On behalf of MSJDN, I wish all of our members and supporters a very happy holiday season!

I’m sure we are all very relieved to bid farewell to 2020 and to look to 2021 with the kind of hopefulness that we have never before experienced. For me personally, New Year’s Day has a special significance as it is my birthday. Therefore, my birthdays have always involved a celebration (or for many Americans, a time to sleep in after a season of indulging and an opportunity to set those exercise and dieting resolutions). My birthday in 2020 was particularly momentous as it was my 40th, so we appropriately celebrated with a family-friendly gathering in my neighborhood. As we chatted, sang karaoke, laughed, and hugged, we had no way of knowing then what 2020 had in store for us, nor how very special those hugs and shared laughter really were.

This year will, of course, be much quieter as it will be a small party of just my husband, our children, and me — probably all in bed sleeping well before midnight — albeit no less meaningful. Despite this marked difference, I cannot help but reflect on 2020 and be grateful for the challenges it brought us. Here at MSJDN, 2020 forced upon us some new creative thinking as we had to reenvision our programming and initiatives. We have learned so much throughout this year about how better to connect with our community of supporters and members, particularly given our community is already so geographically dispersed making “virtual” engagement more of an imperative.

For example, I recently held a “State of MSJDN” address via Facebook Live and Zoom during which I discussed the accomplishments of MSJDN in 2020 and foreshadowed exciting developments in 2021. In case you missed it, we will be unveiling a new logo, new look, and new website in 2021 as we celebrate TEN YEARS of MSJDN. We also honored several members with awards. If you have not had the opportunity to watch the video, check out the article profiling these award recipients as they are truly impressive.

Our board has been working tirelessly over 2020 in support of MSJDN’s mission, and I have been so grateful for the energy of our board. I know that, even if 2021 will look different than past years, MSJDN will continue its incredible work of advocacy of our military spouse attorney community.

Best wishes to you and yours for peace, health, and happiness this holiday season and throughout the coming year.