In normal years I blog after the bank holiday about what I did and the presents I was given. This year I realise so many people have had awful times that I thought long and hard about whether I should do it or not in 2020. In the end I decided to. I've been trying to keep the festive season as close as possible to what I traditionally do, and this is part of it.
Being pagan, my spiritual observances were at the Winter Solstice. I watched the sunrise livestreamed from Newgrange and later in the day lit a candle and made a wish for hope and happiness for all in the year to come. It wasn't a full ritual as I just felt too tired and stressed for it, but that's okay.
Part of the reason I was feeling stressed is that my central heating keeps breaking down. I've had an engineer out three times - including one visit on the Solstice itself - and he's going to have to come out a fourth time soon as the boiler still keeps failing to come on.
I normally visit friends and family on 25th and 26th December. This year those meetings were via Zoom, but the Tier 4 restrictions meant I couldn't even drive over to exchange gifts. My elderly relatives are in the process of being vaccinated - they had their first injection just before Christmas. I really hope I'll be able to see them for real, and hand over their presents, some time soon.
I've spent the long weekend holiday with my husband at home. We gave each other gifts (the photo at the top shows the lovely witchy things I got), played board games, cooked a roast dinner and drank wine. We also listened to the Queen's Speech on the telly. It was surprisingly moving as she recognised people of many different faiths who are doing wonderful things to help their local communities in these difficult times.
Today I'm going to be following another tradition among my friends - I'm going to be looking over my list of resolutions for 2020 and seeing what I achieved. I know that many of them simply weren't possible this year. Then I'll make a new list for 2021, and hoping that this time next year we are all able to visit our friends and family for real.