2020 Christmas Letter

Publish December 19th, 2020

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Dear Friends and Family,

Reflecting back, it is hard not to feel in awe of the events of the last year. COVID-19 has reminded us that we’re on a little rock, tumbling through space, and it is possible to find yourself in a situation where there are no good options. The universe does not owe us a hero and a happy ending. With that in mind, it is hard not to feel a little bit lucky that we seem to be heading for at least an okay ending. At least for those of us that made it.

Our household has survived, so far, intact and healthy. And for that we are very grateful.

This is also the season that we celebrate Amelia’s birthday; the 20th of this month. The shift to working at home means we spent so much more time with our daughter than we would have otherwise. The lack of a commute meant almost an additional two hours of playtime with her each day. It meant we didn’t have to rush through dinners on the way to bedtime. It means we saw each other for lunch, and we always read her a story (or three) before her nap. Work has never felt more balanced with life.

In the last year, Amelia has gone from barely walking to running, jumping, and climbing. When we take walks in parks, she will let go of our hands and rush ahead on her own. She discovered playgrounds and knows what they are for. She is curious about the other children around her and tries to communicate with them.

It is all very wonderful.

Years prior to this, I had never spent much effort on decorating. We had two sets of white lights that I wrapped around shrubs in the front of our yard and called it good. This year I felt compelled to do something different.

So we bought lights; lots and lots of lights. They’re on the roof. On the trees. On the fence. There is a giant, inflatable polar bear in our driveway, and an even larger t-rex holding a present in our front garden.

And it is all to say: “We are still here. Even though we didn’t get to see you. Even though we didn’t get to celebrate birthdays with you. Even though we couldn't have picnics with you. And our children couldn’t play together. And when we talked, it felt like we were too far away. But we are still here. We hope you are too. We are still thinking about you. We miss you. We love you. And we hope to see you soon.”

And we hope this letter says the same thing.

We miss you dearly. Please be safe.

From our family to yours,

Aleks, Yuling, and Amelia