2020: A Different Holiday Season

After months in various states of quarantine due to the coronavirus pandemic, many Canadians were hopeful about the holiday season. We’ve experienced careful summer gatherings outside, a modified Thanksgiving, an awkward Halloween and many virtual birthdays. Now we’re wondering if our beloved holiday season will be another COVID casualty.

For many Canadians, holidays spark joy for families. Cherished grandparents look forward to holiday get-togethers. Time with friends and visitors from afar adds to the enjoyment.

But this year, we’re rethinking how to celebrate. Grandparents must be kept safe, big parties are a no-no and travel will be reduced. What do the holidays look like without friends and/or our extended families? How do we make the most of our time and enjoy the holidays with more distance, less travel and fewer gatherings?

It’s complicated: How to handle the holidays in 2020

Holidays are often complicated; even with the celebrations, they can be difficult and lonely. When we miss lost loved ones, feelings of isolation can be magnified. Will this year be even lonelier?

When everything is complicated, the best approach can be to simplify. Buy less, visit less, travel less, gather less, stay safe and go back to the basics. If doing less doesn’t feel like the holidays, doing more can involve giving more, giving back and connecting more, even if it’s virtual.

This year will be different, but it can still be great; by planning ahead and pursuing activities that you and your family enjoy, you’ll keep the spirit of the holidays alive, even if that means starting some new traditions. If you have children, prepare them for how the holidays will be different this year. This holiday season is about no judgment, fewer expectations and staying safe—and there’s no wrong way to do that! 

Ideas for quiet time, giving back, spending less and giving more

There are many ways to enjoy quality time at home over the holidays. Do your holiday baking with your children and reward your efforts with a good movie. How many years has it been since you watched How the Grinch Stole Christmas or A Christmas Carol? When you’ve had too much time indoors, skating, walking, tobogganing and building snow men are fun activities for the whole family.

To give back, we can drop off holiday baking for neighbours, donate to food banks, shelters or the humane society and, if possible, participate in a local volunteer group.

If you usually attend religious services, find out what’s offered virtually and safely so you can still worship as you choose.

End of year reflections

“We plan to make the most of the holidays this year and despite missing spending time with our extended family, COVID has made me realize how fast-paced our life is and how important it is to slow down, enjoy the little moments and not take things for granted.”

– Dana Hurst, Senior Director of Health Solutions

The holidays are a great time for reflection. Even though it’s been a difficult year, challenge yourself and your family to think of everything and everyone you’re thankful for. Feeling gratitude is a simple way to lift spirits and connect with one another.

Happy holidays to you and your family!

Written by Judy Plotkin, Vice President, Health Solutions at People Corporation.