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How Are You Navigating The Pandemic Holidays?

This year is looking different

Has anyone else started to get anxiety over holiday plans? I mean, all of us, right? With everything 2020 has already thrown our way, I’m desperate to see my family and friends. No matter what we all try to pretend, Zoom just isn’t the same as those IRL experiences. And if the last six months have been any indication, my family members still have a wide range of ideas of what counts as safe, which means this holiday season to come with a slew of emotions and logistical issues. 

It’s worth mentioning that emotions run high every year during the holidays for my partner and I. We are both children of divorce, meaning there isn’t just one house we go to for the holidays, there are four houses that demand our attention. And because we’re not married with kids of our own, there’s pressure to make ourselves available to everyone. So without fail, every year once we get home from making our rounds to family member’s homes all over Northern California, we are completely exhausted. Then we realize that we don’t enjoy the holidays because we can’t actually relax and enjoy anyone’s company, let alone each other’s.

‘Tis the Holiday (and Birthday) Season

Because life always has a way of throwing everything at you at once, holiday season also coincides with Birthday Season for my nearest and dearest. Starting November 1st until President’s Day, there are 1-3 birthdays a week (including my own). Typically our schedules would be filled with sentimental celebrations during this time but this year is clearly looking a little different. Twenty plus people at the Thanksgiving table this year? Definitely not. Birthday weekends in the mountains with friends? I wish. This is the year I’m simply saying no to gatherings.

(To be fair, I was over the hustle and bustle of the holidays in general last year and decided to spend Thanksgiving in a pub in the UK with my brother. It was the best holiday I’ve ever had! 10/10 would recommend.)

The thing I’m really not ready for though? The guilt trips and pushback. I know they’re coming. The only reason I say that is because it has already begun for me. The guilt has been laid on thick from family members willing to bend the rules, but this is the one thing I’m holding firm on.

And as we all know, there are no “winners” in this. My family misses each other like crazy but I’ll join their IRL festivities when it’s safe to do so again. So this holiday season you can catch me living my best life, 2020 style, in fancy AF pajamas and treating myself to an over-the-top meal. And to be completely honest, I’m not mad at it at all.

So APW, how are you navigating the holidays this year? Are you partaking in a socially distanced family affair or maybe thinking about staying home and doing nothing at all? Are you breaking from tradition this year? Like we said, this holiday season is going to be different. Let us know what plans (if any) you have in store for the 2020 holidays in the comments. It is right around the corner, after all.

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