Christmas may or may not be white, but it won’t be blue either

Closeup of knitted heart Christmas decoration on a Christmas tree with snow outdoors. Celebration, winter and holidays concept
Closeup of knitted heart Christmas decoration on a Christmas tree with snow outdoors. Celebration, winter and holidays concept

Credit: Shutterstock

Credit: Shutterstock

The National Retail Federation predicted a month ago that this year’s holiday spending would grow between 3.6 and 5.2 percent over 2019.

In a news release, Matthew Shay, the trade organization’s president and CEO, said consumers were excited about the holidays and willing “to spend on gifts that lift the spirits of family and friends after such a challenging year.”

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Sounds at least half right to me.

Amelia Robinson
Amelia Robinson

Credit: Lisa Powell

Credit: Lisa Powell

I am not exactly “excited” about this Christmas, but I certainty shelled out a little extra money for gifts this year in the name of holiday cheer.

Cheer is critical.

Perhaps part of the reason is that while I’ll be at my house for Christmas, I won’t be home for the holiday that has meant togetherness since before I realized why “I saw Santa Kissing Mommy” is kind of naughty.

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The coronavirus pandemic means not being with family in the same way.

There won’t be a wrapping paper ripping frenzy on Christmas Day as we exchange gifts.

I won’t eat extra, extra servings of my mother’s dressing and mac and cheese. I won’t drink too much grown up punch and “sing” karaoke in my brother’s living room. I won’t snicker at my aunt for only sort of getting the outrageousness written on the Cards Against Humanity cards.

I won’t lounge around with my mom all weekend long, binging on extremely bad ID TV and scandal-filled Lifetime movies. It is going to be freezing today, but I don’t know if we’ll get enough snow for the White Christmas nearly everyone loves.

I’ll be thinking of you and them, but I contend it won’t be as blue as that one classic Christmas song made famous by Elvis suggests.

The Grinch could not steal Christmas’ true gifts and neither can COVID-19.

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I am grateful that life’s real gifts cannot fit under any one tree and do not come wrapped in a red bow.

I’ve long known this, but I appreciate all the silly memories even more because new ones won’t be made this year.

If things go as planned, I will Zoom with my extended family today. We are here, which is something that is not true for the more than 320,000 people who have died of coronavirus in the United States alone.

If things go as planned, we will be back together next year. If things go as I hope they will, we will value all we missed this year when we can have it in abundance.

Tighter hugs. Harder laughs. More time on the couch with ID TV and Lifetime.

Columnist Amelia Robinson is this newspaper’s community impact editor.

NOTE: Local residents shared their New Year’s wishes for the Dayton area with us on Facebook? What are yours? Send 200 words or less to edletter@coxinc.com for consideration in an upcoming edition. Include a daytime phone number, your full name and the city in which you reside.

“My New Year’s hope for the Dayton area is that all the children and teens receive all the social, emotional and educational support they need.” ― Kelsee Kay

“Politicians who really care and listen to the people.”― Susan Hanley

“To find the common ground and relearn the importance of respecting one another. Showing appreciation not constantly criticizing. Slowing down and finding the joy.” ― Dave Seyer

“My hope is that the arts are able to return and we can see audiences in our theatres and visitors in our museums and galleries.” ― Michael Roediger

“That Dayton stays Dayton Strong. There are beautiful, smart, talented and caring people in this city. We have a long way to go but we’ve got this.” ― Susan Hesselgesser

“I hope that we have hope. We can beat this, but it takes all of us. It’s in all of our power to make a difference. Get the vaccine, when your name is called. Mask up. Reach out to the most vulnerable with support and a loving heart.” ― Teri Rizvi

“The thing I missed the most during lockdown was the library. Even now, it’s restricted and empty. I look forward to a busy library and a concert at the new Levitt Pavilion. Went last year and was very excited for this year. I also can’t wait for a show at the Schuster and Victoria. I’ve always taken advantage of the fabulous culture Dayton offers. Sat on the riverfront several times this year eating some of Dayton’s great food.”― Dianne Bailey

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