I think in times of uncertainty like in this time of COVID-19, along with the uncertainties that go along with the presidential transfer of power come January, there is a lot to be afraid about. Most people are worried about if their job will exist anymore, or don’t know where their next paycheck is coming from. I think the holidays is just what everyone needs in order to bring some cheer and joy and to let love and happiness fill the air.
How can we let go of our struggles and let the joy of the holidays consume us?
I say turn off the news, turn off social media for a while and focus on what’s in your home. Most of us stare at a computer screen for work 8 hours a day and to then spend the remaining 8 hours looking at either a TV screen or an even smaller screen (your phone). But who’s in your house? Is it your spouse, your kids, other family members? It is time to start making memories with them whether it be through making Christmas cookies, decorating a tree, putting up lights, writing cards, or wrapping presents. Because when your kid comes home for Christmas 10, 15 years from now, do you want their memories of their parent to be of them on their phones, worried about politics, or do you want them to remember you doing stuff with them and being an active participant in their lives?
I know this is easier said than done, but in order to make the most of this holiday season, we must begin with the reason behind your joy and happiness in the first place!
1. Be thankful for you and your family’s health
This may seem rather obvious in the times of a pandemic, but being thankful for health, having a job in uncertain times, among other things is what makes the holidays extra special. Like I stated in my last post, it’s not about what’s in your wallet, it’s about what’s in your heart. You should be thankful for things such as health, whether it be your own or someone you love. When we are thankful, we are appreciative of not what we want, but for what we do have, which for most people, is a lot.
I know I am thankful and pray to God every day, thanking Him for my health, that as many times I have been tested for the virus, I’ve never had it. I am thankful that I have my medication refilled and plentiful, that I can go to the doctor whenever need be, My health isn’t perfect, but I am thankful I have the tools I need in order to feel better than I did yesterday.
I know each family’s Christmas will look a lot different this year due to the virus, but there are a lot of ways to recreate old memories and start new traditions in a time of the pandemic! One way I am starting new traditions this year is getting professional photos of Diego and I, as that is his gift to me. By professional photos, I mean my mom is going to use my nice Canon camera in order to take photos at the waterfront where we first started hanging out to play Pokemon Go together. Another thing I have been doing this year to get us excited for the holiday is with a homemade advent calendar!
I am not sure of the meaning behind what an advent calendar is, but I do know it’s fun to open each day with a piece of chocolate or to end the night with a shot of some random alcohol. It’s hard because we want to be around our loved ones and we can’t or else it could potentially jeopardize their health. But we can use video servicing apps such as Zoom, FaceTime, or Facebook messenger in order to get more people in the same space, even those who are super far away and couldn’t be there for the holiday to begin with!
It’s not ideal to video chat with loved ones, but it’s a creative substitution rather than having to go without family time altogether.
I think this one goes without saying, but having Christmas in the middle of a pandemic is allowing more people to put on their creative thinking caps in order to make this holiday extra special whether it be spending less money or being more generous or kind. I have seen many Facebook groups state that parents and families should ring bells outside their homes on Christmas morning to make it sound like sleigh bells and reindeer are around. Another thing my parents did when I was a kid was to put flour foot prints around the fireplace and around the tree and around the cookies and milk. My parents would always pour out the milk and have only crumbs on the plate from the cookies. We would leave out carrots for the reindeer and those would be gone too.
Like I stated earlier, I made a homemade advent calendar for liquor, I found the box and supplies from the dollar store and spent 99 cents per shot, plus tax. So for 24 days and supplies I probably spent a little over $30. There are definitely ways to make this year special, even if you’re struggling financially.
4. Enjoying the “negatives” in your situation; turning your adversities into a positive thing
Maybe you got laid off from your job, but it gives you more time to work on your home, you can spend time with your kids, or spend time on your passion projects. Or maybe you’re essential and have to work the holidays, maybe you can use the extra income to buy something nice for yourself or your loved ones. No matter what your issues may be, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Maybe you’re just skating by, but it’s okay. Because a lot of us are in the same boat due to pandemic. Only one thing is certain and it’s that it’s okay to not be okay. And that you have more people in your back corner than you think there is.
As we start shifting down and gearing up for the new year, it comes as a great time to reflect on the year; what went well, what didn’t, and how you can do better. You can get a head start on some new year’s resolutions, start creating plans for the next year and make a goal sheet. It may sound a little juvenile to make a goal sheet, but I think they can be pivotal, even life changing for many people. It’s always nice to have a sense of purpose of what you’re working towards and have a gentle reminder of what those things are, especially on those rather difficult/low motivation days.
I would suggest you can always start that new year’s diet before the end of the year, but who am I kidding?
Well I hope you all enjoyed what to be joyful about this holiday season! Let me know in the comments what has you joyful this time of year.