It’s December 2020. Again, I find myself ignoring the nagging “blah” that comes next. Are you feeling that tug too? A few months ago, I figured things would die down, and we wouldn’t be in this situation nine months after the initial lockdown. But hello, we are! So now what? I have had so many conversations with people who aren’t bothering to decorate for the holidays this year. I get it. Why bother? No one’s coming over. We won’t be having those lovely holiday dinners with friends and family. I’m pretty sure our Government won’t be providing us with Christmas bailout cash either… not feeling so jolly.
No doubt, Amazon will have their best Christmas season to date, but shopping online for gifts kills half the fun. Besides, we can’t even buy local to support our mom and pop stores through these tough times. Things are further complicated when those close to you have different opinions about how we should be interacting socially. We miss seeing our family and friends like crazy, however, that adage “better safe than sorry” keeps spinning around in my mind.
As we move into the festive season of a year, which has been deeply challenging and painful for many, we could choose to follow 2020’s lead and just skip the good stuff. In the end, we’ll have to decide for ourselves how to handle the holidays. Since I’m thinking it through today anyway, I might as well share some positive, fun ideas that could be helpful if you feel stuck like me. Let’s open our minds, untangle our tinsel and get creative. Change our mindsets. First, let’s push past the negativity I spewed all over above. It’s too easy to stay there and get bummed out.
We tend to dig our heels in and fight change, resisting it for the things we enjoy and cherish the most. It’s normal to be thinking about the holiday traditions we’ll miss, but what if we change things up? This could be an opportunity to make it an extra special year instead of a total downer.
It can be one we’ll remember forever, and not because of the pandemic.
A Twist on Traditions – We all take comfort in our traditions, especially during the holidays, so enjoying as many of them as you can is important this year. But what about a candy cane twist to mark this strange year. Start a new tradition, like making your own special “one of a kind” 2020 Christmas ornaments, and then sharing your creations virtually with family on Christmas Eve. It’s a year of change, so why not retire an old tradition everyone secretly hates — take a vote from each family member to decide which one. If you normally travel and spend Christmas away, think about how fun it will be to stay home and do your own thing for a change. Do you have to get up at six to open gifts? Could you have hot crepes or cinnamon buns for breakfast instead of bacon and eggs?
There are limitless possibilities, aren’t there? And now you have a guilt-free chance to do it your way! Let’s look forward to something fresh and different. Who knows, we could start new traditions that last generations. All I have to say here is the obvious stuff. We get so caught up in the material world of gift-giving that we totally lose sight of what Christmas is all about. Take a step back this year; it’s the perfect time to slow down and remember all the things you’re grateful for and the reason for the season.
Keep your celebrations simple, meaningful and stress-free. We can change things up in the gift department after such a tough year too. There are plenty of people we’re super grateful for (like our front line workers) and more that have had an extremely rough nine months. Is there someone that stands out this year that helped you or your family?
It’s a great time to show your appreciation differently, even if it’s a box of Christmas cookies to the overworked nurses at your local hospital or a surprisingly fat cash tip for the guy that’s been delivering your groceries or online purchases. I’ll be on the lookout for someone taking groceries off the checkout belt because they don’t have enough to pay for it. I plan to sweep in casually and pay their bill, then watch their Christmas spirit soar. Making a difference in someone else’s life will feed my spirit, as well. Think about who needs a boost, and go for it.
We’ve all gotten pretty good with our virtual chats, so why not extend that to include family gift opening? They can be scheduled throughout the day if you plan early and do smaller groups if that’s less chaotic. If you miss the excitement of drinking together, schedule a group call together, and have some fun with it! Christmas Eve will be a great time to have happy hour chats with family too. Just stay away from topics like politics and COVID news… ho ho ho!
If you’re fearless, do some random calls to folks you know are alone or down in the dumps and sing a Christmas carol to brighten their spirits. Think outside that gift-wrapped box and make the very best out of Christmas 2020 rather than dwell on what’s not the same. Throw your fuzzy Santa hat on, line up your favourite Christmas movies (Netflix has a new line up for 2020) and ditch that blue, blue Christmas thinking!
“Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!”. – Dr. Seuss