In any normal year (if we even remember what that was) APW hosts a conversation about what people are going to do for the holidays. When you’re on your way to being engaged, newly engaged, or recently married, figuring out how to balance two sets of holiday traditions can be hard. Your families of origin want you to show up and participate, same as it ever was. But the fact is… things are different now. And you have two families that want your attention. Plus, if you just got married, you may be ready to start creating some of your own holiday traditions in your own home. Figuring out how to navigate that is a complicated game of emotional Tetris. (As if anyone needs ANOTHER emotionally complex puzzle to deal with when also dealing with wedding planning.)
But that hot mess of emotions was back in the good old days. This year we’re in our second COVID Holiday season. In most places the pandemic has eased up, particularly in areas with high vaccination rates. But as Delta reminded us, we also don’t know if or when things might change. So all plans being made can feel a little tentative, a little scary, and complicated by a ton of risk analysis.
Are we ok with flying? How big a group do we want to be in? Are we comfortable hanging out with family members who are not vaccinated or masked? What if we make all these plans and everything changes in a hot second?
And for many folks, these holidays also carry the heavy weight of empty seats at the table. Lives lost to this terrible and unrelenting pandemic. (These are all our best tips on managing holidays heavy with grief.)
As if all that wasn’t enough, we’re bombarded with reports of the supply chain falling apart. Will we be able to get gifts for our loved ones? Will our holiday meals cost a fortune? Should we have already have ordered every gift and food item??
And a year and a half into a pandemic, we’re all just TIRED. Tired of making these decisions. Trying to hold everything together. Just exhausted.
As for my family, we moved into a new house last month (speaking of needing sleep), but we’ve volunteered to host a family of choice Thanksgiving here, because we want to show off the new place. Hanukkah is early, and should be small. And I’m ordering everything I can possibly think of in advance, trying to get ahead of the supply chain mess. I’m focusing on tablescapes, decorations, and small joys. And hopefully lots and lots of naps.
I mean, what else can any of us do?
How are you managing holiday plans this year? What are your quandaries? What are your solutions? Let us know in the comments.