• Barb Mayfield

A very different holiday


“Be careful what you wish for!”


How often in years past have you found yourself wishing for a slower pace and less “hustle and bustle” at the holidays? In fact, for the past three holiday seasons, I have written posts about our overscheduled calendars and provided strategies for overcoming holiday stress:


2017 - Are you overwhelmed? https://www.nutritioncommunicator.com/post/2017/12/22/are-you-overwhelmed


2018 - Making a list and checking it twice: https://www.nutritioncommunicator.com/post/2018/11/30/making-a-list-and-checking-it-twice


2019 - The best laid plans: https://www.nutritioncommunicator.com/post/2019/12/20/the-best-laid-plans


This year’s stress is of a completely different nature. Do you agree there are many things we would change about 2020 if we could – fear of a deadly illness, widespread unrest and division, financial hardship, loss of normalcy, separation from loved ones? However, in the midst of this pandemic, one thing we could consider a silver lining in an otherwise dismal year, is the slower pace of life most of us have experienced.


I propose that as we enter the final weeks of this year and celebrate the holidays, we appreciate this gift of a quieter, less hurried season. Here are five ideas for enjoying the simple pleasures of the season:


Enjoy the decorations – yours and your neighbors! With more time spent at home, make your surroundings festive. Get out those decorations that may have stayed in the box in busier years. Create some holiday beauty and wonder – inside and outside. Take an evening drive to appreciate the holiday lights throughout your community.


Get outdoors! Walk in nature, feed the birds, take a scenic drive, build a snowman, go skating or sledding.


Bake and share! Bake holiday cookies, decorate a gingerbread house, make candy, or fix other special holiday recipes. Make enough to share with a neighbor, especially someone who will spend the holidays alone.


Curl up with a good movie, music, or book! Not going to parties, concerts, or holiday events? Create special memories at home – curl up with a warm frothy drink by the fire and watch a favorite movie, listen to Christmas music, or read a great book – one of my favorites at this time of year is “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.”


Gather your household for crafts or games! We often neglect spending time in old-fashioned fun with those who live under the same roof. Get out the board games, play cards, or make some traditional holiday crafts like popcorn and cranberry garlands, or construction paper chains.


Finally, reach out to others who may spend the holidays separated from family and friends. Send a card, make a call, drop off a treat – small gestures can go a long way to spread joy.


2020 could feel like the Grinch or Scrooge, a villain who tries to steal our Christmas cheer – or – we can choose to savor this very different holiday season.


A year ago this quote ended a post featuring tips for successful holiday event planning. In light of this year’s forced simplicity, the quote takes on new meaning and reminds us that a slower, simpler Christmas is something we’ve long wanted and have now been given. Enjoy!


“The holidays stress people out so much. I suggest you keep it simple and try to have as much fun as you can.” ~ Giada De Laurentiis


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