Dear family,

It’s not even September yet, but with 2020 being kind of, umm, rough to put it mildly, everyone’s already got their pumpkin spice lattes and Halloween decorations up. Normally I don’t want to hurry the months away, but this year, I’m totally for it. I get it: I wanna skip to the good part, too.

The problem with that, though, is that we are moving ever closer to Thanksgiving at a rapid pace. And before you can say “cranberry sauce” it will be Christmas. As you know, the holidays are usually my absolute favorite time of the year. I may drive you crazy with my Christmas selfies and Thanksgiving hashtags but you know you love it, too!

But now, as I sit on the cusp of fall 2020, I’m already mourning the holidays to come.

Remember last year, when my little family of five and I got a preview of a solitary Christmas after my husband came down with Influenza A on December 22nd? We made the best of spending Christmas completely alone, without you all—without grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles, and cousins . . . but I’ll be honest: comparatively, it sucked.

I can only imagine that this year will, too.

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With COVID still running amok and the holidays being smack in the middle of what is likely going to be a cold and flu season to end them all, it is likely that this Thanksgiving and Christmas we will all be celebrating alone with just our immediate families—to protect each other. And the thought grieves me oh so very much.

You see, I don’t want to miss out any more anything. I. Am. OVER IT.

It’s been a year of missing out like no other. We’ve missed graduations, proms, family reunions, birthday parties, and HUGS. Oh my word, how many hundreds of hugs have we missed? It literally pains me to think about it.

I don’t want to give up more memories with you. I don’t want to give up cousin Emily’s INSANE Thanksgiving planning spreadsheet or seating chart. I don’t want to give up watching our little kids play hide and seek or our teenagers bond over the newest Marvel movies. I don’t want to sacrifice seeing my mom and dad open the presents that we adult children carefully collaborated on. 

And dangit, I don’t even want to miss fighting over the last bit of Aunt Bethie’s sweet potato casserole. (Because I love the taste of sugary sweet potatoes AND the taste of victory!!)

So many of the “kids” in our families are young adults now. This year, if we aren’t together, we will likely be missing our last holidays with several of them before they marry or move away. And dangit, I don’t WANNA. I really, really don’t wanna.

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But I will. I’ll give it up.

Because, dear family of mine, missing one holiday season with you is worth it if it means we will all be well and healthy enough to come together, even some of us, for all the holidays to come. I will sacrifice Thanksgiving and Christmas 2020 in the hopes of being together for every year after.

I hope you know that you are everything to me. And that if we have our health, we have everything we need.

So while circumstances may keep us apart this year, it is my prayer that our sacrifices will bring us together in the next. 

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If on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day the only way I see you is on FaceTime or Zoom, I’ll be more than a little sad. I might let myself wallow in it a little. But if it means I get even one more day, month, or year with you, it will be worth it.

It’s gonna hurt, my dear ones. 

But it will be worth it.

Jenny Rapson

Jenny Rapson is a follower of Christ, a wife and mom of three from Ohio and a freelance writer and editor. You can find her at her blog, Mommin' It Up, or follow her on Twitter.