2020 was the first Christmas in my entire life where I wasn’t at home with my parents in Belleville. So it didn’t feel especially Christmassy.
Ellen and I closed on our new house earlier in December. It’s going to be a while before we move in, as there’s significant renovation work ahead. A bunch of my focus over the break was just getting over there and trying to get a feel for what we’ve gotten ourselves into and what needs to be done. In summary: a lot.
Given that Ellen and I just bought each other a house, we didn’t really go in for gifts or anything. Her mom cooked a turkey, which was nice, but didn’t feel much like Christmas dinner. She’d stayed up all night cooking and had to go to bed and left me to carve in the morning. I took a plate over to Ellen later. We’re not really set up for family gathering, even between the three of us.
I have a group of friends (originally from CTRL-A) who, in the before-time, would get together every week at the Princess Cafe for coffee. We’ve managed keep that going via Discord, which has been helpful in maintaining a modicum of sanity in these unprecedented times. We’ve taken to also watching an occasional movie together with voice chat.
We watched Die Hard together for Christmas. And we decided to do another movie night last night as a shallow substitute for our usual New Years Eve party. We watched What We Do in the Shadows, which was pretty great.
Afterwards, Ellen and I rang in the New Year over the phone, Ellen watching a rotation of TV New Years specials and me celebrating Countdown with my Animal Crossing villagers.
So here we are in 2021. New possibilities lie ahead. Our five-year housing search has finally borne fruit. It’s not over, and home-ownership type stresses have replaced previous will-we-find-a-place type stresses. But at least there are new problems for us to deal with, along with a clearer path forward. 2020 was a pretty shitty year in most regards, but it gave us that, at least.