What the Holidays Will Look Like For Us

My kids have all sorts of questions about life these days. 

  • “When can we visit Grammy?”
  • “Will I be able to have a party for my birthday?”
  • “Will school be back to normal next year?”

My reply is always the same, “I have no idea. This is my first pandemic.”

As I shared on this week’s podcast, I waver on a daily basis between rage that we’re still in this position and immense gratitude for my family’s health. I will scream over something I read on Twitter in one minute, the next I’ll sit on the couch and go searching for the end of the internet. The constant rollercoaster has been physically and emotionally depleting. So when my kids asked, “What’s Christmas going to look like this year?” I had to gulp back tears while laying out a realistic game plan. 

  1. No Holiday Party. We’ve been hosting a neighborhood caroling party with several families for the past several years. It starts at our house and weaves around the block. No big group sing-a-long this year, but we’re going to bake cookies and drop them off with neighbors. 
  2. Christmas Eve on the couch. Our church, very wisely, is exclusively streaming Christmas Eve services. These services are typically packed, shoulder to shoulder, and it’s the smart decision to have people stay home. It breaks my heart to think about missing this special service, but we’ve made it this far, eh?
  3. No traveling (maybe local). Like most people we canceled spring break and summer travel. We thought, “surely, this will be wrapped up by the winter” so we booked tickets to visit our friends in Utah after Christmas. While there’s evidence plane travel appears safe, we personally didn’t feel comfortable exposing ourselves and others once we were on the ground. We are searching for a quick day trip option, perhaps renting a house for a few days, so we can bring in groceries and hunker down in a different location. We’re still thinking about safe options, but we may just sit in our sweatpants and not leave the couch. 

Making New Traditions

It’s easy to get wrapped up in how much we’re missing, so we forced ourselves to make a plan for some new traditions.

  • Holiday movie night: We’re going to rotate picking a favorite Christmas movie and ordering/making the food featured in the movie. Penn Charles has already claimed ELF because he wants spaghetti and maple syrup. Penn has picked Die Hard and claims there was a tray of sushi in the holiday party scene at Nakatomi Plaza.
  • New cookie recipes: We are usually so busy getting ready for holiday parties we don’t do a ton of baking. Lola and I are going to try new fancy cookie recipes we never had time for like this Zebra shortbread cookies with sprinkles.
  • Holiday light tours.  I’ve researched, mapped, and planned two different holiday light excursions around our town. On the nights we’d be busy running to activities, we’re going to load up on hot cocoa and see some amazing Christmas light displays around our town. 

When I start to spiral, I remember…this isn’t forever. With news of a vaccine on the horizon, our immuno-compromised friends and family will soon have more protection from this nasty virus. Until then, we’re going to find ways to make this season special. Our kids need it. We need it. 

Hear our whole plan on this week’s podcast:

What is your holiday going to look like this year?

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