Holiday Groundwork

The retail giants are ringing the bells, and it’s time to find where we hid the wrapping paper among our stacks of sweatpants and zoom shirts. Like every other holiday this year, things are going to be different. Although many of us are growing weary of these phrases, here we are again, so let’s dig in.

We have arrived at the three-week mark until Christmas, and it’s time to talk celebrations, but more importantly, how should we navigate the holidays?

This is an important topic of discussion for many reasons, including:

  1. We miss seeing our family, friends, and loved ones.
  2. Sharing food on the holidays is part of what makes these occasions special.
  3. Traveling and having time off gives us a break from our typical daily routines.

How can we plan for these events when they mirror those we are told to caution against? There are creative ways we can celebrate, although they may require some help from technology, possibly some extra layers, and potentially takeout food. The positive side is that we’re already in our comfy clothing and ready to have fun.

Outdoor gatherings, this is perhaps one of the easier solutions, unless of course, you live anywhere with questionable weather. Some experts are suggesting this is the safest route for everyone’s wellbeing unless it’s snowing. The idea of enjoying company while bundled up and sitting near a fire pit sounds nice to me, but this just isn’t a foolproof solution for everyone.

Another way to engage with our favorite people is through video calls, prerecorded messages, and virtual gatherings. This choice requires some extra organization accounting for time differences, and scheduling. Just think how cute everyone will look in those obnoxious festive sweaters you sent them by mail. While we’re taking time to dress accordingly for the holidays, why not throw on a crackling fireplace background for an extra touch? It might be fun to be able to take in people’s holiday décor while you chat about all the things you haven’t been up to.

Next on the list is food, here’s where things get complicated, how do you feel about serving everyone up single-style? The idea of a buffet or a large table with dishes passed around is likely not the best choice this time around. Maybe try to pretend we’re all at the kid’s table, and have fun with it! There’s always takeout, and why not mix things up? There are no more rules to follow this year. So, order tacos, or Chinese food, get the extra sides, you deserve to enjoy the holidays, no matter how they play out.

A major detail to discuss is traveling, should we? Should we not, and act as though we did by using an oceanfront zoom screen? These are important questions to weigh with those you would be traveling to, and there’s no right or wrong answer. There are extra precautions in place to protect travelers, and we each must take our own actions into perspective here. Hotels and resorts are going above and beyond to give guests more peace of mind. Some are offering holiday event ideas by region to inspire ways to celebrate. Technology can create entertainment alternatives here, too.  Have you ever wanted to go on a virtual safari, instead of driving to wherever to see cousins and aunts? Well, now you can, and support wildlife while you sit on your own cozy couch.

As the holidays creep closer, and we start to dream of afternoon naps with a belly full of food, our plans will need some tweaking this season. And this is ok, there have been many compromises this year, and holiday preparations are no exception. No one can be sure, but I bet there will be plenty of new holiday traditions created this year, maybe one is opening all your presents early, we can all dream.