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Dave Troppens

 The holiday season has come and gone.

 It certainly was different than any in my 51 years on this Earth, but I’ll say this, it remained a successful one.

 COVID-19 certainly didn’t make it easy for families to celebrate together, and like many other families we decided to not have family Christmases on either side of our family. However, a funny thing happened as Christmas came closer on the calendar. Both families figured a way to see each other safely during the holiday season.

 It started with my wife’s side of the family. Anna’s mom noticed a couple of days before Christmas the weather forecast was expected to be warmer the next day. So within a period of about 10 hours she set up an outdoor family Christmas at her home. We were able to see our nieces open their presents while remaining socially distanced.

 When Christmas came, we decided to surprise all of my family members by driving to their homes and calling them on the phone once we arrived. We made four stops and enjoyed surprise outdoor celebrations with each ranging from 10 to 30 minutes in length. It was a lot of fun, and the adversity of the situation actually made it more memorable.

 Was it different than any other Christmas we had? Of course. Was it less than ideal? Of course. Will we remember this Christmas easier than just about any other of our lifetimes? For certain.

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