Today is December 1, 2020 and as I look out my window and see all the snow, it is starting to look like the holiday season. Usually at this time of year, I hear a lot of Christmas music and there are holiday festivities to attend but this year it seems as if a blanket has been dropped on the whole thing, smothering the joy.
I have heard from some people that they are not going to put up their lights or decorations because “what’s the point?” I’ve also heard that other people say that they are going to treat Christmas like any other day of the year because it will just make it easier to get through. As I drive around the city, I see fewer lights and decorations than I have before.
This year has been a year of adjustment, disappointment, isolation, anxiety, sadness and more. It is time to break out of our angst and celebrate a holiday. Please don’t misunderstand me. I fully support the social distancing and keeping the celebration to your own household. We need to continue to keep everyone safe and healthy. But there are benefits to holidays that can be rejuvenating even while changing it up a bit to stay safe.
At this point, I am observing an increase of depression, loneliness, and other mental health problems. It is very easy just to let ourselves slide into hopelessness and exhaustion. Right now, it is important to rejuvenate ourselves to give ourselves a boost of energy to get through the last stages of this pandemic.
One of the benefits of this holiday, is it gives us something different. I don’t know about you, but I am tired of doing the same things every day. The variety of life is not as accessible. The holidays give us new things to explore and ways to branch out more. Like those friends that you keep saying, oh I should catch up with them and keep putting it off. Giving someone a holiday call, gives you an excuse to reach out. I have also seen holiday live events posted on social media including concerts and museum tours of their holiday decorations. Other suggestions are going for a drive to see the lights, have a night of sharing memories from past holidays, have a family games night, put up the decorations, build a snowman or enjoy other outside activities.
The key to this holiday is in the planning. Deciding what you are comfortable with and finding activities weekly to do to enjoy the holiday season and then also planning the actual day. It probably will not look the same, although it will probably be a year to remember! Let’s start fighting back and reclaiming the joy of the season.