This Thanksgiving was not one of my favorites. Picture this: I am sitting in my living room chair, under a blanket, watching holiday movies while eating a soggy turkey pot pie, drinking water out of a fancy glass, and staring at the homemade gingerbread I baked that morning. The gingerbread looked great but tasted… strange. I admit, I had some let downs. What did bring happiness during my Thanksgiving was the hour or so I spent on a Zoom call with my family from near and far. We went around the screen all saying what we were grateful for. It was not the typical, cozy experience where people laughed at jokes and complimented each other on the food they prepared to share. However, I still basked in the warmth of family, seeing their faces, hearing their voices, feeling good about the people I call family.
It took a real leap of faith for me to be able to find the warmth and happiness that day. Everything felt so “abnormally normal” and it was disconcerting to me to say the least. The fact is, we are all going to have to take a leap of faith to continue celebrating the winter holidays because COVID19 is not going anywhere right now. The question is, what can we do to still have some celebration even though we are in a pandemic?
As I stated earlier, Zoom and other programs like it can be one way to stay in touch and celebrate with your loved ones. One family I know is having an ornament making “meeting,” while others are going to create a story when they gather around the computer screen. One positive thing about a Zoom or Microsoft Teams meeting is you don’t need to wear a mask! Do you know someone who is going to be alone for the holidays? Why not give them a call and talk about Christmas memories or just wish them a Happy New Year! It can be helpful knowing that they are thought about and missed at this time of year.
Other suggestions include having a scaled down get together with people in your most immediate safety zone. Perhaps you can have a small, intimate gathering with those in your home and then plan a larger gathering when we are not in the midst of a pandemic. For those who love the winter air, you can plan a small gathering of loved ones outside, perhaps making snow angels? Just remember to keep them 6 feet apart!
The bottom line is how we celebrate will be different this year. It may be difficult, but it may teach us that we can connect with our loved ones even when we cannot be in the same room together. If you decide to have a small gathering keep the following in mind:
- Wear a mask.
- Stay 6 feet apart
- Wash your hands!
- Keep it limited to a small group that is part of your “pod,” or “bubble.”
One thing I know I am doing differently for Christmas is I am going to roast a chicken for my dinner, no more pot pies for me! I am hoping to watch my grandchildren open their gifts via Zoom and we are having another country wide Zoom meeting to give a toast to those who warm our hearts and fill our souls. Whatever you choose to do, please be safe. Wishing everyone a joyous holiday season and happiest New Year!