For many of us, we will experience a Christmas away from our loved ones thanks to the pandemic. Well, that doesn't mean we still can't enjoy their company during Christmas according to Transitions of Western Illinois.

The holiday season is here and so is COVID! With the illness raging, hospital beds full, and deaths continuing to rise, it is not a time to “throw caution to the wind” … it is a time to be cautious.  Does this mean that we cannot celebrate during the holidays? I don’t think so … it just means that for this year, we need to find different ways to celebrate and remember our friends, neighbors, and those we love.

For most of us, Christmas is full of traditions - traditional foods, traditional gatherings of our friends and family, traditional visits to musical and holiday events. This year many of those things that have been traditionally a part of our holiday calendars will likely not happen.  The holidays this year will be different, but they can still be meaningful.

  • If your family is not gathering this year, you can still connect. Consider a video chat holiday dinner. If family members schedule their dinners at the same time on Christmas Day or Christmas Eve and then connect through video chat, they can come together over dinner.
  • Grandma and Grandpa can also use video chat on Christmas morning to watch their grandchildren open their gifts.
  • Many of us are facing financial challenges as a result of the pandemic. Thus, it may be difficult to purchase gifts for those we love. Meaningful gifts do not have to be expensive gifts – take a photo of a child, a beloved pet, or a person’s favorite place and put it in a frame. Make a favorite batch of cookies for a family member or give older family members household chore coupons. Coupons for gutter cleaning, lawn raking, snow shoveling, or taking down Christmas lights make great gifts for older family members..
  • Remember to reach out to those who are “shut-in” or alone. Leave a plate of cookies on an older neighbor’s porch. Call an older person to ask how they are and wish them well during the holidays.
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The holidays will be different this year, but we can still engage in those things that make the season meaningful.  Connect with those you love, give small gifts to those you love and appreciate, and care for others … that is the true meaning of the season and COVID cannot take that from us.

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