Make This Your Best Holiday Season Yet
The halls are decked, the chestnuts are roasting, and the silver bells are jingling. But many folks still feel like they’re getting a lump of coal for the holidays this year. If adjusting your celebrations to the pandemic has left you short of holiday cheer, remember that different doesn’t have to mean bad. Focus on these three ideas and you might even find new ways to take some stress out of the holidays, spend time with loved ones safely, and build new traditions that will last for years to come. Here are 3 ways to make this the best holiday season.
Take care of yourself.
Many of the conveniences we’ve grown accustomed to during the pandemic can make the holidays easier to plan for and manage — while also limiting your risk of getting sick. Your favorite local retailers are probably offering online shopping and curbside pickup. You could support a local restaurant by ordering a precooked holiday meal or mailing their signature pies to your family as gifts. But if you do shop in person, remember that your Santa beard, while festive, isn’t a good substitute for a face mask.
Speaking of buying gifts, make sure you take care of your finances as well. Sit down with your spouse to make a list of loved ones to whom you want to send gifts and then decide how much you want to spend per person. A good holiday budget will limit spur-of-the-moment purchases and keep you off your credit card company’s naughty list.
As for the 3,000 calories a typical holiday meal can contain, try to limit your portions, especially if you have underlying health conditions and haven’t been as active as you usually are during the pandemic.
According to the CDC, “The safest way to celebrate winter holidays is to celebrate at home with the people who live with you.” If you do decide to host or attend a party with people outside of your household, try to utilize larger rooms with good ventilation where families can create their own six-foot bubbles. Yes, “ventilation” means opening doors and windows to circulate some fresh winter air, so you might need to wear your coat along with your face mask.
It’s also worth reconsidering some holiday traditions this year. Buffet-style meals that everyone shares are more likely to spread germs than serving pre-portioned plates or having all guests bring their own food. Step outside to sing holiday songs so that you all aren’t breathing and re-breathing the same air. And if you or anyone in your household isn’t feeling well, make the tough choice and isolate to keep your loved ones safe.
Focus on what is important in the long term.
Altering holiday plans will be painful after a year in which we’ve already sacrificed so much. Each family will have to make its own decisions about the safest and most financially responsible ways to celebrate under these challenging circumstances. But even if this year’s holidays won’t be as perfect as years past, you and your loved ones still have so much to be grateful for. Your decorations are still glowing. The fresh-baked cookies are still warm. And your family, near and far, have made it through one of the toughest years on record together.
Focus your energy on celebrating those good things now and start planning for the good things you’ll celebrate once you and all of your loved ones are together again. Talk about the things you want to do, the places you want to visit, the special events you want to make up for missing. Your family could look back on 2020 as the year when you all came together at the holiday season – even though you were apart – and planned for a 2021 that you’ll treasure forever.
All of us here wish you and your family a safe and fulfilling holiday season. We look forward to helping you make 2021 as merry and bright as possible. When you need us, we will be there.