Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay 

The holidays may be a bit less than this year. They look different, they feel different, and many of us are bypassing those turkey and ham dinners for fried chicken, pizza, or even take-out from our favorite Mexican place. But as we settle in to watch those holiday movies and start decorating our tree, there’s one thing that still remains the same, and that is taking the time to realize how very blessed we are.

In a recent article for Medium, I wrote about how I was managing this year and how to avoid the ho-hum in the holiday season. Often getting involved helps ease the loneliness, taking to online action rather than face to face during this time. While we can’t necessarily be at the homes of our loved ones, we can send a photo with a loving message, we can still call, we can still somehow virtually all get together. Yes, we may be in a pandemic, and yes, these times have taken a toll, but what we need now more than ever is to see the very foundation of the friendships and bonds that do keep us going, the people that offer support even from miles away, who always show up to offer a word or two of wisdom or encouragement.

I have a few very dear, close, tried and true friends who live almost 1,300 miles away, and yet, even though there is a distance, the love between us makes it feel that they are there in my kitchen. I don’t know what else to call it besides love, they step up when needed, check-in when I tend to be silent, listen when I need an ear, and always, manage to leave me with a smile on my face by the end of our conversation or they leave me with a sense of peace and understanding. Commonality and good conversation really can’t be beat. Although we are not commiserating over a glass of wine or five-star meal, it feels like we are; 2020 has taken much away, but it also taught us the value of true friendship, who is going to be there, no matter what, even when we cannot physically be together. They know, in return, that I will offer the same rapport when they are needing it as well. That’s what has kept us going for so many years, it’s like a big hug, it surrounds you with all the feels.

Maybe that’s the true gift in all of this, we pull those that we love a little closer, we take comfort in snuggling with a pet, and getting wet puppy kisses or purrs, we appreciate that time spent at home a little more, those beautiful moonlit nights, stargazing from our balcony or patio, knowing that the very same light that shines on us is also shining on them and maybe we aren’t so isolated after all.

A grateful heart sees beauty in simple things. Maybe this time just taught us to appreciate what’s real, what is everlasting.