As we step from Thanksgiving and into the Christmas season this year, many families are probably feeling like things are a little weird.
Although some may be able to celebrate as they traditionally do, others are making significant changes in an effort to protect at-risk loved ones from being exposed to the virus.
That can be a hard thing for everyone involved, especially for families who are accustomed to doing things a certain way.
But even when there isn’t a global pandemic afoot, the holidays can be weird for other reasons, too.
When someone is ill.
When a loved one has recently died.
When families are facing challenges for one reason or another.
When life just happens—like when children grow up and holiday dynamics change.
Cherishing memories from the past
Our family always had deep holiday traditions as I was growing up, which means I have wonderful memories to savor.
I know that’s not true for everyone, since some people have painful holiday memories for one reason or another—and may choose not to celebrate at all.
Or it may be that some years are just more difficult than others.
Twenty years ago, my dad spent his last Thanksgiving in the hospital and never returned home.
And that first Christmas after my mom died in 2015, I couldn’t put up a single decoration.
Even now, I get a little melancholy when I pull out decorations I still have from my childhood, missing them both as I do.
But I’m so grateful to have such wonderful memories to cherish, which is a reflection of the love and affection within our family.
Every day’s a gift
The tagline for the hospice I worked at for many years was “Every day’s a gift.”
Since none of us know how long we’ll be in this world, I certainly believe that’s true.
No matter how things change in our lives, there’s always the opportunity to cherish today.
To make sure our loved ones know how much we love them.
To be grateful for all the blessings God has given us.
To savor every day as an opportunity to make new memories to cherish in years to come.
Even if the pandemic—or something else—is making the holidays weird for you this year, I encourage you to:
- Pray your way through them.
- Be good to yourself.
- Cherish those you love.
- Celebrate in a way that works best for you.
- Take one day at a time.
- And remember how much God loves you.
This post is adapted from Sue’s Perspectives column in the latest edition of The Empowered Traveler™ Newsletter. If you’re not already a subscriber, you can do that here: Subscribe to Sue’s newsletter.
Feature photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash.