Every year I write a letter to accompany my "Christmas" Cards. I use it to catch folks up on our lives (those who aren't following the play-by-play on Instagram!). And it is an amazing way to notice, remember, and celebrate all the amazing milestones of the year. Well, this year this tradition looked a little different. The pandemic has changed so many things, and the Christmas letter did not escape. I printed the letter on lavender paper and included a family photo. No Christmas card. No mention of the holiday at all. And I mailed about half the amount I normally do. Every day is a good day to start something, or finish something too. Here is the content of that letter. Thank you for being part of my year.
Photo by Jamie Hunter (Snapshots of Morning Photography)
Wow folks. Just. Wow. This year has been SOMETHING ELSE! When I look back at the past 12 months, I can barely wrap my head around all that we have been through, and all that the world has been put through this year. There have been some lows that’s for sure, but there have also been some magical, shiny moments.
2020 Wrap Up
Let’s get the sucky bits out of the way. Generally (obviously) COVID, the climate crisis, and the epic violence against BIPOC. Our camping gear was stolen. No grade 9 grad ceremony (although Lucas might count that in the win column). Ditto for online schooling. I sprained my ankle big time in the summer, the same week I was convinced I had COVID. Spoiler alert, it was just a two-week-long panic attack. Dan was laid off for a bit in the spring, and my Mom was diagnosed with cancer in the fall.
And now for the shiny bits! We were grateful to be able to go on our two traditional Jasper trips: downhill skiing in January, and hiking in November. Lucas’s Grad & Birthday (15!) parties in the park. He started grade 10, got a new computer, and helped replace the battery in Mom’s car. He & I went camping together for a night in July in borrowed gear, then Dan & I went camping at Elk Island Park in September to celebrate my 40th birthday. Dan & I also made it up to Grande Cache for a great hike, which inspired my “On Saturday We Hike” club. We have done 15 hikes as of the writing of this letter. I successfully moved Art Night online, and have had attendees from Seattle, Dallas, Jasper, & Athabasca join our little Edmonton group. My 2020 Accountability Club moved online as well, and we’re all getting to be quite proficient at Google Meet! I left my Fruits of Sherbrooke Board position - after recording an amazing video with Yeg Stories - and started writing blogs for Waste Free Edmonton. I also finally launched my Not Ladylike Community website, and am excited to grow all my big ideas. Offline, Dan & I were busy with the house this year. Ripped out 90% of the grass in our front yard to create an edible garden, added a “green” patio to the backyard, and Dan just finished re-roofing our garage (with help from his brother Matt). Dan took on a few side projects this year, and was a big help as we moved Grannie & Pa out of their home and into a “home”. We said goodbye to our van “Delilah” and added “Mabel” the Mazda 5 to the family! Lisa left Kimberley Homes after 7+ years and is moving on to Boyle McCauley’s Pathways to Housing Program.
We hope you are holding the folks in your cohort tight, staying home if you can, and wearing a mask when you do have to go out! 2020 will go down in history as one of the wildest years of my life, and I am so grateful for all the shiny and the sucky bits. And I am grateful for you. Take care of each other. Love Lisa, Dan & Lucas