Millions of Quebecers learned this week that they will not be able to come together to celebrate Christmas, whereas last year on this date, we were all carried away by the holiday whirlwind. Office evenings, crowded restaurants, music, everything brought us back, for better or for worse, to these festivities. Many of us used to live in the fun of anticipating and planning a holiday vacation, but in the time of COVID-19, here we are in a big headache.
This virus robs us of much of that pleasure, and its presence forces us, as well as political and health authorities, to juggle different scenarios over which we have little control.
We try to find our way there, and plan our vacations in a context that is difficult to predict.
Knowing that these parties will be like no other, it’s an opportunity to be creative and think of other ways to celebrate and take care of things other than the traditional sleepovers spent in front of the TV or sleeping in. … Many will have vacations, because schools will be closed and many workplaces too. But it’s COVID-19 that we would gladly take leave of! While she invited herself overnight into our lives, let’s not underestimate what she has demanded of us for months.
The challenge of change
Rituals and traditions are vitally important because they represent stability in an ever-changing world, but they must also be able to change over time, especially in times of pandemic. Hence the importance of being both flexible and imaginative, and not giving in to the pressure of performance during these holidays, when everything must be perfect, from gifts to decorations. COVID-19 imposes another rhythm and another agenda.
During these holidays, when we often do everything to please others, why not take the opportunity to take time for ourselves, to slow down?
Let’s put away the school notebooks (for the children) and shut down the computer (for the adults working from home): the return to class will be done quite quickly.
Until then, we can take advantage of these moments of respite to imagine games and finally do what we want, without guilt.
You can be creative despite the confinement, whether in the basement (by flashlighting indoor camping), in the backyard (for an ice sculpture contest), or in the kitchen (by exploring new recipes, perhaps a little more expensive than usual, if there are fewer guests).
Why not organize a friendly snowball fight with your neighbors on a beautiful winter day, in order to bring our neighborhoods back to life despite the distance?
With others, otherwise
The organization of successful holidays, especially with the family, cannot be done without the contribution of the children. Also think about your teenagers who don’t see their friends as much as they used to.
These half-hearted discussions, at supper time for example, will make it clear that the Holidays in times of restrictions can, like last spring, be an opportunity to discover new pleasures, new rituals. And offer a unique chance to be attentive to others, but not in the same way.
Even though the holiday season will take place in a completely different setting than in previous years, that doesn’t necessarily mean less … We must try to focus on the “here and now” in order to take advantage of these moments.
Yes, this holiday will be confined, less festive, but it shouldn’t exclude creativity and fellowship, as well as a good dose of rest after such a trying year.
Where will we be next year on this date? We can surely dream of our next vacation, our next restaurant, our next trip or family party … Because yes, others are on the horizon, and to plan!