Advice for Holidays in a Pandemic

Y’all.  Here at Simply Toofers, we LOVE the holiday season.  All of it.  Every holiday season I get excited about baking cookies to share with friends, the twinkling lights that warm winter’s chill, the hunt for the perfect gift for my favorite people, my kids’ anticipation of “the morning,” and the generosity and the warmth of the human spirit that is on full display for weeks. 

And call me crazy, but my heart is always full to overflowing when all six of my siblings and their spouses and children are at my house for the main event, all of us seated either at the “grown-ups’ table” or the “kids’ table.” (I’ll let you guess which table gets the china, and which table gets Simply Toofers suction plates.) 

Enter 2020 and a pandemic.

Instead of planning what I’m putting on my tree this year and how I’m going to fit everyone around my table, I’m considering how my immediate family will balance spending time with our most favorite people in the world and being responsible and doing our part to slow the spread of Covid-19 in our community.  If I can be honest, it’s stressful.  I want nothing more than for all of us to be able to be together with no pandemic lurking in the background, but that is just not our reality this year. 

One thing I’m struck by, though, as I think about risk mitigation strategies and how we’ll approach celebrating is this: we get to spend the very first holiday of the season practicing gratitude.

Thanksgiving.

Think about that... Am I the only one who finds it to be no coincidence that the start of our annual season of festivities revolves around giving thanks?  I don’t think any of us would say that 2020 has been a normal year.  For what it’s worth, "unprecedented" is a word I have heard enough times for a lifetime, never care to hear again, and am actively choosing not to use in reference to this year.  That aside, NONE of us are leaving 2020 untouched and unscathed in some way.  I find it fitting, though, that at the start of our holiday activities this year and every year, we have a day scheduled on our calendars to pause and give thanks.

simply toofers suction plates in yellow, charcoal, blush and sage
I’ve noticed in my life that when I’m intentional about being grateful for my blessings, it puts everything into perspective.  Blessings don’t have to be big to be blessings.  Your blessings can be as small as a beautiful view on a walk or your sweet kid offering to help with a chore. Taking one day to reflect on our blessings and be thankful for them is the perfect start to what can so easily be a chaotic season. In her book One Thousand Gifts, Ann Voskamp suggests that we don’t have to change what we see, but we CAN change the lens through which we see it (this is very loosely paraphrased, and I can’t give you an exact reference page, emphasis mine and I do recommend the book).  Being intentional with our thanksgiving changes how we see our circumstances and affects us and the people around us for the better.


Is this easy? Not always.

Could we drown in the grief of who and what we’ve lost this year?  Definitely.

But it is my sincerest hope and prayer that even with the weight of this year on our shoulders, each of us will continue to find things for which to be grateful.

 

So I promised you advice for how to handle the holidays in a pandemic, and here it is: 

1)  Appreciate that we get to start the holidays off with gratitude. 
2)  Look for ways to be grateful in the small.
3)  If you find yourself celebrating with a much smaller crowd, maybe consider having a “grownups’ table” with china and a “kids’ table” outfitted with our indestructible silicone plates to make it feel just a little more normal.

 

From our families to yours, we wish all of you the best as you navigate the upcoming season in the way that you best can. 

 

 

Rock on, Mamas and Daddies.

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