Merry Christmas 2020 from Christina Dodd

If you’ve been reading my newsletters and blogs, you know that The Husband and I live on 5 ½ acres in the northwest corner of Washington state, and every year we go out into our woods, cut down a Douglas fir and use it as our Christmas tree. What you may not know is that we’ve been in our house for sixteen years and the nicely shaped trees are long gone leaving us with, shall we say, some trees that would make Martha Stewart rush to save us from our awful Christmas tree faux pas.

And she would be right to do so.

We make it worse by decorating with random, un-color coordinated bulbs. Some are older than we are, especially the ones from the Woolworths’ box, and the gilt is worn off. Some are homemade. I always put the decorations our kids made in pre-school on the tree. Some of the really old bulbs don’t have hangers, they have—brace yourselves—bobby pins. Why, you ask? Because, eons ago, the hooks went astray, as they are wont to do, (and where do they go???) and my older sisters, who were hairsprayed teenagers, twisted bobby pins into hooks.

The Husband and I always string white lights up the center of the tree, but the outer branches are hung with colored lights. This year, because the top of the tree was pretty weird, we had to chop it off, which made it too fat to fit our lighted tree topper, so a Santa hat crowns the 2020 tree.

Every year, no matter what the tree really looks like, we see it with loving eyes. We see good times, we see thoughtful gifts, we see future memories.

2020 has been like one of our natural trees, ugly and misshapen. But there have been some good times, we’ve decorated the year with our best intentions, and some moments of kindness have shone brightly. That makes 2020 worth remembering, and who knows? Maybe next year will be perfect…and if it’s not, maybe we’ll make it perfect. There is always hope.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and the best of whatever holiday you celebrate. And of course, Happy New Year, and God bless us, every one!

Christina Dodd
New York Times bestselling author


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