Here we are, months into a Global Pandemic. Many of us are still at home, facing the holidays and wondering how it might be different this year. Planning during uncertainty is rather challenging. However, one thing to consider is how structure creates flexibility. Creating plans doesn’t require us to follow them, but it does give us something to adapt as the world continues to change. We can then shift our focus to reimagining life and holidays in a pandemic.
This time requires us to be adaptable. I think back to previous generations and some of the hardships they had to endure. This gives me the opportunity to consider how I might bring that slice of resiliency to this moment. How can I create the most enjoyable seasons given these circumstances? This is how we reimagine life and the holidays in a pandemic world.
Reimagining the Holidays
When I imagine the holidays, I think of family, food, gatherings, and memories. These are the components. While I have preconceived notions about what that looks like during the holiday, these are the underlying themes. Once I realize these pieces, it becomes possible for me to start dreaming a bit about how to incorporate them without the preconceived notions attached.
When we ask ourselves the question about reimagining life and the holidays, we can start to dream. In these dreams, we identify the feelings we want to generate. As we do this, we start to define the activities that lead to these feelings. Then we can begin to tweak the activities to represent some of the boundaries we have in place during this time.
As we reimagined the holidays this year, I asked every person in my family what they enjoyed about each holiday. Then I started to brainstorm what activities could lead to that. As I looked at each activity, I started to put some plans and boundaries in place to make them safe during these pandemic times.
For instance, for Halloween, we love the idea of being cozy inside, enjoying treats representing the holiday, and movies together. So, we decided to do pumpkin ice cream from Trader Joes, pumpkin-themed treats, and adapted our regular family movie night routine to incorporate our favorite Halloween picks. This was a simple change, but by gathering input from the family, we can still capture the essence of the day without the preconceived notion of what it has to be. There are some great ideas in Halloween at Home as well. This process can be adapted for any holiday. We can start to think about what the essence of these holidays means to us, so we can recreate them in a new spirit.
This doesn’t only apply to the holidays. Every time we hear ourselves say, “I would do [this] but the pandemic…,” we can question ourselves. If we are missing aspects of our life before, this process works in the same way. It also serves as a good reminder that we may not be in control of the world, but we are in control of our actions. It also might remind us that the things we are missing may not be as important as we remember them to be, especially if we choose not to recreate them in our lives today.
Life doesn’t have to stop due to the circumstances. In many ways, this allows us to realign with what is most important in our lives. We can let fall away what no longer serves us, and hold onto what is still possible through the feelings that we want to achieve. It is a global recalibration, of sorts, and by adopting this perspective we no longer need to feel helpless by the circumstances. Instead, we can create consistency and joy in our lives again by focusing on how we want to feel, capturing the essence, so we can reimagine life and the holidays in a pandemic world.