For many of us, our holidays this year may look a little different than they usually do.  

During the holiday seasons, I am typically bopping around from one-holiday party to the next, for what feels like every weekend of December. And if I don’t have something planned I make up an excuse to call someone up to go out and celebrate. I love celebrating the holidays and all the magic and cheer that it brings. 

But part of that “magic” of the season, for me, is seeing and being with the people I love most. It’s going out to dinners, drinking wine, and toasting to the year ahead. It’s baking cookies for Christmas with my huge family on a Sunday afternoon. It’s morning brunches at my high school friend’s house, catching up on the year that passed. It’s the connections, the people, and the love that we share and come back to every year that makes it so special to me.  

But of course, this year has been and will continue to be very different. I haven’t seen some of my family members in almost a year now. Yearly Christmas parties canceled. No cookie bake-offs. No Christmas bar hopping. And the actual holiday has been cut down from a day of seeing 50+ people to being with my immediate 8.

This year is going to be an adjustment for me. A little sad, and different, but that doesn’t mean that it will be bad. Change and a break in routine isn’t always a bad thing. Sometimes, it gives us a breath of fresh air, a new perspective, and a whole lot of appreciation for what we had before.  

Reflecting on my holiday traditions and how much I miss my people, at first I was saddened by it, but then I was remembered that they are still there. That love is still there, so the magic can be too. It’s just how I share that love and magic will look a little different. 

We can still spread and feel that Christmas magic and connection by, taking a line from Cindy Loo Whoo, and spreading the holiday cheer. =] 

In life, I believe that you are the creator of your destiny. You get to choose what your day, week, month, and year will look like. You can’t control everything that happens around you, but you can change the way you see it or react to it. And that’s what we are going to do here. We are going to look at Christmas in a different light and make the most of what we’ve got. Spreading our holiday cheer the 2020 pandemic way. 

Find your own Holiday Cheer

To start, I believe to spread good, you need to feel good. It’s hard to try to make someone else feel better when you feel like shit. So let’s start with ourselves. How can we spread that holiday cheer in our hearts and homes? 

For me, that looks like putting up the Christmas decorations with a Balsm Fir Yankee Candle-lit and Christmas music on in the background. That looks like baking a Christmas cookie “just because” while watching a holiday classic or Hallmark Channel. It’s wrapping Christmas gifts at night with a fire going. 

For you that might look or feel different, so you do you sis! Put yourself in the holiday spirit. Sing a song, do a dance, drink exclusively out of a holiday cup or wear holiday jammies. Do whatever it takes to make your spirit feel bright. 

Then spread that joy. 

Spread the Cheer

Now that we have got ourselves feeling all good and grand, how can we pass that forward to those we love. 

When I think of spreading holiday cheer I think of wanting someone to feel truly happy all over. I want them to feel appreciated and loved because that’s how I feel after leaving them when we normally are celebrating the holiday season. With this weird time that we are in, we can’t express that to them in real-time or face to face, so we must get creative. 

I have created a small list of things that you COULD do for someone else this year, just to show them how much you love them. 

  • Bake Cookies and Drop them off 
  • Drop off a favorite holiday meal, snack, or side dish. (in my family that would look like lasagna or homemade Chex mix)
  • Write out a Christmas Card or text, but handwritten is always fun so you can open a piece of mail. 
  • Share an old photo or memory and let them know you are thinking of them. 
  • Facetime/Zoom call.

These were just a couple of ideas that I brainstormed quickly, but you get the gist of it. Just do something that is out of your way to make someone else feel good. Do something for them to make them feel seen, special, and loved.  

**Quick note to my fellow millennials out there, baking, cooking, and writing out cards for someone is not easy or convenient or something many of us would take the time to do. I am going to put myself in that bucket because when I was brainstorming I was like, “do I want to take the time to do that?”  

But this is the point, we are taking the time to give back to others with no expectation of something in return. So please, try to do something that extends beyond a text.  

Getting in your car, listening to Christmas music, and dropping off a casserole is just going to feel so good when you see their face light up or when you leave that note in their mailbox knowing they are going to randomly walk out to find it. The extra effort is what makes it special. That’s what makes it a true act of kindness and an extension of your love. That is spreading holiday cheer. Going the extra effort to show your love and appreciation. And if there is any year that we need a little extra love spread around the world. This is it. 

I love you all so much. Thanks for joining me another year around the sun. 

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year! =D