Meeting the Moment During the 2020 Holiday Season

So, here we are in the midst of COVID Christmas 2020. So, what do we do this holiday season? How do we show up and meet this holiday moment? 🎁

If you haven’t figured it out already, maybe this year it’s not about having the shiniest tree or highest expectations. Maybe this year it’s a time to appreciate simple things and take small steps to make the season more meaningful and perhaps a tiny bit brighter for ourselves and others.

As Charlie Brown says to Linus in The Charlie Brown Christmas: “Maybe this Christmas is not so much about getting, but more about appreciating what we have already?”

Here are some ideas from me and my friends on how to show up for yourself and others.

Need to set the mood in your home this season? There’s tons of fireplace channels on YouTube that feature hours of songs, hymns, and cracking fireplace sounds that provide relaxing background music. The channels are all free, provided you don’t mind wading through a commercial here and there. Here are a few of my favorites:

- Fireplace with Christmas Acoustic Guitar

- Fireplace with Instrumental Christmas Music

- Fireplace with Christmas Piano Instrumental

Also free on YouTube is my favorite classic animated story “The Snowman,” about a young boy who befriends a magical snowman. The young boy shows the snowman his home and then the snowman and young boy fly to the snowman’s home in the North Pole, where they meet Santa Claus and the snowman’s family and friends. It’s a 25-minute story to share with children young and old.

How have I been getting in the spirit this holiday season? Last week, I met my friend Mae on an outdoor bench in Marina Del Rey for coffee and she showed up with a Sony speaker and played Christmas music in the background. As we sat six feet apart, she shared her container of coffee and heated Trader Joe’s orange cranberry scones. It was a delightful and safe way to catch up with Mae and get in the mood for the holidays.

Some of my friends have been taking time this season to give back. Before she put up her tree up, my friend Chris raised $1,000 to support World Central Kitchen, an organization working to distribute fresh meals in communities that need support. Children and families can pick up meals and take them home as needed. To date, WCK has provided 33 million meals in more than 400 cities across the U.S. You can find out more and donate here.

Chris’ gesture reminded me to donate to my favorite charity, Meals On Wheels. The organization provides warm meals and check-ins during this time of isolation. Find out how to donate to seniors in your community here.

Here are some ways my friends are finding the spirit of the season:

- Food and Drink: baking Christmas cookies, making a gingerbread house, brewing up some delicious hot chocolate, and shaking up a Christmas cocktail

- Decorating: hanging lights, making ornaments, making a wreath

- Coming Together: watching a Christmas movie, scheduling a family or friend holiday Zoom call, driving through lit neighborhoods to see the Christmas lights, learning to play Christmas songs on an instrument

(Thank you for the tips Hannah, Grace, Sam, Maddy, and Molly!)

We make lists of things to do, things to buy, and things to remember, but have you ever made a list of things you can do for yourself and others that don’t cost any money? Here's a list I'd suggest you consider this year:

1. Connect with family you haven’t spoken to in some time.

2. Be especially mindful of the older people in your family and consider calling them first.

3. Wave “hi” to your neighbors.

4. Reach out to an old friend.

5. Forgive someone.

6. Apologize to another.

7. Sympathize with those who have suffered loss.

8. Be generous to those who have less.

9. Be patient with those who have more.

10. Be a touch more helpful.

11. Be just a little bit kinder.

12. Do something creative.

13. Draw or paint a small picture.

14. Sketch.

15. Doodle.

16. Color.

17. Write a hand-written note.

18. Read a Christmas holiday story.

19. Send a gift to someone who needs a surprise.

20. Share a Christmas treat with a neighbor.

21. Make a double portion of food and share with someone who can’t cook.

22. Put the cell phone down and listen to someone really carefully.

23. Practice giving someone your undivided attention.

24. Practice self-care and self-love.

25. Spread a little hope, joy, and love.

Can you pick just five of those things to do this year?

Show up and meet this moment by having a Merry “little” Christmas.

Happy holidays to all!