Roberta Whitney Hughes
Christmas Letter 2020
I will begin a bit cliche in an effort to acknowledge the truth of the matter. 2020 has been tough on all of us. As I write this, I understand that some of you reading this letter have suffered great loss. You may have lost a job or a loved one. You may have lost your freedom in coming and going as you please. You may have lost long time family traditions that couldn’t be safely repeated this year. You may have lost businesses that you loved that just couldn’t make it through these unprecedented conditions. You may have lost friends who showed their true colors that you had no idea ever existed. We have all, in some way, suffered loss from COVID.
While I feel it is important to acknowledge loss, I have also chosen to turn my focus towards the opportunity COVID has offered each of us. As I sit down to write this year’s Christmas letter, I write in the spirit of possibility. For me, the one thing COVID has made possible is the opportunity to create things newly. I have turned my heart towards creating new traditions, letting go of the pain of the past, and breathing life into the future.
Since my divorce in 2016, the holidays have been bittersweet. The traditions I had created for Connor and Noah didn’t feel the same. Making an attempt to keep them alive felt forced and sad. This year, with nowhere to go and fewer distractions, I was able to reflect on tradition. I realized that by trying to keep traditions from the past, I was creating sadness in the present. On Thanksgiving, it occurred to me that letting go of the past would give me the freedom to create a new future. The result? Well, there was struggle and strife leading up to Thanksgiving Day. There was a bit more on Thanksgiving morning. Then something switched. I realized how I could choose something new, and I put energy into stepping out of my comfort zone and pouring it into new traditions instead. I asked for help and enjoyed every moment. It was the most relaxing Thanksgiving I’ve ever had in my adult life. For this, I am grateful.
With Christmas just a few days away, I am continuing to create new traditions. My focus is not on keeping the familiar past alive, but instead on creating the future I want to step into with joy. This means I must continue to do things newly. So, I am changing my Christmas Eve menu, and I am changing my Christmas Day menu. I am even changing the way I wrap gifts and how I label them. While these small things may seem insignificant, they have been pillars in my inspiration of possibility.
As 2020 comes to an end and we all pray for for a happier, healthier 2021, take pause and reflect on the possibility COVID has afforded you. Even in the midst of loss and disappointment, goodness shines its light. While you may be celebrating Christmas differently this year, I invite you to turn towards the light. Breathe in the possibility of the future and carve the path that will lead you to joy.
Thank you for joining the PeaceFull Living family in 2020. May you have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy New Year!