Christmas 2020. Behind the one family photo that makes the proverbial Christmas postcard are a dozen outtakes and stories.
This was us last year, Christmas 2020, at the height of the pandemic. We had been under lockdown for almost a year—and in the Philippines no less, the worst place in the whole world to be during a pandemic.
I remember that day feeling like not wanting to bother to take photographs because who has the energy to take photographs? And wasn’t that the story of 2020? Languishing, if I may, where everyone was stuck all year “doing nothing” and yet, there’s very little energy to go around.
We fought the urge to languish that day and, thank God, mustered enough strength to step out of our pajamas, take out the tripod, dust off the camera, and take a few shots.
Here we are a year later and I’m glad we took the time to memorialize the strangeness of that particular Christmas.
I want to remember as much of that day as I can—
Pushing bedroom furniture around so we can convert this corner into a makeshift studio.
The Christmas pine tree (and all of its ornaments and twinkle lights) that became a permanent fixture in that room all year.
The crooked teeth and cheeky smiles.
The midi-dresses that are now mini dresses.
The banter with the 8-year-olds.
The cuddles and tickles.
Today I look at these photographs from Christmas of 2020, grateful for everything they represent—
The grace to live another day, another year.
The bubble that kept us healthy, safe, and together.
The breath in our lungs, the hope in our hearts.
The blissful faith of a child, unfazed by what’s going on in the world.
The flickers of light in the midst of the dark.
The remembrance that no matter how bleak the year was with seemingly no end in sight, there is always, ALWAYS, something to smile and laugh about.