- Jody B. Miller
Celebrating During Weird Times
We live in weird times. But think about this...
We are in these weird times together.
All of us. No one is exempt.
That thought alone should bring us closer. Closer as a world. Closer as a community. Closer as a family.
Which is what I want to talk about as we are about to celebrate a holiday where we give thanks.
And how do we do that? How do we celebrate when we can't be together?
For me... one of my children will be home for Thanksgiving. He lives nearby and has been careful to follow all the rules. He is healthy and got a Covid test to be sure. It was negative.
I look forward to hanging out with him, sharing a great meal, having meaningful conversation, going for walks and playing board games.
One of my children is across the big blue ocean in another country. I was lucky to be able to see her a month ago. We celebrated early.
And my other child is still on lockdown - since January! But he is lucky because there are many people in his wing of the special campus where he lives. He has happiness all around him every day and no one has contracted the virus.
He and I have lots of Zoom and Face-time calls. He always says,
See you next year Mom.
So his supervisors are doing a great job of managing expectations.
I miss our annual tradition of going to a local nursery where they decorate the entire inside building with more than 100 themed Christmas trees, moving trains, twinkling lights and festive decor. My children have chosen a Christmas ornament every year since they were barely able to walk. We won't be going this year, but I plan to make up for it next year!
So what can you do to celebrate during these weird times?
Here are 6 ideas that work.
You set the example. And near or far, positivity rules over negativity anytime.
We have a neighbor who's 86 year old dad fell, broke a hip and elbow, and is in the hospital. No one is allowed to see him. Not even his wife. Yet, our neighbor still maintained a positive attitude. He explained how his dad was at a great hospital and getting amazing care. The staff was updating him regularly and the moment he is allowed to see people or is released, our friend will be there.
Just because a holiday is on a certain date, it doesn't mean we have to celebrate on that date. We can agree to add up all the missed dates and celebrate them all together when the vaccine has taken hold.
So be positive. You can't control what you can't control. Be positive. If you're positive, others around you will be too.
2. ZOOM, SKYPE or FACETIME
There's nothing like face to face communication. But if that's not going to happen for you this Thanksgiving, then call up a family Zoom or Skype call. Invite everyone to be on it.
Ask everyone to bring something special to the call. A book they love, a song to sing, a dance, a poem, a funny face. Make the calls happy, not sad. You can even cook together on the call.
3. DELIVER HAPPINESS
Surprise those you love with a bag of groceries, a bottle of champagne or flowers. When my son shows up tomorrow morning, I will have a 3-foot lit Christmas Tree waiting for him. He can take it back to his apartment to enjoy every day for the rest of the year.
4. GAMES and MOVIES
I've always played games and watched movies with my kids. Hop on a Zoom call and play a board game together. One of our favorite games is left/right/center. One person can toss the dice and you can virtually pass the treats, coins or dollars. The more the merrier!
You can buy the authentic game dice or just grab three dice from one of your drawers.
Here's how to play if you don't have the real game dice.
5. GO ON AN ONLINE TOUR TOGETHER (OR EVEN A HAUNTED ONE)
My family goes back to the Mayflower (I actually have a book that tracks back to Plymouth, England and I've seen my ancestor's name on the plaque on both sides of the ocean). However, I have not seen the Mayflower II, which is in Plymouth, MA now and is an exact replica of the original Mayflower. One of my client's has an office in Plymouth, MA so the COO sent me photos of it (she took them right from her office window), but I have not seen it in person. I plan to organize a Zoom call with the Mayflower side of my family and start with a virtual tour of the original Mayflower, and then move on to an actual present day virtual tour of the Mayflower II. Then we'll all just tell stories and read the funniest names from our family book that goes back to the maiden voyage...
We'll check out this lineage page too!
What can you do with your family history that would be fun?
Here is a cool site for Haunted Virtual Tours. I visited The Winchester Mansion with my daughter a few years back. Total fun!
6. IF YOU ARE ALL ALONE, WRITE A LETTER
If you are completely alone without anyone to celebrate with, and don't know who to call, then write a letter. Write a letter to those you love, those you loved who may have passed on, a pet you always loved. A friend you miss. Write a letter. If you have their address, send it. If you don't bury it under a beautiful bush of flowers and turn into a gratitude ceremony. Lighting a candle is always a way to add a beautiful ambiance to a ceremony. And when you're done, turn on your favorite movie of all time, make some popcorn climb in bed (even if it's light out) and watch it. Laugh, cry, emote...
And remember, that through these weird times, we are not all in it together....we are all connected. Which means, even if you're alone this holiday season...you are never ever alone.