Well, it’s finally here. The 2020 holiday season is gaining momentum, as are the reported increases in the number of coronavirus cases in the US and other countries. And while it’s one thing to admit we’ve been anticipating the disruption to traditional travel plans and celebrations, it’s another to accept that the impact may still result in sadness and disappointment.
But, it might also be a time for each of us to exhibit our resilience, kindness, selflessness and caring for our friends and neighbors. It requires digging down a bit deeper to see things in a different light, and become attuned to recognizing when we have an opportunity to make this holiday season memorable, in a good way.
How did this line of thinking begin? It started with a text from a friend who often hosts a holiday dinner, to her friend who often attends this holiday dinner. The host began by explaining how much her friend had been in her thoughts lately as the holiday got closer, and continued as she expressed her regret that, no matter how hard she tried to come up with a plan, there wasn’t a way for her to invite guests, including immediate family, to her home this year. The friend/guest could sense the struggle her host was dealing with, and felt nothing but love, friendship and appreciation for the difficult decision that was made. She responded with a message of love and happiness that they are friends.
In these unique circumstances, the friend/guest still felt the caring and friendship that came through in the message. While the pandemic is changing their ability to spend time with one another, it will not change the friendship between them and, in a way, strengthened it.
Kindness and caring
It’s important to keep in mind that we have friends among us who have been forever changed by the pandemic. They may have been diagnosed with coronavirus themselves, or have family members who have been. Many have lost loved ones to the virus, or are struggling with lingering after-effects. Jobs have disappeared, income is scarce, housing is tentative and, for those responsible for school-aged children, they’ve taken on the role of educator.
We do not pretend to know the correct response for overwhelming challenges facing others. But, for those individuals who have remained healthy, have managed to maintain an income and household and have a compassionate heart, this is an opportunity to offer others simple, and heart-felt, acts of caring and kindness.
Some simple acts, that could mean so much, include:
- Calling a friend, neighbor or long distance family member just to say “Hello”.
- Sending a neighbor a card (via snail mail or electronically).
- Bake a treat and leave it at the door with a note, or mail it.
- Leave a voicemail, asking how they are doing.
- Plan a virtual call with friends and/or family members.
Whatever the gesture, it doesn’t have to be time-consuming or costly. Just remember….no act of kindness is small!
Kindness and caring for yourself
Finally, remember to take care of yourself over the next few months. If you live in a cold-weather climate, dress for the weather and pick the warmest part of the day to go for a small walk to breathe in the air. If you live in a warm-weather climate – – do the same, without the jacket and mittens!
And, reach out to others. They may be needing to hear from you, too.