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O’ There’s No Place But Home for the Holidays?

‘Tis the season to be jolly may be the last thing on our mind as we turn the calendar to a new month, and anxiously count the days until the season of merriment is upon us. Many of us are dealing with pandemic fatigue, so the thought of making merry during COVID isolation restrictions may be enough to elevate tempers hot enough to boil the North Pole!

One thing is for certain, this year there will be quite a few changes for the winter holiday season; a time when we were accustomed to celebrating long-held traditions and days of yore, but now will be replaced by social distancing, virtual visits and new twists on family celebrations.

Here are three strategies to try out to help you not only cope, but truly enjoy this magical time of year:

1. Embrace and Engage Imperfection – Virtually!

We may have our own vision of what the perfect holiday season should play out like, but remember, this is the season of spending time with those you love. Children are naturally resilient, so they will love seeing epic fails and intentional mess ups, so bring out your inner child! Try hosting a virtual “Tower Tumble” with your friends where contestants are given a set period of time to build the tallest gingerbread tower with the same items – one package of graham crackers, one can of frosting, one bag of mini marshmallows and one bag of pretzel sticks. The goal is to find joy in the epic fail (and eat some “construction” materials, too).

2. Make New Traditions

Believe it or not, this will be an era when our grandchildren and great grandchildren ask us what it was like to live through COVID-19. Why not have something to talk about? This is a great year to try out something new that you’ve always wanted to do with your family. Really love cooking? Try your hand at homemade noodles from a crank pasta maker (including fun lessons for children in measuring, teamwork and patience). Love crafting? How about making a virtual art gallery of your masterpiece (paint pour, anyone?) signed and dated to commemorate this unique year, of course, and share it on digital sharing apps like Artsonia or privately share as family gifts on apps like Keepy.

3. Resolve to Revolve

One thing is for certain – this too shall pass. The earth will keep turning, and we will soon be in a new year, with some of the same challenges and new opportunities. Now is a great time to begin thinking about what you want to resolve to revolve, meaning, what do you want to keep on doing, and what do you want to improve upon in your life? A great place to start is to create a personal or family manifesto that sets the tone and compass for your life. All of us had our resolutions uprooted in 2020. Now it is time for us to really delve deep into who we are and what we want to project in the upcoming new year. Need help starting your manifesto? Check out the guide on Big Life Journal (while you’re there, take a peek at their 2021 Growth Mindset Calendar, too!).

Throughout it all, the winter season teaches us to let go of the old (such as when all the leaves fell in October), reap the harvest of our sowing (as we do during Thanksgiving), and share our gifts with those we love and our community. Even during this most challenging time, there is much to be grateful for, if we focus upon gratitude and the gifts we all receive from one another – such as the joy of being in a community, living in a beautiful state, and having time to take a breath and truly embrace the wonders of this winter holiday season. Want to see the beauty of gratitude in action? Join a gratitude challenge such as the Thnx4 journal sponsored by The Greater Good. You’ll find there’s a lot we are thankful for – even now.

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