Can we talk about the holidays?

We’re right in the middle of the holiday season, which started at the end of November for those of us living in the U.S, so it’s only fitting that we talk about, yep, you guessed it. This can be a busy, and sometimes difficult time of year for a lot of people.

Today, I walked over to the store I used to live close by when I was a kid. The store had undergone renovations in the years that passed since I lived in the neighborhood, along with new ownership under its’ former name, then a buyout from a company out of state and a subsequent rebranding. I turned off my little radio, since the station I usually have it on doesn’t come in very well, and runs some major interference in some parts of the store.

I sat in one of the booths in the store’s little dining area, and set with my gym bag and my small stack of notebooks out on the table. The TV played one of the local stations, and I got there just in time for the last of Inside Edition. This time a year ago, a lot of people from the neighborhood were there by the fireplace, at the tables, and the booths.

The deli’s buffet would have been open until 7 PM CST, and in the past, when I’d head back home from the pool close to that part of town, I’d stop in and grab something from the buffet just before they closed up shop for the day.

Now it’s serving double-duty as a department display piece after the store management shut it down altogether until late last summer. No holiday music playing on the store’s intercom this year. Only 80s music, and only the safe 80s songs at that.

I reached a standstill in my other writing, so I looked up at the TV. There was a segment on about a group on Facebook dedicated to the surviving relatives of pandemic-related deaths, and one of the participants talked about how they lost their relative several months back. They mentioned that the holiday season was a difficult time for them, and I can’t even begin to picture what they’re feeling like or going through. Nor will I pretend to.

I got to thinking after that segment ended. I thought about the others I know who’ve seen their friends and loved ones die in the pandemic, and the famous people we’ve lost this year as well. The worst part of all is that it didn’t have to be like this. I thought of all the others who’ve died due to something otherwise preventable who won’t be here to share in on the holidays with the ones that matter to them.

My original game plan was to write about dealing with the holiday season package deal during a weight loss mission, but I feel like it’s a better idea to put it on ice for the time being. I think we can revisit that some other time. This year, the holidays even feel different to me. I’ve got my holiday-themed hats as part of my outerwear, and today I had on my blue velvet and green plaid dress with the bow, but to me it feels like there’s something missing. Maybe it’s the feeling in the back of my head that this damn disease took a holiday season away from so many people, making 2019 their last one in life.

Over to you, readers. How’s everyone been holding up? Sound off below.

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