I know the term “cancel culture” has nothing to do with my social life, but dang it! How many more of my always-much-anticipated annual parties are going to be cancelled!?!? I don’t mean to sound flippant about this very serious topic. I know parties are not important in the grand scheme of things. It’s just that all of the yearly events and celebrations have been and continue to be cancelled during a time when we probably need human contact maybe more than ever before -- well, it’s not fair! Ugh!
I don’t want to stress you out, but have you looked at a calendar lately? Believe it or not, the holidays are here. You know it’s true! It’s almost time to carve jack o’lanterns, and once that happens, that holiday train starts gathering steam. Before you can get oriented, it seems like Thanksgiving and the winter holidays are here.
That’s not a bad thing; I absolutely adore the holidays. It’s just, well... stupid virus! That’s why this year, instead of lamenting all of the traditions that we have to forego, I’m going to revel in a sort of “bizarro world” where everything is backwards and upside down! If Thanksgiving at Uncle Tommy’s has to be cancelled this year, why not still make his day special and festive by sending him what you would normally take him as a host gift for the party and scheduling a family video chat at cocktail time.
If “Cousins Gift Swap,” the neighborhood cookie exchange, and even your extended family Christmas or Channuka are cancelled, you can’t just sit around crying in your eggnog (you don’t want to water down the bourbon in there, do you!?!?) Instead, this year, think about how you can bring a smile and maybe even a little joy to your friend or loved one who would normally be hosting a big bash. Even though they may feel relieved to be off the hook for what’s probably a lot of work and money, after many years of hosting an annual event, there must be an inevitable letdown or some level of disappointment.
In order to fill this weird social gap, I’m going to have to be creative. For example, if part of the tradition involves me physically being with and helping the host or hostess get ready for the party, I will try to plan an outing or reunion where we can be together but still be appropriately socially distanced. Spending a couple of hours together in a pumpkin patch or finding the “best tree ever” at a Christmas Tree Farm might not be the same as being together at a big party, but it is quality time together, and ultimately, that’s what is important.
If food is part of the tradition (and with me, it ALWAYS is!), maybe arrange to have some of that food delivered to the host/hostess’ home. Reminding people of the sweet details and highlights that you love about their parties might be the perfect way to show appreciation this year. It truly is the thought that counts.
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