Transitions With Jean Blog

Avoid gathering and find other ways to mark the holiday

December 6, 2020

What shall we do for Christmas this year? We all miss our families. There is a temptation to ignore the warnings and get together anyway.

The CDC is begging us to stay home. The doctors and hospitals are taking out full-page ads telling us not to gather with family. We are told that there is a vaccine on the way – but not just yet.

I got co-vid this month. It is real, and it can be brutal.

You have a choice. You may decide that getting together as a family is more important than fighting this virus, or, instead, you could decide that it is more important to keep everyone safe so that you can get together as a family next year and not have any members missing because of co-vid.

So, yes, you can absolutely do family things, but redefine “getting together”. Find creative ways to make it a fun and sharing holiday season. You can do it without being in the same space.

Last month, we shared some ideas of how to celebrate the season with your folks who are isolated and staying safe in their house or in a senior community. Here are some more:

• Make or buy that special Christmas candy that Dad enjoys so much.

• Go decorate outside your grandparents’ home. If they are in a community, ask permission to go wild decorating outside. My mom’s community thought it was a great idea. My brothers and sisters did up Mom’s outside space while distancing and masking.

• Stretch out the season – do something every day to bring joy to their world. They can start looking forward to it, knowing another treat is right around the corner.

• Write a letter of love. For that matter, get your kids to write one, too. A heartfelt message means so much more than a store-bought card. Tell them how much they mean to you and offer them encouragement that this will all be over soon.

• Make several single-serving dishes. Then they can freeze them and pop them in the microwave when they are ready.

• Pick up the phone and connect with someone. Often.

• Drop-off favorite music CDs.

• Zoom or Google Meet or FaceTime or just stand outside their window. It is all about connecting.

• Mail a photo each day, sharing a memory, along with a description of what it means to you.

• Create messages on their window so they can look out and see them (but don’t block their view of the outside world).

• Put up a Christmas tree outside and light it up!

Honestly, I think the biggest gift you can give your family is the gift of life. Perhaps there are one or two family members who are pushing them to get out over Christmas and attend a gathering. Respect and support your parents’ choice to stay home and stay safe.

We have come this far together. We are in the final sprint. We can make it to the finish line if we just pull together a little longer.


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