The holiday season is upon us, but if you’re like me, it feels a little more like Groundhog Day, at least the movie version. In some ways, 2020 has flown by and I can’t believe it’s nearing the end. In other ways, it seems to have dragged on endlessly.
I’m shocked when my every-other-Sunday reminder pops up to water a terrarium that I assembled at a very cool small business in the Fan called Plant Bar early this year. When our helper gave us our parting instructions, I was determined not to let these plants die, so I went right home and set up the alert to water them every two weeks. As the months have gone by, every time the reminder pops up, I say, “How can it already have been two weeks?! I swear I just did this!” But off I go, to retrieve the special watering bottle I added on to my purchase when I checked out, and as I water these (thriving, I’m pleased to report) succulents, I reflect on that January day – January 26 to be exact. The six of us gal pals enjoyed a delicious brunch at the Goatocado, then walked over to the Plant Bar, where we sipped on wine and assembled our planters in the crowded, lively space. As we were waiting to check out, my mom called to give me the tragic news of Kobe Bryant’s death, word of which quickly spread through the crowd as everyone seemed to stop and check their newsfeeds to confirm the unbelievable news. That news seemed to be the beginning of a string of tragedies that we now collectively call 2020, although we had no way of knowing it then.
Our group didn’t know that it would be the last time we would gather in a crowded, indoor space together this year, and we never could have imagined how wildly different that Saturday would seem upon reflection at the year’s end.
I have spent some time recently mourning another celebrity loss in the year that just keeps on taking, as I listen to the soundtrack of my teenage years on what is currently the Van Halen Tribute Channel on XM channel 27. I’m sure 1984, or 5150, or OU812 was on my Christmas wish list in one of those mid-80s years, albums that featured the guitar and keyboard mastery of that rock god, Eddie Van Halen, one of my many celebrity crushes from my youth.
A whopping 98 percent of our October reader poll respondents said their sense of smell was their most nostalgia-inducing sense, but for me, hearing a song from the past takes me right back to a roller rink, a dance floor, a wedding, or Grandma’s house on Christmas Eve (check out some of the reader responses on page 8; they’ll make you all warm and fuzzy).
There are a lot of things that will be different this holiday season, but one thing that will remain is the ability to make lasting memories with loved ones. Sing favorite carols together, watch holiday classics as a family, attempt to replicate Grandma’s Christmas cookies, and savor the season 2020-style. We have lots of helpful tips in this issue to get you through the season, and if you’re like me, you’ll get to the last page (one of my favorites in this issue that took me back even farther than my Van Halen years) and be filled with gratitude, joy, and a sense of hope.
Warmest holiday wishes from all of us at RFM,