“I think there must be something wrong with me, Linus. Christmas is coming, but I’m not happy. I don’t feel the way I’m supposed to feel.”
This holiday season, we might relate to the words of Charlie Brown a little more than we have in the past. Whether you celebrate Hannakuh, Diwali, Christmas, or Kwanza, you may be feeling a bout of the holiday blues. The holidays without many of our loved ones paints a bleak picture, but just like the theme of every holiday movie, we have to remember what this season is all about: connection, love, and good will towards fellow man. Though we may have new parameters in place, we can still celebrate the season. Strengthen traditions, create new ones, and connect with others like never before. Focus on what you can do while still celebrating safely:
Deck the Halls
If you are celebrating Christmas, now is the time to go all out on your exterior Christmas decorations. Because one can practice social distance measures from the car, looking at Christmas lights may become more of a favored passtime. Create a list of your favorite homes, start a scavenger hunt with little ones, or organize a contest.
New Neighborhood Traditions
Not only does a decked-out house invite visitors to gaze, it can strengthen the sense of community in your neighborhood. Band together with your neighbors to create a theme for your court, block, or street. As some neighborhoods in Benicia can attest, these annual neighborhood rituals can become a cherished holiday tradition for years to come.
Doorstep Drop Off
You can still abide by CDC Covid guidelines and share your traditions with friends and family. Your dough ornaments, Christmas cookies, and favorite holiday foods can be left on your loved ones’ doorsteps.
Personalized Holiday Cards
Support the post office and resurrect an old means of communication. Christmas cards are a common practice in the holiday season, however they are seldom personalized for individual families. With the time you save this year staying local and not entertaining droves of visitors, you can individualize your holiday greeting for each recipient.
It is well documented that giving is a mood booster. We feel better when we contribute to the well being of others. If you have not made a philanthropic holiday tradition in your family, now is an excellent time to start. There are several organizations in Solano County, alone: there is the Food Bank of Contra Costa & Solano, Benicia Community Action Council, Solano Friends of Animals, Food is Free Solano, and much more!
As the end of the infamous year of 2020 comes to a close, the holidays can offer a small light of hope. While we may not celebrate with lavish parties and colossal family gatherings, we can rekindle the meaning of the holiday season.