2020 has put us through the wringer, so is it any wonder that some of us would like to pack up our bags and just move along to ringing in 2021 already?
Am I the only one feeling sluggish about the holidays this year? Is it because so many of our typical traditions have been disrupted? Is it because uncertainty hangs around every corner like an unwelcome wreath of mistletoe? Or is it because we are just so darn weary from a year of shutdowns, social distancing, protests, political posturing, and the occasional burning and looting to round things out?
Perhaps you are like me and you are just so darn weary from the year we are surviving. Maybe you don’t feel much like getting into the holiday spirit and it’s not that you want to ruin anyone’s holiday, but you just want to hold it on the holiday cheer.
Maybe how you’re feeling is okay. Maybe doing what you need to do this year is perfectly fine. And if you can give yourself permission to do what you need to do without guilt or recrimination, that would be a bonus. But only if you feel up to it.
Case in Point
I traditionally send holiday cards to friends and family. This is typically a so-so holiday tradition on the enjoyable meter. I don’t love addressing and sending 150 holiday cards, but I do value my friends and family and so it’s typically worth the time and effort. This year: I’m not convinced. I value my friends and family just as much as in years past (in fact probably more given I haven’t been able to connect with them), so that part of the equation has not changed.
But let me tell you what has changed this year: my bandwidth. This has been a hell of a year and I am spent. At the risk of sounding dramatic (when has that ever stopped me?), I don’t have even one hour to give to holiday cards this year. So there, I’ve convinced myself. It’s decided, I’m not sending holiday cards this year. Consider this blog post your holiday greeting (and what a dour greeting it is).
The next challenge is to abide my decision without guilt or recrimination. The conversation will likely go something like this:
Me: “I can’t believe you didn’t send holiday cards. You send holiday cards every year. What were you thinking?”
Also Me: “I was thinking I was tired”
Me: “People will be disappointed”
Also Me: “No one cares and I’m too tired to care if they care.”
My point–and I do have one–is this: you have permission to make the holidays work for you. The holidays pull us to traditions in the best ways, but if we’re not careful, we can also be ruled by traditions that can become burdensome. If 2020 has taught us anything it’s that we can adjust accordingly and we need to if we want to remain healthy and safe. Details may look different, but the heart of what matters remains the same.
And so it is with the holidays. What makes the holidays special for you? This holiday season will most definitely require adjustments for everyone. Prioritize what matters most and forget about the rest. If you need to scale back, simplify, or slim down your schedule to preserve your sanity, then by all means do it.
If, on the other hand, a Santa-size helping of holiday cheer is exactly what you need to finish off what has been a pretty epic year, then light the fire, turn up the holiday tunes, and dance around the Christmas tree until your cheeks are rosy and bright.