Holidays during the pandemic and an election
With the holidays right around the corner and the coronavirus still plaguing the world, what will the season of festivities and celebrations look like this year? Will we still be able to feast on turkey and stuffing while listening to our elders complain about the election? 2020 came in with a roar and we all are desperately anticipating its departure. Nonetheless, we need to get down to the nitty-gritty details of keeping family traditions and celebrations in the face of COVID-19.
Let’s talk tradition
Nothing says holidays to me more than turkey, homemade pumpkin pies, family, and a boatload of carbs. When it comes to the holidays, my family does it up big. We begin the menu planning come summertime in anticipation of who’s bringing what to the holiday table that year. The bond with family is important to us; the memories we make each year are handed down the generations through stories we continue to share with one another. Breaking bread with each other is a symbolism of love and respect.
Growing up as far as I can remember, my grandparents, hosted the holidays. I have such vivid memories of walking through their front door and the smell of turkey laying heavy in the air. Us kids running circles through the dining room, the men navigating their way to the den to binge on football and snacks, the women in the kitchen cooking–the images all stay fresh in my mind. We are a bold, opinionated crew; blatant conversation of politics and religion always could be heard from the other room.
Our family, like many others, has grown over the years. We’ve welcomed spouses and grandchildren and mourned the loss of grandparents and parents. Even though the holidays today are not the ones of yesteryear, the sentiment always will be cherished. Looking at the challenge of keeping traditions going with the pandemic and the uncertainty of this election year, I am secretly dreading the holiday and the opinions of the election that will be brought to the table. But, nonetheless, “the show must go on.” So in the spirit of things, I plan to keep the grievances and political verbal judo to a minimum this year.
Three comment rule
If you’re like me — completely exhausted over the political bashing and dreaming of nothing more than enjoying a holiday without all the opinions that will come through the door — set some boundaries. Let family, friends, or guests know in advance they have “three comments” about the election, and that’s it! After all, the year has been hellacious enough, why spend the day of thanks arguing about the election?
The holidays, COVID edition
So how will my family uphold the feeling of tradition in the face of COVID-19? It’s important to me that we really do uphold traditions, and I have some thoughts. With travel restrictions still upon us and depending on where you travel to, there’s a strong possibility of having to self-quarantine. Big get-togethers may need to be put on pause this year. We could possibly be looking at micro celebrations, where families and friends celebrate in much smaller groups. Bonding over virtual meetings could be a new look this year. Creating a meal train for our loved ones who can’t be with us this holiday is an idea.
The pandemic taught us a few things: Don’t run out of toilet paper, check in more with one another, and take care of our community — the people who are in it and the ones who are struggling.
Let’s end the year with gratitude: Gratitude for the opportunity to share another holiday with the ones we love. Thankful that the quarantine allowed us to learn new things and catch up on projects that we normally would have put off. Appreciating the fellowship in our communities, and helping one another out in times of crisis.