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Family Life

The Reframing of Christmas 2020

Deborah Porter

It goes without saying that 2020 and COVID will be synonymous for all of eternity. Even though there were weddings performed, babies born, new jobs commenced and homes purchased, we weren't able to give those positive life events the normal celebratory fanfare.

With that said, the question now is, “How will we celebrate Christmas 2020 and give it its due?”

The idea of reframing is not new, but at this moment it's especially helpful. I could write an entire essay on what we’ve lost during COVID-19. Family members, businesses, income, the ability to travel just to name a few. And if you are on social media at all, I’m sure your newsfeed has been filled with these and other stories depicting what the pandemic has taken. It’s been beyond our control and devastating in so many ways.

Reframing doesn’t mean we put our heads in the sand and ignore what's happened. Instead, it allows us to choose to look at the tragedy, mishap or negative situation through a different lens.

Reframing gives us the opportunity to acknowledge the simple beauty of having dinner together as a family. It nudges us to pause and recognize that there is no way we could’ve kept going at the pace our calendars and schedules were leading us. We get to sit and take a deep breath on our porches and patios, when otherwise we would be running to a meeting, soccer game or perhaps both.

Does it mean we don’t miss those things, or that they're no longer important? Of course not. But reframing allows us to find, voice and visualize the positive dimension while still being right in the middle of the negative one.

So, back to Christmas. How can those of us who celebrate Christmas reframe our beloved holiday so that COVID-19 doesn’t overshadow it?

My suggestion: Let’s go overboard this year! Wait!! Please keep reading. I promise you it’s not what you’re thinking. Not overboard with big or expensive gifts. No need for island getaways or catered meals. We can go overboard in simpler yet just as satisfying ways.

10 Ways to Go Completely Overboard this Christmas Season

1. Decorations/lights (indoors and out).

Consider putting up a few extra strings of lights and maybe an oversized wreath, just because.

2. Holiday baking while wearing matching PJ’s.

This is bound to become a favorite new family tradition. Who cares if you burn the cookies!

3. Go overboard with time and activities together.

Keep a Christmas theme in mind and pile on the games, movie nights and gift wrapping sessions. Do it all.

4. Write thank you cards to essential workers.

These folks deserve our undying gratitude. Let those in your community know how much you appreciate them. Are you one of those superheroes identified as an essential worker? I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your faithful commitment to your community and unselfish giving of yourself and your time.

5. Go overboard supporting local businesses when you shop.

It's abundantly clear by now that if we want our favorite independent shops to make it through the pandemic, we need to patronize them. Many will let you order online or over the phone and pick up your purchase curbside.

Consider supporting local restaurants or coffee shops by purchasing gifts cards as presents for local family and friends.

6. Virtual gingerbread house competition while wearing an ugly sweater.

To make this happen, you might mail all the required items to participants in advance. Then use Zoom, Skype or FaceTime to judge the gingerbread houses and sweaters!

7. Adopt a family if you can.

Many are unable to celebrate this year because of job loss or maybe even the loss of a home. Charitable organizations in your community can connect you with an opportunity to provide gifts, food and holiday cheer to a family in need.

8. Christmas drive-by’s.

To see lights, drop off baked goods/gifts and take in the wonder of the season.

9. Bundle up.

How about a s’mores night in the backyard while singing Christmas carols?

10. Go overboard with kindness and good cheer wherever you go.

Spread Joy!

There’s been a lot of focus on what we can’t do this holiday season (which we have to be smart about), but here’s a reminder of all the fun we can still have while being healthy, safe and in the company of the ones we love.

We’re all in this together and we can still celebrate this season and create memories for our families to talk about for years to come.

Deborah Porter is a Home/Life Balance Coach for dedicated moms who need home management systems and a routine self-care regimen that goes beyond a good mani/pedi. She believes that the woman you were before having kids still matters. Deborah is a regular contributor to Virginia This Morning on WTVR. She and her husband have three adult children. Download her free ebook, "7 Habits of Confident Moms," at or email her, [email protected]

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