A strange, surreal Holiday Season. For many of us, it will be very different from earlier years.
I know many creative plans are being made to make these celebrations work – somehow and anyway. This last LAPC challenge, of the strange year 2020, is all about your Holiday Season. So what will your holidays look like? What are your plans and/or memories? Will you create new traditions or will you just ”survive” this one, looking forward to a ”normalized” celebrating next year?
For me, the holidays are all about Christmas – memories of Christmases gone by and what Christmas really, essentially means to me. What traditions can still be kept this year, and what will I have to let go of…
Well, let us begin… be my guest!
”So this is Christmas…” – John Lennon and Yoko Ono – is always present when we are decorating the Christmas tree. In Sweden we celebrate Christmas, even though not many of us are truly religious. But the message is much the same – Imagine… Wishes for Peace and Harmony. Caring for family and each other – Love for everything living. Gratitude.
One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words.
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
To me, Christmas also means discussing, listening to music and playing games together. Happy music, classical music, religious music…
Candle light was made for these the darkest days of winter. Lights in our windows are glowing the whole day – to chase the darkness away. Today’s sunrise was 8.34 AM – and sunset 15.35 PM. No complaining when I compare to my daughter Emma’s situation in Umeå: 9.27 AM and 13.45 PM. (But where I live, the sun has not shown its face for the last two months.)
Adding – just listening to the news it seems people are decorating their houses double up this year – I too bought new lights for the path up to our door…75 meters!
Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared. – Buddha
So far, these holidays look much the same as every year. But, Imagine Covid19 was over and gone …. then more of the happy celebrating would come alive – Going to Denmark for delicious food, coffee and cake, attending Christmas markets, traveling to beautiful places, finding snow again – at least for the Christmas card photos… and having the youngsters back for baking, laughing and pottering!
Luckily we Will have three youngsters here with us this holiday season – which makes me truly happy. Corona safe, no hugging or kissing. I know many families with mixed generations have booked barbecue places to eat outdoors in recreation areas. A very good idea.
The greatest differences will be the lack of hugs and kisses. And, our mother and grandmother will not be here with us to celebrate. Her photo is standing where she used to sit at the table, with a candle lit by her side. Maybe she Is watching us somehow, from somewhere. I’d like to think she is.
The much longed for light will slowly return, starting with the Winter Solstice, December 21. This year has made it crystal clear just how much we have to be grateful for – and how little we can take for granted.
Please include a link to my post and use the Lens-Artists tag so that everyone can find your post in the WP Reader. We look very much forward to seeing your creative work!
Special thanks to Amy for her beautiful “Precious Moments.” And thank You for sharing with us so many positive and loving moments! Smiles and tears in a beautiful mix.
Finally we send our deepest and most grateful Thank You to you all for being an endless inspirational resource this special year, 2020. Hopefully we have helped each other stay reasonably sane in a crazy world. I want to close with John Lennon’s words in:
Happy Xmas (War is Over)
A very Merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let’s hope it’s a good one
Without any fear
– someday soon we hope this invisible enemy, Corona and Covid19, will be defeated too –
Have you seen these:
KFBuchsbaum posted a Christmas card treasure
Big and small moments with Mei-Mei of Jedi by Night
Get starstruck at David M’s Photoblog
Announcement: We’ll be on break until January 2nd at which point our theme will be Favorite Photos of 2020.
Short Note: There have been issues with WP pingbacks not working. If you don’t receive a reply or a comment from us, please let us know.
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More holiday photos from a different area:https://chava61.wordpress.com/2020/12/27/lens-artists-challenge-128-here-comes-the-holiday-season/
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It is already Christmas, it is not too late to celebrate: https://cxianliu.wordpress.com/2020/12/25/lowry-avenue-bridge/
Never too lare to celebrate!
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Hope you had a fabulous Christmas …
As much as possible, thank you – hoping the same for you, Julie!
I love your seasonal photos, especially the last one! Gorgeous! Happy Holidays to you!
Thank you – to you as well!
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Your Christmas Day will be over by the time you see this post! It is early morning here, and I got up extra early to finish this post. What a fun way to start this day, with visions of Sinterklaas in my heart!
And I have just read them – warm and wonderful!
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Perfect Challenge for the Holiday Season
Love the kids click and the candles click.
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year.
Thank you, Philo! My children are grown now, this was the first Christmas card we made with them! Happy Holidays to you and yours!
Thank you so much Happy holidays
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What a lovely idea to have the picture and the candle. Happy Christmas – here’s hoping 2021 will bring much happier times.
Thank you, Susan – yes, let’s hope this new year will be Better!
Thank you, Ann-Christine, for sharing your story and thoughts for this challenge. It brings the holiday season in the right perspective and focus. It inspired my reply.
I am glad!
A beautiful post. thank you, it has sparked a bit of joy for me sitting all alone on this Christmas Eve,
O Dawn – all alone! I hope you had a warm cup of something and some tasty food at least. No skyping or zooming? Hugs to you ♥
Thanks Leya…or is that Ann Christine?
Well, behind Leya – Ann-Christine is hiding…
What a great topic to get everyone in the right mood for the Holiday’s. Wishing you and your family wonderful holiday and all the best in 2021! Here is my post: https://mycolorfulexpressions.com/lens-artists-photo-challenge-128-holiday-season/
Thank you, Sylvia – wishing you and yours the same too!
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A lovely post.. my entry is very simple https://helensphotomania.wordpress.com/2020/12/24/christmas-greetings/
Thank you – and simple is the best thing!
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Part 2 – https://fairplay740.wordpress.com/2020/12/24/lens-artists-challenge-128-and-here-comes-the-holiday-seasonpt-2/
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Beautiful images Ann-Christine and Happy Holidays to you too! 🤗💖🎄
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We’re not Christians so no Christmas celebrations. Happy Holidays to you.
Happy Holidays to you as well! Are your holidays looking the same as every year? I guess nobody has the same feeling for the holiday season this year. no matter what religion or no religion.
My wife’s family is Hindu. The Hindu festival of Diwali (5 days) was in November but we didn’t have any of the normal large family gathering and festivities then, partly because of the pandemic but mostly because my wife’s father passed away from COVID in April when the first wave hit New York and New Jersey. In Brahmin Hinduism the mourning period is a year and no festivities allowed.
On Christmas Day we followed the American tradition of watching a movie in the theatre and ordering Chinese food for dinner. Chinese restaurants are usually the only ones open on Christmas Day.
This year we watched Wonder Woman 1984 on HBOmax and ordered Chinese takeout.
Thank you for the info about how your holidays are going – interesting also that it seems to be an American tradition to watch a movie in the theatre. I did not know about this.
Here I believe most restaurants have takeaway food now.
Wishings for a Better New Year for us all!
I thought I had included a link : https://www.vox.com/the-goods/2018/12/21/18151903/history-jews-chinese-food-christmas-kosher-american
Thank you! Very informative – and interesting to know about!
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Oh what a wonderful spirit filled post. Happy Holidays to your and your loved ones.
Here is my entry.
Happy Holidays to you all Cee! Hope the little ones get some extra treats!
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As always, excellent pictures for the challenge, Ann-Christine. All the things that I associate with the holiday season; music, lights and making tasty treats. And yes, we’ve noticed too that people seem to be making an extra effort to show their Christmas spirit with lights and decorations. Wishing you and your family a joyous celebration.
Thank you – the same to you and yours, Sue!
This wasn’t the original plan for the challenge. It changed over a couple of rewrites. Christmas Eve through to Boxing Day:
Love everything you do, David – rewriting and redoing is the best thing. Never satisfied from the start!
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Ann-Christine (Leya), thank you for these wonderful challenges and the work, heart, and perspective it takes to make them so interesting and worthwhile! I look forward to more in 2021. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Thank You too for participating and making the challenges fun! All the best to you and yours!
A lovely reflective post. You will be remembering your mum this Christmas for sure. Hope you have a lovely time with your family.
And I hope you will have a lovely time as well, and possibilities to see some of your family!
Thank you. We are going to try
Hopefully it will work out. My son lives five minutes from here, so we see each other every day. My daughter came by train in a surgery mask – (being a dentist soon) – and both have been studying digitally this autumn. Isolated. So hopefully this will work out well.
Hope you had lovely time with your family
We did, thank you. and hope your Christmas went well too.
We had lovely time thank you
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I did another post! I can’t resist some bokeh: https://blog.suzyblue.org.uk/2020/12/21/christmas-bokeh/
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Wonderful. I hope you have a very happy festival.
No festival this year. But we are 6 persons in the family celebrating at home!
Not bad. Our families can’t meet. Never mind. Next year. Enjoy!
Here’s to next year for us all! ♥
It will take you till Christmas and beyond to read all these, Ann Christine 🙂 🙂 Hoping you can find peace this Christmas, and I know you will find love.
Not Christmas yet – and I have read it! Hope you can find peace as well, and some great walks and cake… Thank you for taking us to this sweet little town with its welcoming lights!
I had the most delicious pear tart with ice-cream at lunch but I didn’t take a photo. I was in company 🤣🤣
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You’ve given us a lovely job this weekend, to rediscover the joy in these holidays during a difficult year. We often travel during this solstice, and we had to restrict our scope this year, but we got a few postcards. In case the link I posted fails to appear in the pingbacks, here it is again: https://anotherglobaleater.wordpress.com/2020/12/21/four-views-of-panchgani/
It is a lovely post – thank you – I can easily read it twice !
Thank you for the kind words
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Well amen to that — ”This year has made it crystal clear just how much we have to be grateful for”
And enjoyed your thoughts and words
The candles lighting the oath was an artsy image and the brass and horns in the window – what an unexpected and wonderful photo to lead into –
♥ Many thanks! Glad you enjoyed them.
Those lights look beautiful. Wishing you a happy and safe season.
Thank you – wishing you the same. Take care and stay healthy!
I liked your picture of the brass instruments, Ann-Christine. The music is still there this year but it’s not the same without being able to share it. Here’s my contribution https://bendbranches.com/2020/12/20/birds-on-my-christmas-tree-lapc-ss/
You are so right – thank you for joining in.
Here is my response to your Holiday Challenge ! Best wishes for a happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year!
Thank you, Anne!
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A nice collection of celebratory photos you’ve collated.
I really like the first candle photo and the tree photo. The first candle photo due to the different angles and it holding something akin to a sense of mystery, and the tree due how old and grown out it looks. I like how its branches cross each other and create a sort of shifting pattern.
Here’s mine for this one:
Thank you, SH – it is my favourite tree.
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I hope you have a wonderful celebration this year, Leya. COVID can’t kill the joy of memories or of the beautiful lights in your pictures. I love the outdoor space photo. I am grateful for the number of hours of daylight we have after reading how few you enjoy daylight. I hope those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, especially in the western U.S. enjoy a white or at least wet Christmas. Lots of love and virtual hugs to you and all the Lens-Artists this season. M
Thank you so much, Marsha, and wishing you and yours Happy Holidays in your new home!
Same to you Leya.
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Echoing Su Leslie, I enjoy seeing our NZ Christmas Tree flowers in your header photo 🙂 Merry Christmas Ann Christine!
I love the Pohutukawa – and I spent a Christmas in your country. The only one outside Sweden. Merry Christmas to you as well!
Merry Christmas, Leya! I know this will be a poignant holiday season for you since your Mother’s passing a few months ago, and I’m sure you must be right that she is still with you in spirit, it’s a lovely gesture that you placed her photo in a spot of honor there. Your photos in your post are all lovely, especially the ones of the candle flames…but the one of cookies being made is my favorite, and has my mouth watering!
Wishing you and yours Happy Holidays. Thanks for the many inspiring posts from all of the Lens Artists this year.
Heres my submission for this week:
Happy to hear we can inspire you – just like you inspire us! Happy Holidays!
Thank you! Stay warm and safe and keep the creativity alive over the holidays! Best, Babsje
Thank you – the same to you!
I was inspired by viveka (my guilty pleasures). I’m so glad to join this week. It is nice to have a virtual celebration of the season.
Thank yyou for joining in – and yes, Viveka is extremely inspirational!
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Lovely post Ann Christine. I wish you were able to be all together as we are here in NZ. Hopefully next Christmas.
I love your references to cold and darkness. It’s summer here, we are sweltering and the days are long. Stay safe and well Ann Christine, I wish you the very best for 2021.
Thank you so much, Wendy! I know you have done a good job in NZ, much thanks to your lovely Jacinda! I am among the lucky ones though – my children will celebrate with us as usual, and we will still keep the limit of 8 persons We will be 6. Unfortunately my mother suddenly passed away in September, but her photo will sit with us at the table. And she will be in our thoughts. Merry Christmas!
An amazing post. Beautifully written and photographed. I loved the candle lights. Light is what this season is all about. Stay safe!
Thank you, Anne – yes, Light! Stay warm and safe through the season! Happy Holidays!
What a wonderful display of holiday joy and fun, AC! Your images are beautiful! What memories to treasure! I love the images of everyone baking cookies and that beautiful tree. Can you save some cookies for me??! I sincerely hope you have a wonderful holiday and a new year filled with hope and joy. Here’s my contribution to the challenge: https://pilotfishblog.com/2020/12/19/lens-artists-photo-challenge-128-and-here-comes-the-holiday-season/
Thank you, Patti – I am wishing the same for you and yours! I am afraid there are no cookies left though…
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Ah, lovely post A C
Yours is really a beautiful post this week Ann-Christine – truly a peek into your heart. It has been a difficult year for you and I know you are missing your mom. I love that she has a seat at the table and am certain she is with you all. Glad you will have your youngsters with you as well. Your images as always are wonderful but I especially loved the candlelights and the snowy closing scene. Wishing you a warm Christmas filled with love.
Thank you, Tina – my wishings are the same for you and yours. We’ve had a good time together this year too – let’s hope next year will be a better year than 2020 – in all respects really. We will be 6 persons for Christmas, so we will keep the 8 person limit ;-D
A-C, what a beautiful post … and gallery – I wish I could provide something like this! But you know my feelings around Christmas and this year it’s harder than ever.
Thanks for sharing your light, warmth and togehterness.
Viveka – that is what you always provide for us…but maybe not for Christmas. Stay warm and safe, this too shall pass.
I love your pohutukawa in the opening shot. For me, that’s such an integral part of Christmas. A lovely post, and I wish you and your whanau a safe, peaceful and joy-filled Christmas.
And I wish the same to your family, Su! Pohutukawa is for my everlasting memories and dreams of New Zealand.
Thank you Ann-Christine
It’s very beautiful expressed, Ann Christine. I love how you capture the lights and candle lights. Have a great time with you have three youngsters.
I love the snow and tree image, so beautifully captured. we don’t get to see the snow in Texas at all. Hope the sunlight will be back soon for you.
Thank you, Amy – I am very grateful to have them here – we will be 6 people altogether, and we are allowed to be 8. So – we will manage!
This is a fun idea . ”So this is Christmas” ..I will hear that this evening.. Those children are so sweet.. Here is mine.
Thank you! And the photo is from my son’s first Christmas and the left is his sister.
So sweet 🤩
Wishing everyone a Happy/Health Holiday Season & Happy/Healthy 2021! Here is my contribution to this challenge: https://thisandthatthenextpart.wordpress.com/2020/12/19/lens-artists-challenge-128-here-comes-the-holiday-season/
Thank you, Chava – wishing the same for you and yours!
A very beautiful post that expresses the joys of the seasons and also the concerns for this one that is so different. I absolutely love the photo of the tree covered in snow. So very lovely and not often seen in our state of Tennessee. Wishing you all the best as you celebrate the holidays in any way you can.
All the best to you two as well, Rusha! Happy Holidays as festive as you can – life is only what you make of it.
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Here is my entry: https://cxianliu.wordpress.com/2020/12/17/the-lights-in-the-cold/
Thank you, Yan!
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Beautiful post! Wishing you a very happy Holiday season with lots of joy!
Wishing you the same, Beth! Thank you for joining us!
Nice collection of holiday photos. Coincidentally, I already selected a handful to share on my Facebook page. My challenge this week is all but finished. >grin<
Looks like I'll have to come up with a special post to make up for the missing LAPC next week. That's all well and good. You folks need a well-deserved holiday break. For all of you on the LAPC team: Thanks for spending the year coming up with weekly challenges. Have a safe and happy 2021!
Yes, let’s hope for a safe and happy 2021 – and hopefully you and your family will enjoy a break as well;-D. Looking forward to TWO posts from you then, John!
Wonderful theme and a great selection of photos Ann Christine. Those Lussekatter/ Luciaboller looks quite tempting. Happy holidays!
Haha – wish I could send you some, Rupali! Best wishes for you during the holidays!
Such a beautiful post Ann Christine. I love your candle lit path! What is a celebration without youngsters? Glad you have some family close to celebrate with. We missed over Diwali this year but are grateful we got to catch up with them finally last month. Here’s to a good new year without fear!
Happy Holidays to all! Here’s my post: https://blog.suzyblue.org.uk/2020/12/19/new-traditions-and-crochet-update/
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Best wishes for Christmas and the upcoming 2021. Let’s hope it is a better one concerning health, and let’s hope that what we learned this year will stay with us.
Chris – you are so right, and I am so anxious about the learning…history is no good teacher there… But it is never too late to change, is it?
And Merry Christmas !
Ann-Christine, thanks for this week’s topic. It was quite a challenge. In the end, the post is one of the most personal ones I’ve ever published: https://solaner.wordpress.com/2020/12/19/lens-artists-photo-challange-128-and-here-comes-the-holiday-season/ Merry Christmas to you and your beloved ones.
Loved your grumpy answer to it, Andre! In fact I can relate to much of what you are saying…
Merry Christmas to you and yours!
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Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays
To you as well! And a Better New Year!
Beautiful thoughts and photos.
Here is mine:
Happy Christmas to all!
To you as well, Sofia! It’s been a pleasure to have you here!
Thank you 🙂
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Beautiful post, Ann-Christine!
It will certainly be a different Christmas, but we have to be responsible for the good of all.
This year the meetings will only be with the nearest family, in our case, only with my children, those if all goes well and there are no more social restrictions in the coming days. We are not religious either, but we will miss meetings with the rest of the family and friends.
Ana – I believe I answered to this comment instead of the precious one! Glad you will have your children there with you. I will hopefully have mine as well – all in all we are six persons. Restaurants take only four persons at the same table, from Christmas. Wishing you to be safe and sending all the best to your family!
Great photos all. I too like the tree and people shot, especially. Something about it. No challenge next week? OMGoodness! What will I do?! Have a good holiday. I don’t know anyone who isn’t looking forward to a 2021 that’s better than 2020. It’s time 2020 goes in the dustbin of history. Stay safe, be well, best wishes to you, your families, and friends.
John, this is the challenge! About how you are going to celebrate the holidays or not! But it is the last challenge this year…
Got it. Thanks. Finally saw the note at the very bottom.
Your stories and images are warm and wonderful. Here in the San Francisco area as in most of America large family gatherings are discouraged. While some will not heed the warnings our family will forego the usual Christmas Eve at our home and Christmas day at my son’s. My daughter and her two children live with my wife and I and we are trying extra hard to make up for what’s missing this Christmas. I did tell my daughter that if she knows of one person who will be alone this Christmas to invite that person to our home so she won’t have to spend this Christmas alone. I put up extra lights, there is more Christmas baking going on. I’ll be setting up the electric train under the tree that has been in storage for three years because of my curious dog. Hopefully Lexi will not be Dogzilla and attack the train.
It was twenty years ago when my kids were in their teens that I discovered a true Christmas miracle. It is the only time of the year when teenagers actually ASK to hear songs sung by Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and your family
Thank you for an absolutely lovely comment, Paulie! Your Christmas sounds like a good one as well – hope your electric train will have no extra ”passengers” ;-D. A great idea for your daughter to maybe invite a lonely friend! Here we are allowed to be 8 persons from the same household this Christmas, but we will only be 6 persons in my home.
I had a good laugh at the miracle of course…and wish you many more this Christmas! Please send a special treat for beautiful Lexi as she is not allowed to ride the train 😀
Such lovely Christmas memories and photos, Ann Christine. It’s much too warm to feel Christmassy here, but we have put up a tree and Christmas ornament display. We will be in our own this year, but will see a couple of friends, socially distanced of course.
Then I wish you and your family a happy Christmas, Sylvia! In Sweden we are allowed 8 people from your own family. We will be 6 only. Memories will be much discussed I guess. And i wish you a Better New year!
Hello Leya – arrived from visiting Vivi . . . seeing your name, reading your words . . . best wishes from hot and sunny and at moment flood-ridden Australia where the sun at the moment is setting past 8pm to smile again just after 5am . . . nice in these days when Covid makes its own tracks . . . shall be back if I may . . .
Welcome back! And I am envious of your sunshine right now…
What a wonderful challenge and your photos are marvelous with all the Christmas scenes.
Thank you, Anne – glad you liked the theme and the images. Memories!
Beautiful images, memories, and words are all in this post. Yes, this Christmas will be different – but I sense you are going to make the best of it. Merry Christmas to you … and enjoy your blog break because blog breaks are good.
Thank you, Frank – and I hope we all are going to try making the best of it! I hope you are well and safe – just contact me if you find a theme suitable! Merry Christmas and hopes for a Better Year. The blog break will be from LAPC.
Your place is quite Christmas 🙂 lovely to have all who you care about there
Brian, I just hope everything will work out for the best. We are allowed to meet inside our families, maximum 8 persons – and we will be 6. But Emma has to go by train – we are advised not to go by train or bus if it isn’t absolutely necessary. But she has taken all precautions. Are you going to celebrate together?
Yes. Two Christmases, one on Christmas Day with K’s family and then with my girls a few days later 🙂
I just can’t get enough of all the beautiful Christmas visuals and stories. I enjoy the run-up to the big day more than anything. The decorating, baking, planning, gift-buying, cards, wrapping, and more. This year our Christmas looks very different although we are thankfully going to be isolating with part of our immediate family. To compensate for some of the things I miss, I’m in the middle of a 12-day series of Christmas-themed posts, this one about angels. Thanks for this challenge topic.
We also love the upstarting – And we are only 6 persons, the closest family. In Sweden we are allowed to meet 8 persons, and only from your own family.
We will be just 5 this year, with our daughter’s family. I will miss my Mom and my brother and his family. Guidelines here are for 10, but I think many are, unfortunately, ignoring it. Thankfully, we can FaceTime.
Yes – thank you for our technology!
Lovely memories and it sounds like you will have a lovely Christmas too. We don’t really bother any more and there will be no mixing of households. But I look forward to the winter solstice and the gradual extension of light, though it will be the end of January before it is noticeable. Here’s to a better year ahead and many more happy memories.
Cheers, Jude! Thank you for this year… and I guess you noticed I am ahead of my time again…Covidsyndrome?
Ah, yes, I did notice you are still on a different calendar to the rest of us, but figured you were just giving us a bit more time ☺️
Our days are longer and brighter, Ann Christine. We have friends here, but no family, and certainly no children. We haven’t made plans as we expected to be in England. So, Christmas will come and go… another day! And we will try to be grateful for what we have. Wishing you peace, joy, and a lot more light in your life 🙂 🙂 Thank you for your lovely posts.
And thank you for Your lovely posts, Jo! Yes, this year has taught us much patience, gratitude for what we have got and the fact that we can take nothing for granted. Surely 2021 cannot be worse than 2020?
I’m reserving judgement, hon 🙂 We went to a Portuguese carol concert this evening, then booked flights to the UK at Easter. We’ll see how that goes… 🙂
Good. And yes…I have booked a surprise flight and stay for my husband’s 70th birthday in July. I am not sure it will be possible…Never give up hoping though.
Beautiful post ! Happy holidays:)
Thank you, Sheetal – happy Holidays to you as well!
Wishing you a Happy Holiday season and a Happy/Healthy 2021!
Thank you, Chava – wishing for you as well! And surely 2021 cannot be worse than 2020…?
That’s a nice and varied selection. The last photo of the tree is really nice.
Thanks for the mention. I’ll have to see what I can come up with for this challenge.
Thank you, David – I’m still hoping for wsome frost this year…but nothing in sight. The family winter walk with the tree was 2018.
I don’t think we’ve been above freezing since it crept above 0°C on Monday. We’ve had another 75 mm of snow since we last compared weather.
THis is a gorgeous post filled with many memories and happy Christmases. I so love the tree in your last photo 😀
Thank you, Cee – memories to treasure this year. And every year. Hope you will have a lovely Christmas with your family!