Did anyone else notice that decorations around towns and even Christmas ads on TV started popping up a whole lot earlier this year? After what seems like a year that’s lasted forever, we are finally in December and people are beginning to take solace in things that feel familiar— for some, that means jumping into holiday traditions. But what do you do when some of those traditions or many more than a few of them, have to be changed due to the global pandemic, social distancing, and travel limitations?
You take a deep breath and recognize that this year is different. That doesn’t have to be a bad thing. The holiday season can be one of the brightest and most joyous times of the year filled with family and loved ones; alternatively, it can also be very tough on people’s mental health for a myriad of reasons, and this year, things have been harder for larger populations.
So, after that deep breath, make a holiday plan and answer this question: What can this month hold for you?
Making plans this year has been a little tricky. I talked about that a bit in July when a lot of us realized graduations, birthday celebrations, family gatherings, and so much more were no longer going to happen the way we had hoped. That being said, people have come up with a lot of creative ways to settle in and enjoy the holidays in ways that work for them.
It all depends on where you’re at, what you need, and how festive you’re feeling this year. Some of us are ready to celebrate to our heart’s content until Santa comes to town. Some of us are ready to send Santa his cookies early and settle in for a quiet holiday this year instead. Maybe you’re in between.
Wherever you land, what options are there? I want to show you through a series of holiday commercials rather than only my words, just to keep you on your toes this week.
So without further ado:
Even if your traditions are changing and time is passing, there is a way to keep passing family traditions down whether or not you’re all in person. If you’re on a video call or if you can just send pictures, you can decorate alongside those you care about or even try decoration challenges. This commercial from Disney, from our family to yours, is big on tradition and showcases Filipino culture throughout the 3-minute video. All cultures have their own customs and practices—maybe this year you can even start new ones with your friends or family.
I don’t know about anyone else, but going out in public less for me usually means dressing up less. If you’re one of those people who dress in your best clothes for holiday dinners or to meet the family, this year might be a little different if you’re not going out to dinner or meeting people the way we usually would. After all, if you’re doing Zoom dinners, you could go business on top and party on the bottom without anyone on camera knowing… and I mean pajamas on the bottom. If you’re staying home, you could stay in your pajamas all day. No more struggling with the sentiments of the SNL commercial, check it out.
Last but not least, this one may be an Amazon commercial, but I wanted to highlight it for a few reasons. First of all, it’s important to stay connected to the people you love whether that’s through text, video games, check-ins, distance performances (okay that’s a stretch), and any other ways that work for you. The friends and siblings in this commercial make sure to look out for one another and that’s especially important right now. The other thing I wanted to pay attention to was that even with changing traditions and times, people are learning to adjust. Even though things are not quite the way people had imagined they’d be, find ways to make what you adjust to something you enjoy.
It’s been challenging to be apart from family and loved ones, just as this year has been one full of ups and downs. But for a lot of people, they’re looking for some relief and maybe it’s a good time to create your own spaces for that comfort.
I hope that whatever you’re all doing as we walk into the beginnings of this month, you’re all staying safe and taking care. Here’s to December, I’ll see you next week.