All I Want for Christmas in 2020


I was listening to 96.5 on the radio this morning, when Mariah Carey’s “All I want for Christmas” started playing. I sang a few of the lyrics to my daughter Ilse in hopes that she would sing it with me, but Ilse was not having it. She wanted to hear “Jingle Bell Rock.” As I continued to sing the song, it got me thinking about this Christmas and what I might want for Christmas this year. The cyber sales are not enticing enough to me. Air travel is risky; any travel really. And eating out at restaurants, even those with outdoor seating, is not the same if I have to wear an overcoat. Last year, I wrote about wanting the gift of time and how I didn’t have enough of it.

Truth be told, I got exactly what I asked for: time. I’ve spent more time with my little family than I had ever imagined. I have been able to watch my daughters become sisters. I have been able to see my hubs in action at “work.” What do I want for Christmas in 2020?

For starters, I want to sleep in until 7AM and stay awake past 9PM. Sleeping in is a precious commodity. Frankly, the combination of odd working hours, distance learning, and family life in general has been exhausting. Ask any parent. Sleeping in and staying up late is few and far between. On those few Friday nights, when I can muster the energy to stay awake past 9:45PM, I just want to read magazines and enjoy comfortable silence with the hubs while he unwinds with video games. That comfortable silence is a gift worth the extra cup of coffee needed to stay awake a little later. 

Second, I want my daughters to have more social interactions, especially our elder daughter Ilse. Our Montessori has been a blessing to us with their half-day program, but I know it’s not forever. We will need to think about next steps once our time with them ends. Whenever I see my daughters interact with people they haven’t seen in a while, that void is apparent. My girls need the social interactions as much as we adults do, whether it be outdoor playdates with a friend in our bubble or a Zoom date indoors. I say it all the time, “I cannot wait to hug people again.” Ilse can’t either.

Third, I want to continue to see the silver linings in things, even when I am at my most exhausted and stressed. While the pandemic has changed how we connect with loved ones and colleagues this year, it cannot take away our joy. Being able to see the silver linings these days lifts my spirits, and more importantly, helps me demonstrate to my daughters the importance of seeing the good things that happen in their day-to-day lives. I am reminded of this whenever I see any one of the photos our family photographer took a few weeks ago. Rain was in the forecast that week, and it missed our photoshoot by a day. Quite the silver lining!

What do you want for Christmas this year?

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Jeanne is a married, full-time working mom with an MBA in Marketing from Golden Gate University and BA in Communications from San Francisco State University. She is an Associate Director of Sales for Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants and loves that her career enables her to promote the city she loves. Jeanne and her husband Daniel live in San Francisco with their two daughters, Ilse and Alice. When Jeanne is not working, writing, or volunteering at Ilse's school, she enjoys traveling, spending time with family, and cooking from her collection of cookbooks (70 and growing) while sipping Hudson Bay Bourbon. Follow her adventures on Instagram.


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