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Coping With the Holidays on Your Own

Updated: Oct 11, 2022

Everything else has changed this year, so why should the holidays be any different? They’re not the same as other years, but with the right frame of mind, still festive.

The difficult year of 2020 is drawing to a close. The stress of the worldwide pandemic, physically and emotionally, has been felt by all of us. Stress is real for baby boomers— they are among the most vulnerable to the coronavirus.

Now, after living through shutdowns and fear of the invisible virus, Thanksgiving is past, Christmas is coming, and Hanukkah is upon us. The pages of the calendar still turn, and the holidays are here.

Boomers need to be responsible about the decisions they make about being around people, from wearing masks when they go out to cutting back on time with family and friends.

Since the shutdown, few people go to one another’s house, and that was during good weather when we could sit outside on the deck and practice socially-distant get-togethers.

Now winter is upon us and retreating into our haven of a home is the option left.

How do we cope with being on our own for Thanksgiving? We wished that we could be with family and friends. But, after talking it over with my family and my husband’s family we decided to reduce the holidays. My parents are over both 80 and my in-laws are as well.

We pay attention to the CDC and government guidelines, urging everyone we know to modify personal behavior during the pandemic. A large family gathering as in years past was too risky.

So, what could we do to celebrate the holidays?

As Thanksgiving drew near, we decided to have my parents and my girls over and eat at separate tables. It would be small, and separate but with some semblance of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. It was interesting and yes, difficult to cook for 6 people instead of 26 but we were determined. We had a very lovely zoom (the new norm or just the norm) with my husband’s side of the family earlier in the day

Now we’re decorating the house for Hanukkah, knowing that we won’t be having company or visitors. The festive decorating is just for us— for our own enjoyment. It is a way to remember the good times no matter how sad the times are right now.

We unpacked the menorah and a few of the Hanukkah decorations we have in an effort to dress up our place and share memories of last year. Last year, it seems like decades ago but only 12 months. Preparing a festive meal is trying and uplifting at the same time. We shared pictures of our latkes and lit menorahs with our families. In a small way, it was nice.

We hope you are doing your best to follow government health guidelines. We boomers still have a lot of living left to do.

The good news is that help is on the horizon— vaccines are imminent. We all need to hold on until then.

In the meantime, for the 2020 holidays, it’s important not to dwell on what we can’t do. Rather, choose to concentrate on the good things we have —life, love, and in our case, a house festively decorated for the holidays.

That’s helping us (along with a few bottles of wine) get through this holiday season. Cheers to 2021!

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