Embracing the Holidays, COVID Style
Halloween is behind us, which means we are rapidly approaching the holiday season. The season comes with so much: family gatherings, holiday parties, nights out with friends, shopping, worshiping, and more.
As we approach the holidays during this unique time in life, we can certainly anticipate that the holiday season will look different for us this year. Consider how you might move intentionally through this holiday season, knowing it may not be the norm.
Grieve and process
Many of us will have to make adjustments to our holiday traditions. Give yourself space to grieve what will be different this year! Many people will not see family, will not get to travel, and will be looking at a drastically different schedule. It’s okay to be sad! It’s important to note that your feelings are real and valid. And remember, we can experience more than one emotion at once.
Explore new traditions
This seems to be the perfect time to look at some new traditions. Cook something different, craft and create, look at Christmas lights (or deck your halls with style!), shop small, tackle a list of holiday movies, or spend time this season reflecting on Advent.
There are endless ideas out there for creating meaningful holiday traditions. Maybe you are like me and during a normal year it just all feels so chaotic already! Take advantage of a year where holiday traditions will no doubt be altered and who knows, maybe you and I will find some new ones to adopt!
Find joy in the simplicity
I’m a big believer in looking for the silver lining of situations. While grieving and processing what we have lost is important, there are often unexpected gifts in changes we did not plan or anticipate.
For my family, we are purposefully looking towards a more simple holiday season. We’re looking forward to enjoying time with a few people at a time instead of big parties where we only get to connect a bit with each person. We’re looking forward to spending more time creating and selecting meaningful gifts instead of just checking people off our gift list. We’re looking forward to cooking more. We’re looking forward to reclaiming some sense of purpose regarding what the holiday season is about.
Lend a hand
There are so many who have struggled during these COVID times. World Bank estimates that 88 million to 115 million people will be pushed into poverty by the impacts of COVID-19. Somewhere are 22 million jobs have been lost in the midst of the pandemic. And most heartbreaking, well over 200,000 have lost their lives in the United States alone. People are struggling and hurting no doubt.
In the midst of an unusual holiday season, what if you and I focused some of our time and energy on those that are hurting? What if we focused resources on the health care workers and teachers who have been greatly impacted? What if we put our money towards providing meals and meeting needs?
My family is considering how we can love the people we know and those we have not yet met. Rather than mourn that I have no reason to buy my children fancy holiday outfits, I’m looking forward to serving and giving those around me that have struggled and hurt through 2020.
I pray that you and I come through this holiday season with a sense of richness and purpose!