this would not just magically disappear. It’s going to take a while. A lot has changed in these past nine months, especially with how we do things at work, school, and appointments. Social distancing and wearing face coverings in all public places is our new normal. Don’t forget about always washing or sanitizing hands is the new normal as well. I started hearing more and more people who I knew come down with COVID-19. Some had symptoms worse than others. This past week someone in my extended family passed away. This made this whole thing even more personal. It’s a very sad loss. You cannot even have a Memorial Service. Times are tough.Amber and Zack

For so many people, this is history in the making, and not a good one.

I’ve learned to appreciate the little things in life, a good cup of coffee, walking the dog, a Zoom call with friends.

I have watched as the Christmas decorations show up overnight in all the stores right after Halloween. Thanksgiving got squeezed in between. It was our first Covid Thanksgiving that was sure different this year. We had ten people who we see regularly and set up a Zoom to visit with the other 20 who would normally have joined us. This was my first year my Christmas tree was up before Thanksgiving. I did leave a few pumpkins mixed into the early Christmas décor.Zack

Christmas being my favorite holiday, I took advantage of the early Christmas stuff in the stores and bought seasonal treats & extra decorations. Finding joy in the small things has been helpful during this time. I have never done this much shopping online as I’ve done this year. If I do stop at a store, I try to go when I think it will be less crowded. I go early when first open or close to closing. This method seems to work. There are usually way fewer people. I know some people can’t stand Christmas music, especially before December 1, but I love it. It puts me in a better mood. I like to stroll down the Christmas aisle looking at the new seasonal things that have come out this year. A couple of years ago, my husband had the idea of starting a Christmas fund envelope. We put money in it throughout the year, so by the time the season rolls around, we have some money saved. I’ve always wanted to be shopped and wrapped early so I could relax and enjoy the month or at least not be wrapping on Christmas eve! Every year I attempt this but somehow end up rushing around last minute. This Christmas, I decided to cut down on the gifts and plan activities with the family.

Making it more about the time spent with each other, things like baking, decorating gingerbread houses, playing a board game, or working on a puzzle. I am a busy person. It’s hard for me to relax fully; it’s something I’m working on. I’m learning to be more present and in the moment. Life slows down for no one. Things will always come up. There is no perfect arrival to a perfect place. Once I let this concept go, I was able to enjoy the journey more. This Covid Christmas, stop and notice the small things because they add up to larger things. It’s definitely a year to remember, make it a Happy Holiday!

My life has had many parts, I could write a book just on that section but let's fast forward to when I married Adron Collie. Two weeks after turning 20 (yes, very young!) I had Zackery at age 22, Levi at 24, six years later Kaden, and 18 months after that daughter Laila, making me a busy mother of four. At that time, I also ran a photography business. The year Zack was injured I had a child in Preschool, Elementary, Jr. High and High School. Four kids in four schools! I thought I was so busy, just getting their drop off and pick up times correct was a challenge. I have to laugh now thinking back on that because little did I know my life was just about to turn upside down.

This project was supported, in part, by grant number 90PRRC0002, from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects under government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official Administration for Community Living policy.