Did you think this day would never come? As I've mentioned many times before, this year has seemed to drag and yet speed by simultaneously. And here we are on the cusp of a new year, full of possibilities. It's weird to look back at this day in 2019. So many people choose a "word of the year"--hope, focus, creativity. Who knew that what lay ahead would be something not seen in the last 100 years?
We mourn for all the lives lost, we hope the vaccine brings our world (that is what often boggles my mind--that the entire world is struggling) to at least the beginning of a more "normal" life, although I doubt that life will ever be as we knew it before the beginning of 2020.
In the meantime, just a little recap of the last week of 2020 in the Wiens household.
So....Christmas. We are not big gift givers. Our big family "gift" is a couple of days at the coast right after the New Year, a tradition we will once again enjoy since we are in the same "bubble." But I digress. Buying gifts is not the holiday activity that causes me the most stress. Not by a long shot. It is figuring out the annual Christmas scavenger hunt. Seriously.
Years ago, my dear friend, Dotty, told me about the scavenger hunt she organizes each year for her grandchildren to find their gifts. I thought it was such a genius idea that Mark and I started having a scavenger hunt each year as well. The kids love it. It brings me more stress from Thanksgiving until Christmas trying to figure it out. Christa has told me multiple times that we don't have to do a scavenger hunt. But I think she forgets that the kids start asking about it as early as Thanksgiving! So...not having one is simply not an option. Our grandchildren range in age from 14 down to 7. The hunt must be hard enough for the two older ones, yet easy enough for the two younger ones. There was one year we had to come up with two sets of clues. Doubly stressful.
Waiting for the hunt to begin...
This year, early in the month I read somewhere about stringing yarn throughout the house and making them follow the yarn to find their gifts. Four sets of yarn? At first we thought, bingo, that's IT! However, neither of us could sleep Christmas Eve thinking about the logistics of that. At 3 a.m. Christmas morning I was busy googling scavenger hunt ideas. I found a site that had riddles (rather than rhymes) and so at about 3:30 a.m. I purchased it. At breakfast, we both said the yarn idea was garbage. I told Mark about the riddles and so here we were hours away from the "hunt," trying to figure it out. I mentioned that it was too bad we hadn't saved some toilet paper rolls to write the clues on, because that would be appropriate for 2020. Right? Mark reminded me that he uses toilet paper rolls to keep his electrical cords in order. We rounded up a couple, including a paper towel roll that we cut into thirds, and commenced writing clues on them.
We wrapped the first clue in some toilet paper and put it in a bag.
We told the kids they would have to work together as a team, and that the final clue was Ella's to solve: "Ella's favorite place two days a week," which is pretty much a joke--we hid all the gifts under the desk she uses for the two days she has school at our house--and it is most definitely NOT her favorite place. Ha!
We hid them behind a bunch of quilts.
Levi even reached behind all those quilts and actually touched one of those bags, but then said, "Nope, nothing here," before we told them all to go back and have a closer look.
All in all, they said it was their favorite scavenger hunt to date. So much for last-minute planning. But I don't want to cut it that close next year, that's for sure!
We had a delicious dinner. Aaron smoked tri-tip on his Traeger, Christa made potatoes, broccolini and bread, Mark made homemade applesauce, and Charlotte made individual cheesecakes with cherry topping.
Our dishwasher is broken (thanks for that, 2020, although I realize a broken dishwasher is a First World problem), so Christa and the kids took care of the dishes.
In the last week, I have been going through drawers and cabinets like crazy. I could feel the decluttering feelings starting about mid December. Lots of things were donated to the thrift store (lots of games, and collectibles, like glassware and dishes, that are a thrifter's dream find) and lots of things were tossed (old cosmetics--who even wears makeup any more??). I still have clothing to go through and the ongoing sewing room organization, which seems to be never ending.
Our New Year's Eve celebration was different. We couldn't have dinner with our friends at a local Chinese restaurant, and then go pick up Ella to spend the night while the rest of the family spent the night with their friends and stayed up until midnight. Nope. None of that was happening. So instead we dressed up--at least from the waist up (we wore our comfy sweatpants), got some Chinese take out, put our kitchen table in the family room, lit a candle, and watched some movies (Soul--not a huge fan, Trading Places--always a good choice) while eating. It was a good way to end the year.
Thanks to all of you who have read some of these posts throughout the year, and especially those of you who leave comments. What used to be primarily a quilting blog has become more of a weekly diary of what's happening in my family, so I appreciate you so much. I realized as I wrote this that there are at least five quilts I finished in 2020 that I never even posted about. So here's to hoping that 2021 will be a return to quilting as well.
As usual, stay safe and healthy. Hope to see you in 2021.