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  • Elisa Brazell


Well, first I'd watch all the holiday plans I had made fall off my calendar and I'd cry. Then I'd feel angry and I'd probably direct that anger first at the frustrating virus and pandemic causing so much upheaval and disruption, and then at the people who made the tough decision to put the lockdown in place.

I'd then I'd realize there wasn't much I could do about it as a regular ol' citizen, so I'd pull myself up by my boot straps and decide to make the very best of the situation.



The Night of Lights tradition is a highlight of my Christmas season. The kids look forward to it too.

You know how the holiday season sometimes feels so busy you barely get a moment to relax? Well, this is a scheduled holiday retreat and feast for the senses!

1. Just turn off all of your overhead lights, and turn on all of your Christmas lights, light all your candles, pyramids, lanterns...any decoration that gives off light should be turned on.

2. Turn on Josh Groben's O Holy Night Pandora station on 😉 Or your choice of amazing Christmas music. Turn it up.

3. Sit on your couch with a hot chocolate in hand and cuddle up in a soft blanket.

4. If you have kids, set a timer for at least 4 minutes and offer a motivating reward if they can sit silently during that time.

5. Contemplate the true meaning of Christmas. Turn your focus to a Nativity scene.

6. Take it all in. Feel the power of light. Allow the sound and message of the music to touch your heart.


If meeting in person is not happening this year, have your party over Zoom!

You can

🎅share talents

🎄read stories, like "The Night Before Christmas"

🎅screen share the kids' school Christmas music program

🎄eat your favorite Christmas dessert together (each household will of course have to prepare your own and then eat it together on Zoom!

AND... make sure you try out the SCAVENGER HUNT!

1. Each household creates a list of 10 Christmas related things for the others to search their own house for.

2. Plan to either show it on your screen or text it over.

3. Put a stopwatch on and tell the other teams "GO" to start their search. Watch while they run throughout their house shouting items to each other 😂

4. First team back with all or the most of the 10 items wins.

Other rules:

If the first team to arrive back does not own or cannot find one of the items, they can't win...unless another team has the same problem. Team who presented the list can judge ties, whether items count, and determine the final winner.


If your lockdown rules allow, bundle up in winter gear (if you're celebrating in a place where it's cold) and walk around your neighborhood and enjoy the lights. If you're not feeling up to walking, drive around. There's just something absolutely magical about those colored twinkling lights, especially strung around tree branches. And it's an added bonus if you can head out on that walk in falling snow.


So much of Christmas these days is commercial. Sometimes simplifying and dialing it back to the original reason Christmas became a holiday helps get back to the basics. Have you ever thought of the "mas" part of the word Christmas? In Spanish "mas" (with an accent) means "more". To Catholics, "Mass" is a worship service.

Christmas = More Christ or Worship Christ.

Years ago, we noticed the tree was full of presents for everyone, except the one who's party it was.

We started a Christmas tradition of giving Christ a present to include Him in our celebration...about him. Christ's gift is a little red box that is placed under our tree the whole holiday season.

"How do we give Christ a gift" you may ask? Well, we discuss with our children, "What do you think would make Jesus happy? Is there something you could do or work on to put a smile on His face?"

This scripture in 1 Timothy 6:17-19 is a good guide.

"Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;
That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;
Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life." 

We designate a day in December to meet as a family and write our gift to Jesus on a paper and place it in the box. Since my gift is usually something I want to work on throughout the year to become more like Him, I make a copy and keep it on my vision board.

We open the box and read the gifts from the year before, hoping that we remembered our commitment to Jesus.


2020 has no doubt been a hard year across the world. Covid 19 has wreaked havoc not only on many people's physical health, but also their mental, emotional and social health.

But you know what? We can choose how we react to hardships. We can choose to make Christmas 2020 the most meaningful, memorable Christmas yet,

even in a Grinchy Lockdown

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