Nostalgia:a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations.
This Christmas is different. It is 2020, afterall. It has been a year for cookie appreciation, Christmas cards, neighbors, and games. Fruitcakes are delicious again. Mailing a package is extra special. Seeing a decorated tree in a window and driving to see lights has brightened our days. Sometimes you know a word, and then one day you really know a word. I really know notalgia now.
I remember when mailing Christmas cards felt like an overwhelming chore. This year, we especially cherished every card to land in our mailbox, and even mailed out a few ourselves. We even took a walk around the neighborhood to deliver a few by hand with the most delicious cookies from Magees in Maysville. Mailing cards and gifts was a great way to support the USPS. We even got to checkout the old Washington, Kentucky post office in the process. It resides on the street on the outskirts of Maysville full of historic cabin-like buildings built in the 1700’s.
We made sure to check out our electrician’s light display, upon his recommendation. He did not disappoint! Perriee hooked up a tree she found in the trailer onto a timer so it turned on each night for us to peek at from the house. When I called our neighbors to compliment their lights, I thanked them, and then said, “Sorry, I know you did not hang them for us.” and my neighbor responded, “Oh, we did”. I will never forget that.
One thing we really wanted to do this holiday is support our favorite Newport, Kentucky is 7th Street Gifts. The owner of this little shop has been a figure of positivity in the community for as long as I lived there. We have witnessed her character and love for the community shine so many times and were so excited to put an order in for over four pounds of delicious soap. We could smell it before we opened the box. Our bathroom smells like love and so do we!
In return of our deliveries, a couple of our neighbors returned the favor, with pumpkin roll, the best fruitcake we had ever eaten and some homegrown beef. that next year, may be fed by the grass from our very own field. It deepened the feeling of home and connection which is so special during this time of separation and physical distancing.
Our receipt of several dozen cookies from my step-mom in Cleveland has never been so welcome. These are the cookies I grew up eating. In recent holidays, I would just pick at them, these traditional recipes, generations old. To me, they represent history from both my dad’s family and my step-mom’s. We have been devouring them. They have never tasted so delicious.
Homework: Put forth good energy.
The days are getting longer again because of the passing of this year’s solstice. We did it again! Perriee and I made sure to take advantage of the celestial event with a fire, a smudge stick that my sister made and a bottle of my favorite wine. As we burned our old mail, we made sure to state a positive change, a blessing, or words gratitude for each item that was tossed into the fire. For every Terminix mailer, we declared the eradication of termites for both this house and the one we left. It went on and on, for old mortgage mail, medical reminders, envelopes from friends and family. It is like goal setting: if you don’t declare your intentions, how can you grow and change?