1. Don’t be hard on yourself
This is a different holiday than what we are used to. Feeling like holiday activities aren’t worth doing if you can’t do it all may leave you and your loved ones feeling empty. Adapt and focus on what is easiest. Make homemade holiday decorations, go all-out with outdoor lights, and create a festive holiday table with holiday-themed linens and decorations.
2. Focus on activities that mean the most
There is comfort in the familiarity of holiday traditions. Ask loved ones what seasonal rituals are most important and fulfilling for them, and get creative about ways to incorporate them this holiday season.
- Is the annual cookie baking a highlight? Bake and enjoy them with your family at home and send a batch to loved ones near and far, or make them simultaneously while on a video call (get competitive to make it fun).
- Are holiday music performances and religious services most meaningful to you? Find concerts and services on TV or online and watch together.
3. Decorate away!
If you are avoiding indoor visits to some family members, decorate their outdoors so your loved ones can enjoy from their windows for a daily reminder of your presence. Share videos and photos of your holiday decorations online. Try sending ready-to-display items like a small decorated toy, tree, menorah, or other symbol of the holidays.
4. Take your traditions virtual
Connecting virtually can go beyond a short conversation. Sing carols, bake, create crafts, or watch It’s a Wonderful Life or Home Alone as a family. Take part in enjoyable rituals from a distance thanks to video chat apps like FaceTime, Zoom, and Skype.
Choose a holiday movie and queue it up on your DVR or streaming device. Then call family members on FaceTime, hit play at the same time, and watch them together. Stay connected during the movie by talking on the phone to share laughs, tears, or memories. It’s the next best thing to being together!
Share your holiday dinner together through Zoom.
5. Start new traditions
It can be helpful to focus forward instead of on the past. Use this year as an opportunity to create new holiday rituals. Here are some creative ideas:
- Make homemade gifts.
- Meet for a walk outside.
- Cook the same recipes from a distance and compare your results in real time.
- Read to kids or grandkids via video calls.
- Call those you love while you have your first holiday morning cup of coffee and enjoy it together.
Making some changes this year will likely become traditions for the future that will bring you and your family closer and spread joy for years to come!
From our team at A Peaceful Mind Counseling Group, we wish you and your family a safe and healthy holiday season. We are hopeful that 2021 will return us to some sense of normalcy.