Thanksgiving may be a North American tradition, but it feels like a familiar acquaintance from the past. One we should get to know better. The notion of pulling together family and friends, celebrating togetherness around wholesome food, and doing nothing more than stopping to give thanks. That feels like the perfect picture for a Christmas in 2020. Because right now we don’t need to consume ever more in Black Friday sales, but more than ever, we have reason to give thanks.

  • I’m thankful that none of my friends or family got sick this year.
  • I’m thankful for all the reasons Covid-19 gave us to reach out to others and for the connections we made this year.
  • I’m thankful for the moat around our incredible country and the people within it who’ve worked together to stop the spread of this virus.
  • And I never talk politics but I’m thankful that a country 12,500km away voted for a leader to heal. We live on a little island at the bottom of the world and we need America to care about our planet.

December usually brings a wave of generosity toward teachers, parents and tireless volunteers. It’s when the boss pauses to thank their staff, saving a years’ worth of platitudes for the big speech. Christmas means kindness. But this has been the year of kindness and we’re taking it to the next level. As we scramble to plan Christmas menus we’ll appreciate the familiar masked faces at the supermarket checkout who kept the front line going while we scrambled for flour and toilet paper. As we plan our summer holidays we’ll be thinking about how we can support the tourist operators, the cafes, and the restaurants. And a crowded summer concert or cricket match will be more than an outing. For kiwis this summer it’s a privilege.

2020 has brought about change; we play more board games, we’ve continued the family walks, occasional work from home has become much more acceptable, and we’re taking on some of the Great Walks this summer. It’s been the year to edit my first book, and to farewell it’s subject, our dear friend Ross Dallow. Soon his stories will be in print. So with these mixed blessings, we feel deeply for those overseas who are combatting a second wave. The vaccine will become life-changing for those abroad, and for New Zealanders too once we reach our place in the queue. Thanks.

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