During “normal times” when the holiday season comes around, I am bubbling with excitement with a side dish of stress. My immediate family lives nearby and most of husband’s family lives in Massachusetts. Last year, we made the trek up north to spend Thanksgiving with his family and for Christmas we were with mine. This year we were supposed to switch.
Before the pandemic set in, we were excited about bringing our daughter and our new baby to my family’s big Thanksgiving gathering that my parents hold at their house. We were excited at the prospect of traveling to Massachusetts for Christmas and visiting with my husband’s grandparents who are 89 and 91. It would have been our first big trip as a family of four.
While we still feel stressed because of all the uncertainty with this virus and we are bummed out about so many changes in plans, we also feel a sense of calm that we know we can relax this season. There’s no deciding where we’ll be because this year we know we are staying home for the holidays.
It won’t be the typical hustle and bustle. Most gifts will be purchased online and mailed to family and friends. We don’t have to plan where we are going and when. I don’t have to plan out what the kids will wear to whatever party we are invited to.
While it isn’t what we are used to, we are trying to focus on the positives. We have never had a holiday dinner with just our immediate little family. Our son is 6 months old, so this will be his first holiday season. It will be fun to have him to ourselves rather than being at parties where he is passed around. While we feel very blessed to have somewhere to go every year and we have abundance of family, it feels nice to host just ourselves. We know once everything calms down, we probably won’t be alone on a holiday any time soon, if ever again. My husband was excited about cooking the turkey for Thanksgiving, while I was focusing on the side dishes and the table set up.
For Christmas, I plan on focusing on new ideas for decorating the house and really diving in with teaching my daughter about Santa Claus. She turned 2 on October 24th. She’s starting to listen better and I think she is understanding better too, and maybe even remember the Santa Claus concept. We are excited to continue making new traditions. Maybe this will help us become better at taking a step back from time to time and make better efforts to focus on our immediate household. Maybe this will help us appreciate the holidays and not get caught up in the usual craziness.
We have to focus on the positives with the amount of negativity going on, otherwise our minds will explode. With the current state of politics in addition to this global virus, times have been really hard for a lot of people. It becomes hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but we all need to keep believing it’s there. My mom keeps reminding me, this is temporary. This isn’t how the rest of our lives will be. We need to keep our heads up and make due until things are a bit more “normal.” We also need to learn from this. Easier said than done, but still important to remember.
I am hoping we can all get out of our covid-daze even just for the end of the year and plunge ourselves into a happy holidaze.