Different Kind of Christmas

This Year’s Christmas is One for the Books

By Jeff Salter

This week’s topic is certainly timely: how will we spend Christmas this year?

Gosh, folks… there’s hardly any aspect of our lives that the CoVid-19 virus – and/or our political / scientific / personal reactions to it – hasn’t affected dramatically (for the past 10 months).

So it is with these year-end holidays.

We’ve already gone through a Thanksgiving season for which the national and state pundits warned us – or in some places actually FORBADE us – about assembling in certain numbers in certain conditions. Good grief! I refuse to turn this blog into a political rant, but I certainly believe families are educated enough to make their own decisions about travel and family events… provided they are armed with the best available – NON-political – scientific and medical information.

That said, my wife and I are both in the so-called “high-risk” group – meaning “old people” – so we’re being very careful anyway. And we’re masking where and when we’re told to — not trying to make waves and not wanting to endanger any other citizens. But whether we choose to assemble with our own family members is – or should be – our own decision.

We’ve made what I believe are prudent choices.

For Thanksgiving, we had two family households (7 people, total) assemble OUT-OF-DOORS to eat our dinner. We kept several feet apart, and I stayed close to the fire because it was downright chilly out there.

The plans for Christmas – tomorrow – have changed significantly and often. As it stands currently, we will assemble the same two family households (4 adults + 3 grandkids) but it will have to be indoors… since the outside temperatures are forecast to be around 20 degrees (our coldest day this season, so far). We’ll keep distances in mind… and likely won’t linger for a long afternoon.

Final Word

Just to be perfectly clear: I DO take the CoVid issue seriously. Not only have I had friends hospitalized with CoVid, but our own son has had it (and, thankfully, came through okay). Plus my 98-year-old mom (in a local nursing home) tested positive and was quarantined for some 17 days. So, yes, I take it very seriously.

Christmases Past

I’ve already been through some unusual Christmases… so I feel able to cope with this one. For Christmas 1972, I was a world away — stuck in the sunless Arctic Night of Thule Air Base in N.W. Greenland, hardly 900 miles from the North Pole. No family whatsoever, and only the friends (& co-workers) I’d made for the periods our tours intersected up there.

In Christmas of 1973, my wife, young son, and I were in Sacramento (where I was stationed) and had no contact with other family… except for a phone call.
In Christmas of 1975, my wife had just been released from the hospital maternity ward, and our infant daughter was still in the hospital nursery being treated for complications.

There were other odd Christmases during some of those intervening years. But I recall at least one – either 2017 or 2018 – where I was here (in Possum Trot) alone, with my mom in her cottage down the hill. My wife had traveled to Louisiana to visit with our son and his family; my daughter had traveled with her family to visit her in-laws in Texas. I took a prepared meal over to my mom’s place and gave her the gifts we’d gotten for her. Other than that, I was alone (except for Bojangles). I survived. Even though it felt a bit unusual, it wasn’t the end of the world. I can cope.

Childhood Christmases

For a look at some of my childhood Christmases, check out this blog from a few years ago:



What about YOU? What was your most unusual Christmas?

[JLS # 520]

About Jeff Salter

Currently writing romantic comedy, screwball comedy, and romantic suspense. Fourteen completed novels and four completed novellas. Working with three royalty publishers: Clean Reads, Dingbat Publishing, & TouchPoint Press/Romance. "Cowboy Out of Time" -- Apr. 2019 /// "Double Down Trouble" -- June 2018 /// "Not Easy Being Android" -- Feb. 2018 /// "Size Matters" -- Oct. 2016 /// "The Duchess of Earl" -- Jul. 2016 /// "Stuck on Cloud Eight" -- Nov. 2015 /// "Pleased to Meet Me" (novella) -- Oct. 2015 /// "One Simple Favor" (novella) -- May 2015 /// "The Ghostess & MISTER Muir" -- Oct. 2014 /// "Scratching the Seven-Month Itch" -- Sept. 2014 /// "Hid Wounded Reb" -- Aug. 2014 /// "Don't Bet On It" (novella) -- April 2014 /// "Curing the Uncommon Man-Cold -- Dec. 2013 /// "Echo Taps" (novella) -- June 2013 /// "Called To Arms Again" -- (a tribute to the greatest generation) -- May 2013 /// "Rescued By That New Guy in Town" -- Oct. 2012 /// "The Overnighter's Secrets" -- May 2012 /// Co-authored two non-fiction books about librarianship (with a royalty publisher), a chapter in another book, and an article in a specialty encyclopedia. Plus several library-related articles and reviews. Also published some 120 poems, about 150 bylined newspaper articles, and some 100 bylined photos. Worked about 30 years in librarianship. Formerly newspaper editor and photo-journalist. Decorated veteran of U.S. Air Force (including a remote ‘tour’ of duty in the Arctic … at Thule AB in N.W. Greenland). Married; father of two; grandfather of six.
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8 Responses to Different Kind of Christmas

  1. Patricia Kiyono says:

    To answer your final question, I guess my most unusual Christmas was in 1980, when I was on a Caribbean cruise. It was odd being away from my family, and it was odd not having to bundle up to go outdoors. I was fine with dressing up in a formal gown and having the extravagant Christmas meal served to us by tuxedoed waiters. I met some interesting characters. But as you said about your unusual holidays, I survived. Glad you and your family are staying healthy. Merry Christmas!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jeff Salter says:

      wow — fancy clothes, elegant waiters, interesting food, exotic locale! Sounds like the kind of Christmas some people would kill for.
      In fact, wouldn’t that make a great novel?


  2. I’ve been very proud of us for keeping the blog away from political and controversial subjects…and keeping it clean. In fact, the cover letter that I send with interviews asks that they stay away from such topics, and I have contacted more than one interviewee to tell them that a word or phrase must be omitted or changed.
    That being said, I will tell you tomorrow of the unusual Christmas we had right after we were married. Other than that, growing up we had cold weather generally, however, one year we had temperatures near 80. No one could wear any of the heavy Christmas outfits they had planned on, and all of the windows were open. My aunt wanted to go for a walk, and many of the kids in my neighborhood were not only NOT dressed up, they were playing in their yards wearing shorts. My mother generally kept her real Christmas trees up way too long, but since it was so warm, the needles began falling right away and she took it down because it was a fire hazard.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Elaine Cantrell says:

    Most of my Christmases have been fairly routine, but there is one that stands out from when I was a child. Santa Clause brought me a horse for Christmas, but Christmas Day was icy and freezing. All the family dinners were cancelled, and I didn’t get to ride that horse I had so desperately wanted. But like you said, I survived just fine.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Your small Christmas sounds cozy.
    The most unusual Christmas I had was when I was very little. My two older brothers and myself all came down with the chicken pox. On Christmas Eve my mom went to her parents’ to get our gifts and deliver the ones we had for those relatives. We couldn’t go there for Christmas Eve and Christmas day we couldn’t go to the farm but my grandparents (dad’s parents) came into town to see us. It was a quiet Christmas and even though we were all sick and I was disappointed that we couldn’t see anyone I remember being thrilled when my grandparents came into town the day after Christmas just to see us.

    Liked by 1 person

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