It is easy enough to find news about how this Holiday season will be one of the worst ever. Turn on virtually every channel in the mid-day, and find out that this is a Holiday season like no other. It’s a pandemic Holiday season for sure. How are we under an unpleasant cloud? Let me count the ways that this is, in fact,
A Holiday Season Gutted By the Pandemic!
- we won’t be able to visit our family
- the pandemic isn’t getting better; in fact, it is growing worse (Duh, December)
- A working vaccine won’t be ready until (choose your news outlet) March, May, October, never.
Okay, Gildshire gets it. But, we also get other facts. Americans have borne up under hard times before. We just passed the 79th Anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
Families across the 48 states sent their sons, and a few daughters, off to fight a war that would take four years and 407,000 American lives to resolve. But through it all, we had Christmas and Hannukah four times each. Families made do and adjusted to the new reality. Then, in December 1945, we partied harder than we had in years. But the four war years weren’t without holidays. Instead, we celebrated differently. And so it will be this year. Take Gildshire’s hand as we walk through some Holiday magic, even these days.
Start a new tradition with some old standby’s
If you are feeling sad about missing some traditional festivities, an undecorated home only makes things worse. So get out your decorations, including that Play-Doh monstrosity your son made when he was four years old. Light up your living room. Check that, this year, every room in the house gets decorative lighting. Don’t forget to blast some holiday tunes while you are deciding where to put the small twinkle lights in the bathroom. Call Mom for that special traditional recipe she always makes. You know it as the green Jell-O salad, but other people call it something else. Then, cook as you’ve never cooked before! For later, create a Christmas playlist and bookmark some cookie recipes and mulled wine concoctions. Oh, you say you have heard of mulled wine but don’t know what it is exactly? This is the year to find out.
How else to celebrate during a pandemic holiday season?
Reach into some traditions from far-away lands. No, not Bing Crosby and Mele Kalikimaka (though a fine song). We are talking about really far-away lands. Did you know there is a neat Icelandic tradition that involves exchanging books on Christmas Eve? You collect one from each friend and spend the rest of the evening with your family, each of you reading with a cup of hot chocolate. Plenty of mini marshmallows and whipped cream, please.
The possibility of happy holidays during a pandemic for someone truly alone
As you look around your living room, it is easy to notice only the chaos with distance learning materials added to the usual clutter. It can be easy to forget other homes more empty than yours.
Do not forget to consider those truly alone this pandemic holiday season. You talked to your great-aunt not long ago. She’s at a vulnerable age and will be home alone. How about your young cousin. She’s studying overseas and won’t be able to fly home for the Holidays. Reach out to them. Send your greetings over a video call or plan a festive virtual game session. Make use of the delivery services in your city to send them a handwritten card, a small gift, or some baked goods.
We will make it through this pandemic Holiday season. By God’s Good Grace, next year will be much closer to normal. But, we cannot allow the pandemic to destroy the joy that we all need this season. So Gildshire asks each and every one of you to find the peace that is within your own soul. Reach beyond your own ego to the people around you. Reach outside your home to the darkened windows in your neighborhood. And finally, reach beyond your comfort zone to the sadness and fear that is within a stranger. We can, and we will make this Holiday season fun and memorable.