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    • #15605
      Jenny Livingston

      As we head into fall and the holiday season, I’ve been thinking about the ways in which our seasonal family traditions will be different this year. My extended family is very close and we generally have large family celebrations for all the major holidays.

      Halloween is a favorite of ours and we usually celebrate with an outdoor carnival party: food, games, costumes and contests. I’m not sure if it’ll be safe or reasonable to keep those plans in light of the pandemic. Thanksgiving this year won’t include extended family crowded around a table, eating and laughing together. Neither will Christmas. And while I understand that these changes are temporary and for good reason (we truly don’t want to put our family members at risk) it’s still a little sad to think about.

      What are some of your favorite family/holiday traditions? How will those plans and traditions be affected by the pandemic? What will the holidays look like for you? 

    • #15619
      Paul met Debbie

      For us, Halloween is not a tradition in the Netherlands, but the Christmas time is, starting with Advent. Years ago we mostly got together with family to share a special dinner, but the last few years the common cold or flu managed to find at least one of the participants (not us fortunately), so we had to cancel our visit quite often. This year of course will be even more prone to that, so now we prepare again for a Christmas together which, to be honest, feels even more special.

      In the months before, we like to stock up with a lot of little presents which we then put in a closet and forget about, so the unpacking is always very surprising. Most of those are books we want to read in the months after Christmas. Recently we rediscovered our fountain pens, bought some new ones and I guess a couple of nice new inks will find their way into the Christmas surprise stock as well.

      This is also a time for listening to and playing music and for poetry (reading and writing) and an occasional movie – we recently bought the dvd of The Little Prince – Le Petit Prince, a 2015 animation movie by Mark Osborne after the great book of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. We saw the movie in the cinema a couple of years ago and rejoice watching it again at home. We still have some books with Zen poems, prayers, sermons, anecdotes and interviews which we look forward to reading and contemplating in the winter months.

      Since our little school has a winter-break in the first quarter, Debbie will probably do a lot of painting and drawing for herself in these months which I consider a privilege and joy to watch. She is currently studying the work and life of Paul Klee (1879-1940), a Swiss-German artist who we think had a particular awakened approach to art. We have two enormous books about him that will serve excellently for that purpose.

      Writing about this, the holiday feeling has surged already – while in the middle of a little September heat wave!


    • #15620
      Jenny Livingston

      Paul, this sounds delightful and I while reading it, I find myself feeling the holiday spirit, too. Also, it is always evident in your posts how much you love Debbie and the life you have together.

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