The Christmas Towels and Tissues

I love all things Christmas—the shopping, the baking, the decorating, the card sending, the music, the decorating, the giving, the festive splashes of red and green, gold and silver, and holiday entertaining. Imagine my joy a few years ago when I stumbled across Christmas-themed tissues boxes. You can’t—imagine my joy that is. I scooped up several boxes, calculating how soon I could swap the regular ol’ tissue boxes for the special holiday ones. I may or may not have suggested to the family that they “go easy” on their use of tissues, pointing out that toilet paper would work just as well for a drippy nose. But fearing they would be lacking in the self-control department, I tucked the special tissues away until moments before the holiday company arrived throughout the month.

The next year when I dashed to the store to snag more boxes of Christmas-themed tissue than I’d purchased the previous year, I found just three beat up boxes. Beat up as in someone had used these oh-so-special cardboard rectangular red, green, and gold adorned boxes as a kickball. Because I knew I would seethe with every glimpse of these sorry boxes were I to buy them, I left the store emptyhanded. I’m sure you’ll be relieved to know that I did come upon a few less festive yet somewhat-holiday-festooned boxes of tissue that stood in for the stunningly-decorated ones from the previous year.   

Christmasy kitchen and bathroom towels also hold a special place in my heart. Unlike tissues that run out each year, the same holiday towels can be enjoyed from years. Yet because I want these beauties to stay nice, I tend to ration them in a similar fashion as the tissues. Hanging them in place when the arrival of December guests was imminent. Over the years, my collection has grown—a gift here, a sales rack that beckoned there, and last year I inherited some when my mom passed. She liked Christmas towels, too.

Well thanks to COVID-19, there will be no holiday entertaining to speak of this year. No parties, doubtful the extended family will gather at our home on Christmas Eve, and our son in Colorado will not journey back to Indiana. As these realities sank in, a bah humbug attitude crept alongside. It won’t be like Christmas at all.So,why bother? Why drag all of those totes from the attic? Why spend hours decorating, baking, and doing all the regular Christmas stuff?

Thankfully the sulking moments passed and the hesitation to not dive wholeheartedly into Christmas evaporated. Because as different as this Christmas promises to be, how much sadder and more depressing it would be with no decorations. No favorite cookies. No sharing of good cheer.

So, we purchased and decorated our traditional real tree. The nativities are displayed in their respective places. The snowmen have settled in for their long winter stay. And we added extra lights outside . . . to brighten things up for ourselves and passersby. The cookie and special treat making will commence soon. And guess what I found? Holiday-inspired Ziploc bags! Perfect for sharing those cookies and festive delicacies via doorstep deliveries to friends and family whose physical presence we will miss this Christmas season.

And the towels and tissues? No rationing this year. “We’ll be using Christmas towels everyday this month,” I announced to my husband on December 2nd. With fewer folks around, the holiday tissues have a greater chance of lasting through the New Year. But if a shortage threatens, I’ve a plan in place that involves deftly opening the festive box and restocking the tissue before carefully resealing the seam. 

Our plans for this very COVID Christmas have evolved from those Scrooge-like musings to list making and brainstorming how we can make this challenging Christmas as merry as possible. Which I’ve decided is immeasurably better than fussing and fuming about a wrecked holiday.  

For these many months, I’ve challenged myself to uncover positive outcomes from these difficult, worrisome times. And I’m thankful to report a number of observances that fit nicely in the positive category, things like—

  • Families spending more time together.
  • A revival of “home-cooked” and the family dinner.
  • The slowing of frantic-paced lives.
  • A spirit of resourcefulness that powers through obstacles.
  • An appreciation for the bounty we too often take for granted.
  • An urgency to not put off until tomorrow.

I’m still struggling with that last one. At times, the dreariness of this ongoing disruption to life as we knew it has struck a major blow to my productivity, creativity, and overall motivation–critical instruments in the writer’s toolbox. But with so much down time, I should have book #3 of my YA series finished, right? And be diving into the next project, right? If only that were the case. But I’m not giving up. And I hope you aren’t either. 

We’ve much to celebrate this Christmas. First and foremost, the babe in the manager whose presence in our everyday lives can quell the fiercest storm. 

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.  Luke 2:11 

Rejoice and celebrate HIS birth.