We did it!

We’re right on the brink of this ruthless year! Questions without answers still linger for all of us but there is finally hope; Vaccines are being distributed, a new cabinet is being stacked with hardworking and honest professionals, and (although late and slim) another round of relief packages are making their way out. 

Together, we have all simultaneously taken on so much and not nearly as much as we wished this year. With that, we very much deserve every soft moment this winter will bring. A warm cup of cocoa filled to the brim with marshmallows or a book of short stories about many different worlds other than this one could be exactly what makes this distance at least a little bit closer. 

The holidays looked a little different this year; and thats ok.

It was the first Christmas my husband and I spent in our home in Chicago with our two dogs. It was even the first time we put up a tree! We usually drive 12 hours south to his family or fly west to see my family. It’s always weeks of planning then packing then moving then talking then moving then packing then… But this year we stood still in comparison. This year we set up our tree, wrapped it up in lights, and hung the two ornaments we had up. We dried oranges and grapefruit slices and strung them together with cranberries – a craft that would be a distraction from family time rather than a calm delight. And on Christmas morning we gleefully hid treats and toys under the tree and watched our dogs wag and pant all day. I teared up every now and then but it was quiet and warm and just enough. 

Building community brought us together in times of distance.

At school, it’s been a great relief to see our entire community take specific precaution in their own holiday plans to keep everyone safe and healthy as we move into the new year. We also collected a bounty of donations for Cradles to Crayons from our gracious families – warm winter clothes, diapers, wipes, and books galore. And it was a joy to put together our Community Cookbook as an encouraging gift for those who found themselves at a loss in the kitchen without the usual chefs around. Enjoy here

Enrollment was light these last two weeks of December – more light than these last nine months that is – but it only meant pajama optional days and more holiday music jigs. We also enjoyed tree cookie ornament decorations, winter solstice light exploration, a chilly tea party at the park, and one big snowy afternoon. Follow our winter adventures here.

Offer support where you can.

Lastly, if you are able to give, here are 5 mutual aid-based initiatives supporting the trans community this holiday season: One of the few bright spots of this disaster-ridden year has been the broad cultural recognition of mutual aid as an essential tool of liberation. From bailing out those protesting police brutality to supporting our trans siblings’ access to medical care to simply helping folks access good quality produce, offering financial support during these unprecedented times has taken — and will continue to take — many, many forms.

Happy – or any feeling you’re feeling – New Year!