So you thought holiday stress couldn’t get any worse?

Welcome to 2020, when the things that historically justify putting up with the holidays are the parts we don’t get this year: Togetherness. Belonging. Community.

I love the holidays. Gift giving is my love language. Cooking is my passion. Hosting friends and family is what my home is known for.

And yet each year I find myself bitching (if only on the inside) about my added responsibilities during the holiday season.

Not that you’d know it to see my rbf this week, which is less resting and more just my face.

I miss the things I’d normally groan about. Pushing through crowds in NYC to buy a last-minute gift I just thought of. Realizing I’m missing a key ingredient for the dinner that needs to go in the oven. Frantically searching for another rental car because they can’t find my reservation and now I’m late driving to Jersey.

There’s no aspect of my life that looks the way it normally does this time of year. I’m living at the Jersey shore with Steph and the pets, I didn’t light a single candle this Hanukkah which makes me a worse Jew than mourning the holiday tree I don’t have, I’m not hosting our normal dinners, and we aren’t spending Christmas Day with the people we normally do.

In case you can’t hear it, there’s a straight-up whine in my voice.

I’m so tired of the deprivation!

I want to hug people. Without a fucking mask. I want one of my neighbors to call me at an inconvenient time and ask me to fix something inside their apartment.

I want normalcy. The good, the annoying – all of it. I want it back.