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Pandemic Year 2: My Young Adult Children Are Still at HomeLisa Samalonis
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.
Consider putting up a few extra strings of lights and maybe an oversized wreath, just because.
This is bound to become a favorite new family tradition. Who cares if you burn the cookies!
Keep a Christmas theme in mind and pile on the games, movie nights and gift wrapping sessions. Do it all.
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.
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.
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!
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.
To see lights, drop off baked goods/gifts and take in the wonder of the season.
How about a s’mores night in the backyard while singing Christmas carols?
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.
Our holiday shopping list is full of awesome ideas that are on trend with what students desire this gift-giving season.