I don’t know about you, but our highly anticipated Thanksgiving with my two siblings and their families turned out to be a bust, darn it COVID! We’d so wanted our group of 20 to celebrate Turkey Day and my mom’s 75th birthday but like so many other events and activities this year we had to come up with a Plan B that, while nice enough, was not the hoopla we’d hoped for.
Christmas being right around the corner, I thought you, like me, might be searching for meaning that can’t come from being physically close to the ones we love most this holiday season. So, this month’s column is a serving of the best ideas I’ve seen and had on how you and I can put the Merry into Christmas, the Happy into New Year, and the Harmony in the Auld Lang Syne.
First, some ideas on how to bridge the miles (or the blocks) between you and those you love the most.
Getting creative and doing something personal such as sending your favorite holiday cookies or baked goods, or even a newly designed, original family t-shirt to family and friends near and far would be a good way to spread some cheer and familiarity. Maybe the t-shirt says something like, “Near or Far We Love You Just the Way You Are.” Not a fan of the t-shirt? What about sending a special ornament for their tree (let the creative juices flow, get the kids involved and make it an art project).
Another idea I plan to [try to] talk my kids into is writing a family letter. No, not the typical verbatim this is what we did, where we traveled, what we achieved in 2020 kind of thing, but a paragraph from each of us about what the year has meant and how it’s impacted our lives both positively and negatively. Obviously we didn’t do much or go anywhere (except Broken Bow in August for three nights…which was AMAZING) and yet I can’t think of anything that might touch the hearts of our loved ones more than each one of us sharing their interpretation of the quarantine. (Now, honestly, there’s a 50/50 chance our kids be game for my idea).
Second, how to spend some time with your loved ones this holiday season, AND respect the 6-foot distance? Did you know you can play games online with multiple family and friends? (I know, our kids have been doing this for years, but there are actually fun games the whole family can understand and participate in). Jackbox TV is a great option, really reasonably priced and we’ve been able to play with several friends and family members. Try this with the entire family, or why not host a game night via Zoom (our favorite is using the white board feature to play Pictionary), or a Christmas movie night where everyone shows up for a family favorite in PJs and drinks cocoa and eats popcorn! Maybe this is the night you wear that newly designed family t-shirt!
Let’s face it, the year has been about thinking outside of the box. The word “pivot” has never been more over used. However, some great ideas have come from the need to innovate this year, and despite the virus’s best efforts we’ve still made some beautiful connections and helped others to do so along the way as well.
Let’s shine the light on that as we end 2020, I know together we can finish strong!