In a year unlike anything any of us have seen before, it’s become painfully clear that there’s a lot we’ve taken for granted in the times that came before. We’re missing out on family celebrations and soaking in the holiday cheer. We’re learning to live with Zoom fatigue and find new things to keep us going in our spaces—2020’s had us experience life in an entirely different way, and it’s not quite done with us yet.
But despite how much things have changed with a pandemic afoot, it doesn’t mean we have to throw in the towel. It might not be the holiday season that we’re used to, but that just means we need to get more creative in what we do to celebrate.
Here are five ways you can make the most of the holiday season, even when we’re stuck at home.
#1: Enjoy a delicious home-cooked meal… just in your OWN home.
One of the things we look forward to are the grand meals that come with the holiday season, but a pandemic doesn’t mean we can’t have them—it just means that we’ll have to do more of the work ourselves!
Sure, we usually might never think to tackle recipes like these with all the time and pressure that usually comes with preparing a holiday feast, but those time-honoured tastes and aromas might be exactly what you need in a season where you might not get them otherwise.
So, roll up those sleeves, get a recipe and do some experimenting in the kitchen.
Who knows—it might even be fun!
#2: Start a new tradition that’s perfect for you and yours.
Maybe you’re at home with young children, all lively and full of energy, constantly looking for activities that’ll entertain them enough to get you through till bedtime. Maybe it’s you and your dog, just doing your thing in the pandemic while you snuggle on the couch. There’s no “right” grouping to fit the people we care about, but no matter whoever’s in that group, only those people know the celebrations and traditions that are right for them.
It could be that funny holiday photo series you always wanted to start up, or a family gratitude journal of the things keeping everyone going. We’re living through a history we’ll eventually look back on, and what better way to do that than with a tradition that started because of it?
#3: Get lost in a good call.
Being on camera is tiring. It’s exhausting. Just staring at a screen and trying to emulate what our conversations used to be like face-to-face… but we need to accept that it’s not and find new ways to communicate in a way that won’t wear us out.
But I say that we often go back to the classics for a reason, and phone calls with people who matter to you—or even people that you haven’t made time to talk to in a while—can do a lot to rejuvenate your soul at a time where it can be so easily depleted. And there’s so much less pressure to be on a phone call than there is to focus on a face on the screen—if you want to have a conversation you can really sink into, try using your phone… as a phone… and reconnect in an era that’s working so hard to drive us apart.
#4: Just because you’re stuck at home doesn’t mean you have to be stuck inside.
Yes, it might be getting colder out there, but it’s one of the most beautiful times of year to go out and see your neighbourhood with the lights and decorations up for the holiday season. You’ve probably been getting out for walks already, but this time of year breathes new life into things—new things to go out there and discover!
Just because you’re stuck at home doesn’t mean it’s the only place you have to be. The pandemic has us falling back in love with our neighbourhoods again—go out there and make the most of it.
#5: Dream wonderful dreams of the future.
But last and most definitely not least, remember that this pandemic won’t be forever and there’ll be a life to live after all of this. We’ll get back to restaurants, travel and being able to step outside the front door without a worry… we just need to give it time.
Why not get ready for it, though? Whether it’s a to-do list, a moodboard, or a family meeting to talk it out, we could all use a little more hope right now.
Why not put that hope in a future that can one day be yours?
Don’t let a pandemic stop you from having a happy holiday season—make the most of it!
So, yes, the holidays will look a bit different this year, and we’ll all need to make adjustments to make it work. But you need to do what’s right for you and your family, and don’t let anything else get in your way.
Happy holidays, everybody!
As the creator behind Casey Palmer, Canadian Dad, Casey Palmer is a husband of one and father of two who shares his family’s stories from the heart of the city. If you want to laugh, cry or think, he’s a man that makes it happen! Casey Palmer lives in Toronto.