The holidays are a time for celebration with those who are most important to us

The holidays are a time for celebration with those who are most important to us, whether it’s family by blood or family by choice. This year, Covid-19 may have thrown our plans out the window but let’s not be discouraged.  We’ve proven we’re resilient and we’ve learned that we do better when we’re connected to community. So let’s reflect on what matters most and make this a festive season one to remember, for all the right reasons.

Science has proven that twinkly lights and festive decorations make us feel happy. Well it may have been a very small study, just in my home. So it’s not really scientific; more subjective. My husband jokes that he lives with a Christmas elf. I start sneaking the decorations out around mid-November. I love the simple joys of the season: sparkly lights and evergreen boughs. I love the preparation too but this year we’re putting a different spin on things and I want to encourage you to do the same.

While we’ll miss whatever celebration we’re used to with our loved ones, let’s be bold and focus on what we can do to make the most of the festive season with those around us. Ask yourself how you can show up for your neighbours and allow them to show up for you?

Instead of the annual Christmas gathering we host for our immediate neighbours, we’re organizing a stay at home potluck. On a specified date, each family will drop off two dishes on each other’s porch, we’ll set up a zoom chat to toast the season and enjoy a quieter celebration but a celebration nonetheless. Oh yes the food during the festive season is another favourite of mine. Many of us have our signature dish or treat and I hope you plan to share whatever your specialty is with your neighbours and friends. Every year, I make the plum pudding that my Mum and Godmother prepared as well as the white fruitcake my mother-in law made, so I can keep their spirit close at Christmas.

The fact that we aren’t as free to go shopping this year means that we can reframe that idea too. The real gifts of the season are kindness, empathy, compassion and love. These are gifts we all have an endless supply of and actually increase as we share them with others. A small gesture for a friend or neighbor, a donation to an organization that supports people who need it, especially at this difficult time, could be an expression of your kindness and compassion. Perhaps you could offer a card or a call, a package of goodies or a beautiful heartfelt smile. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination. I encourage you to hold nothing back this year when it comes to sharing yourself with those around you.

This Pandemic pause has brought stress for sure and it’s brought beautiful gifts. We know now that we are better together and some of us have learned to appreciate support from neighbours and even strangers. Let’s all dig in and see where we can make a difference for those around us, to ensure that this festive season shines bright like the North Star.

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Wellings of Stittsville a active adult community located in Stittsville, Ontario.
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