Should we host a holiday dinner this year or not? That is the pressing question for a lot of us during this COVID edition of the holiday season.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has advised caution considering the uptick in cases for fall. Truth be told, it seems pretty clear that the safest course for your immediate family, and for older relatives in particular, is to skip the in-person get-togethers. But that’s hard, isn’t it? Spending time with extended family is as intrinsic to the holiday season as cookies, carols and consumerism.
In fact, it’s the thing that made us feel warm and fuzzy about this season that can often seem pretty shallow.
So, what do we do? Well, I have three suggestions:
1. Lean into the presents.
Yep, that’s right. Every year, we all try to remember that the holiday is not about buying presents. Even though we comb through online and in-store sales to maximize our budgets and come up with a list of what to get everyone on our “nice” list, we try to persuade ourselves that presents are beside the point. But this year, let’s embrace the present part of the holiday. Let’s try to find something to delight not only our kids but those relatives who we won’t be seeing.
In this month’s issue of Metro Parent, we’ve curated a collection of cool kids gifts that won’t break the bank, so we have you covered there. But consider getting something besides a gift card for family and friends you won’t be seeing.
It could be something homemade or store-bought. No matter. Just surprise them with a socially-distanced drop off and air hug to make their season a bit brighter.
2. Take stock of the higher meaning, too.
Staying home during a global pandemic can stir up your spiritual beliefs, and this holiday season is the perfect time to take stock of your faith and beliefs. If you’re a faith-filled household, spend more time on the rituals and philosophies that center you this time of year. If you’re more secular, evaluate your belief system and talk to you kids about what your values are. If you’ve never created a list of family values, this would be the perfect time.
3. Shake up the season.
Since some of the things that we usually do for the holiday season may be canceled or altered, considering creating a new tradition. Make an army of gingerbread men or a big batch of latkes.
And here’s a thought, spread the joy and the calories by delivering some of the treats to friends, family and neighbors who may feel lonely. Let them know that even if we can’t celebrate the holiday the exact way we would like to, doesn’t mean we can’t still spread some joy and love.
Just wear a mask. We don’t want to accidentally spread something else, right?