Holiday traditions to keep or can with Covid 19
Will Covid19 make us evaluate our holiday traditions?
We all get caught up in the idea of recreating a perfect Christmas, as seen in the movies, but this year will we re-examine those holiday traditions and make some cuts?
Holiday traditions are important for all families. It’s a time when we all come together in the supposed season of goodwill. Very often, as is captured in some very funny movies about dysfunctional families, the veneer of warmth and civility can be pretty thin. Frequently the most overarching concern is the planned early get-away. Today with many families today finding themselves at different ends of the political spectrum, tensions may run even higher and we may welcome the chance of confinement. But some still cling onto these holiday traditions like Titanic survivors on a raft.
Security and comfort
Holiday traditions provide a sense of security and comfort. They are a massive dopamine hit in a changing world, because we know we can count on familiar customs which have probably assumed a greater significance with the passage of time. This year more than ever we may become wistful as warm fuzzy memories of times gone by are revived and relived. But today in very different circumstances we get an opportunity to decide what is really important to us.
Each family will pass on different holiday traditions down the generations with individual family members opting in or out as they wish, or creating new traditions. Families impacted by divorce or other circumstances have to adapt to new situations. Many people spend the holiday period on their own and for them it’s a time of loneliness and isolation. But how many of us are truly sensitive to that and get caught up in “busyness?” This year events have overtaken us and many of us are being forced to reframe our old customs and traditions. For families impacted by a global pandemic either by the virus itself or the economic fall out, it can be a good time to let go of some old habits and examine our priorities.
Which holiday traditions to keep or can?
Can. Definitely gotta go.
The holiday season originally rooted in pagan rituals, has been taken over by the business world. It is a commercial activity. In some geographies the “season” starts as early as September when we have barely put away the beach mats. It’s very hard not to get sucked into it. 24/7 Christmas Channel movies, filmed in the height of summer with fake snow, peddle ideas of the “ideal” family Christmas. Setting budgetary limits for gifts is a way of ensuring that family members don’t rack up debts trying to keep up.
This year it will be much easier to keep a check on the credit card. No regrets here.
#2 Over eating and drinking
“Over eating at Christmas” produces 15.1 million Google search results as people search for tips on how to cope with what for many is a season of excess. This is then followed up by the New Year diet and obligatory gym membership – many of which will be closed. Best way forward is simply to try to keep things moderate. No tips on that here – you can go to Google.
#3 Overdoing it
“Stress at Christmas” produces 452 million Google results. This period is considered to be so stressful, there are that many articles and posts written about it. Managing stress is all about prioritizing. As so much of what we do has very little added value, you can probably let go of most of it. Many elements of the holiday season have become super competitive, whether it’s parties, gift giving or decoration. Outside lighting for homes has seen a significant growth in competitions with neighbors trying to upstage each other.
With everything scaled back the stress should be reduced too.
#4 Holiday cards
Keep! But personal touch is best
The holiday card tradition though declining because of the internet, still accounts for 25% of greeting card sales in the US. Waste increases by the same percentage with 6 million tons of trash every year in this period. Tell friends and family you are not sending cards and give the money to your favorite charity. If you send cards, buy the recycled ones and avoid glitter. If you send for business networking purposes, do so strategically.
#5 Round robin letters
Can – but stay in touch. None of us know what’s going on for someone else in these difficult times.
These came into vogue in the 80s when most households acquired a personal computer allowing everyone to stay in touch with large groups of people at the touch of the print button. They have now taken on lives of their own, as we all struggle to decode the sub-text of these missives, when writers gush about their partners, activities and offspring. The grandchildren doing “wonderfully well” in school are probably just average. The woman who has “embraced motherhood with grace and elegance” would probably kill for a cocktail. The ones written in the third person like a conference bio, are the worst.
Perhaps no long humble brag letters – but still keep in touch.
What holiday traditions would you keep or can?
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