This December is not quite the same as it usually is with the Covid-19 Pandemic. Many of us have winter holidays coming up and the start of a new year, but we can’t celebrate and gather as we usually do. That doesn’t mean we can’t find new ways to celebrate while acknowledging everything we have been through this year. It can seem a little daunting to even know where to begin, but don’t worry! We’re here to help.
Here’s your guide for How To Do The Holidays During the Pandemic.
Acknowledge The Losses
First of all, we have been through a lot this year, and we need to acknowledge the losses we have experienced. There are a lot of things you may be grieving, maybe a person or a group of people, maybe you’re grieving for us as a nation, the loss of a job, the loss of a school year, the loss of many holiday traditions, and the list goes on. It is incredibly important to acknowledge these things as losses so that we can grieve them appropriately. It’s ok to feel sad, and it’s also ok to skip the holidays if that’s what feels right.
Adapt Beloved Traditions
If you want to celebrate the holidays in the best way you can, consider other ways to adapt traditions. First, choose what tradition is most important to you and your family. For many, the most important thing is gathering. Try continuing with traditions over Zoom!
Consider New Traditions
Has the pandemic caused you to explore new hobbies? Use one of your new found hobbies to create gifts or try new things with your loved ones during the holiday season. Start by considering your values or what’s most important to you (ie. volunteering/charity, creative projects, music, etc.). There are still many options to choose from while maintaining physical distance.
Find Technology Based Solutions
Zoom is the name of the game this year! It’s free, and Zoom is lifting the 40 minute time limit for all meetings on New Year’s Eve & New Year’s Day. FaceTime, Skype, and other video platforms are also wonderful options. If you’re involving family members who aren’t tech savvy, try to decide which platform would be easiest for them. Pan your Zoom interactions for big groups like playing games (cards.io, jackboxgames.com), asking questions, or sharing memories. You can even record the Zoom call to save the memory forever.
Utilize Low Tech Solutions
Don’t forget these old traditions! You can always send cards, packages, and letters. If you’re looking for something unique, try writing in a journal and passing it on to someone else in the mail. Ask them to do the same. You could do this with a story, a song, or even a craft. In the end you’ll end up with a group creation. If your friends and family are in your area, try a porch drop. Drop off your family meal, gift, or even an activity kit. Decide if you’d like it to be planned or surprised!
The possibilities for the holiday season are endless. Remember, keep it low pressure and low stress. This year is different and we all should expect that. Also be aware of the needs and emotions of others who may be grieving a multitude of things. And lastly, remember what’s important: getting through the pandemic together.
For more tips on How To Do The Holidays, check out this video with Rachelle Morgan from Show Me Hope and Soundscaping Source: https://youtu.be/5GDBEWdOar8
If you need some extra support this holiday season, call Show Me Hope for free crisis counseling. We’re here to listen 24/7.
Disaster Distress Hotline: Call or text 1-800-985-5990 (TTY 1-800-846-8517)
Tri-County Mental Health: 816-468-0400