Celebrate the Holidays: Preparing and Planning New Traditions

This year has been especially challenging with as the pandemic has created disappointment, fear, social distancing, financial hardships, loss and more.  We were all looking for a light at the end of the tunnel as the holidays approached, but instead adversity still looms as we approach the New Year.  There is a light though, if we focus on our family, friends, those in need, and creating new traditions for this wonderful time of the year.  

1. PREPARE   Erica Lee, a psychologist in the Department of Psychiatry at Boston Children’s Hospital recommends starting to talk about the holidays a few weeks ahead of time. This will allow you to modify your holiday plans without giving your kids too much time to dwell on any disappointment they may feel. Then sit down together as a family and come up with a plan for how you will celebrate.

2. PLAN new traditions!

  • Create mini gatherings of close family and friends in your bubble.   Instead of large social events, smaller more intimate gatherings can be safer and bring us closer.
  • Gather outside!  Bundle up and celebrate outside with hot coco, cider, and a hot meal such as chili, or your favorite soup or stew.   Have a fire for added warmth and ambience.
  • Deliver cookies, goodies or meals to the elderly, family, or friends you might not see in person during this holiday season.
  • Avoid travel.   Perhaps every holiday your family loves to travel.  Well this year, you can travel anywhere virtually.   Recreate some of your favorite food or beverages from your destination, check in on local webcams, find books or film to learn more about your favorite destinations.   Or pick a place you'd love to go and learn more about it for your future adventures!
  • Have a family game night in your favorite holiday pajamas.  Don't just save your holiday jammies for Christmas morning.   Gather up board games,  holiday snacks and party in your pjs.
  • Find someone in need.  More than ever there are people that need assistance this holiday season.  With a little more time on our hands, perhaps we can find an organization to support through volunteering or providing needed supplies or donations. 
  • Avoid travel and appreciate being at home for the holidays.   Many of us are on the go so much during the holiday season.   Take time to decorate more, re-visit family traditions, cook or bake family recipes, catch up on hobbies we would normal neglect for holiday parties.
  • Send care packages to family and friends afar that you might not see this year.   Include homemade crafts or goodies for a personal touch.
  • Create a craft chain.   Create an ornament or wreath for a friend and have them pass on the love by making one for another friend.   Pass along supplies to connect the spirit of the craft.

This holiday season might not be the same, but we can make it amazing with a little creativity, a little magic, and a lot of love!!!

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