Christmas Elves

My 2020 advent calendar ended by describing Jesus with the verse “For a child is born to us, a child is given, upon his shoulder dominion rests. They name him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace”. I expect it to have 25 flap, but it had only 24. One of many things missing from Christmas this year.

My Christmases usually involve several family parties and interstate drives.

As 2020 ground to an end, COVID19 numbers consistently got worse, and my siblings and I gradually admitted we weren’t going anywhere. On Christmas Eve, my boyfriend discovered he hadn’t told his mom he’d invited me over Christmas morning, and his family decided to exchange presents on Christmas eve instead. This conflicted with the candlelight church service I’d hoped to attend, striking my last two remaining plans in a single blow. 2020 taught me the more I have to give up, the less generous I want to be. My boyfriend offered to be a Christmas elf with me, and that generosity made for sweet Christmas.

We made Christmas food, including a birthday cake for Jesus. We left off the candles and frosted crucifix (blown spittle and roman torture device, when you think about it). His mom put a toilet paper roll on top of the tree, referencing the toilet paper shortages. The gifts were lovely and thoughtful.

I kept my mask on until we ate, partly because I think I scared his little sister, who retreated to her bedroom right before we ate.

In the morning, my boyfriend picked me up, borrowed his father’s ladder, and drove to my twin brother’s house. He’d just bought his first home, and the previous owners took the garage door opener with them! We got him a new garage door opener for Christmas. The instructions on the garage door opener promised we could install it in two hours, but we weren’t fooled. It took us four. We stayed in the garage, away from my brother, who gave the elves cookies, presents, a drill bit, and a lightbulb. I’m quite proud of our installation job.

I’m grateful we made it through 2020 together. We’ve been lucky. We’ve worked from home, which is lonely, but productive and paid. His mother was once a prepper, so we have proper N100 masks. Only two people I know got

COVID19 (Mrs. Smith, who’s fine, and Pat H., who died serving as a New York City nurse). God’s held me close this year, and I’ve finally read through the entire bible. Unable to shop, I’ve paid off all my student loans. I go for daily walks and play battleship by telephone with my mom. I was a poll supervisor in the 2020 election without incident, and all but one voter wore a mask. Despite protests ripping across the nation, my town is peaceful. I’m learning to cook, and to cut myself slack, and to pray. I pray 2021 is better.