Holidays during the coronavirus pandemic is going to be different. It's not easy being away from loved ones and not being able to come together as we usually do. But that doesn't mean we can't make the most of it.
Although social distancing and isolation can make it tempting for us to skip holidays, we shouldn't. Celebrating at home is more important than it has ever been, and we must continue doing it.
The Importance of Celebrating
According to research, people who create celebratory and daily gratitude habits are more energetic, less anxious, and enjoy better physical health. It's also important to have perspective; we have been celebrating special occasions for thousands of years. We've done it even in the middle of wars.
Though it's essential to stay home at the moment, that doesn't mean we should stop celebrating life, milestones, and holidays. It's all about perspective. We can learn to adapt and do things differently and still have fun. Celebrating events even now during a pandemic is worth doing, no matter how small.
Find daily moments to celebrate. Whether that's meeting a deadline, a child's achievement, or good news of any kind, it is a beautiful way to celebrate. It's what allows us to make a habit of noticing the good that is happening in our lives. Being able to wake up to see another day and having your health and your loved ones is something worth celebrating each day. This is especially true if you're experiencing overwhelm. Take time right now to give gratitude for everything you have, and you'll start feeling better. Here are a couple of tips you can try to enjoy the holidays this year.
Make this holiday season memorable in unique ways that are close to your usual traditions.
For me, this is holiday shopping. If you enjoyed shopping for black Friday sales in-store, make Cyber Monday (or cyber week) the ultimate choice this year. If you prefer to shop early as I do, then do so strategically by shopping for one or two people each paycheck within a budget. When I do this, it's like literally placing things on "layaway" in my basement that's already paid for and wrapped, but no one knows. I usually start shopping in August. With a $50.00 a week budget, I have an $850.00 stash of gifts all wrapped and no hassle. I also know that purchasing Christmas items in summer is less likely to be inflated when the holidays do roll out in October.
Deck the halls!
If your family has been doing Thanksgiving, Halloween, and Christmas decors for years, do so this year. There's something about having those holiday decorations up that just really set the tone for the holidays. If you do plan on purchasing artificial trees this year, do so now. Prices are low, and you're more likely to have it delivered on time or returned and replaced if there are any issues. Repurpose what you already have rather than purchasing new items. Not only will this save you time but also money.
Mail holiday gifts early
If you have distant relatives who usually visit during the holidays, start shopping, wrapping, and preparing your shipment packages early. This is especially if you have a large family and would still like to send something special for them in the mail. The mail services tend to be very hectic around this time of the year, and things get lost or stolen from families' front porches. Toss in a pandemic with that, and you can become quickly disappointed. So purchase items, wrap them, and have a schedule to mail them out. If this isn't something you do, then just plan ahead for your family. You know what your budget is for this area. Having a plan for mailing packages is always a smart thing to do.
Purchase your nonperishable items now
Avoid the hassle and disappointment of not having your favorite nonperishable holiday favorites handy now. Items like stuffing, cranberry sauce, gravy mixtures, cornbread mix, special seasonings or spices, pumpkin fillings, etc. are all great items to have handy now for later. You won't have to worry about stores being out of stock and still to enjoy a few of your favorite things (pun intended).
Practice self-care by wearing your favorite outfit, do your makeup, play your favorite holiday music, or read books. A couple of my all-time favorite holiday fiction reads are:
Cold by John Smolens (suspense novel, but I love reading this one in winter)
For holiday music, follow our Spotify Christmas playlist! It has a list of all my favorite holiday jams. I'm sure you'll find a couple there you like as well.
Get everyone involved
Holidays are a great way to get the rest of the family more involved. Children especially enjoy helping with preparing desserts, other home decorations, and creating arts and crafts. Include video messaging as part of the ritual this year and spread the joy to those afar. If you're starting to see the leaves changing near you, take some time over the weekend or afternoon and take a couple photos with your family to send on Christmas cards. It doesn't have to be professionally done in the studio. Have fun, piling leaves, and just having fun. Sharing these moments with families far away are sure to appreciate them, especially grandparents.
The coronavirus pandemic doesn't have to be the end of the holidays. It just means we need to shift our perspective on what is hopefully not the new normal to connect with our loved ones near and far.
Join the conversation: How do you plan on spending the holidays this year? Are you trying anything new or sticking to traditions? Share what you're doing this holiday with us over on Instagram and tag us.