For years, the first annual article I wrote was some variation of “so you survived the holidays!” I always talked about all the normal holiday drama: How do you split up the holidays between multiple families? Do you travel or not? If you want to finally host the holidays yourself, how do you explain that to your parents? How do you manage political arguments at the table? Deal with toxic family members? I mean, you know the drill.
But over the last two years of the pandemic, surviving the holidays has started to feel far more literal, and far more high stakes. No longer are we worried about how many Christmas meals we can get to, or if we really want to brave the Hanukkah latke party drama, or if we should go party or Netflix and chill on New Years Eve. Now we’re worried about a much more complex list of things: what are the caseloads in our area? Are all of our family members vaccinate (or even willing to tell us their status)? Should we use rapid tests? What about little kids that are not vaccinated yet? Will people agree to wear masks around immunocompromised family members? Is some sort of all out battle about vaccinations going to break out over the turkey? What about omicron? What about boosters?
But. It’s January. You did it. You made all of those zillion risk assessment decisions. You tried to protect your loved ones health and safety. You balanced your need for community with the need to keep your community safe. And TBH, it might not have worked out the way you planned. (I got a terrified Happy Hanukkah text from a vaccinated friend locked in her attic with COVID early in the holiday season, in a heartbreaking reminder that we can to everything right and still end up sick and scared.)
So this is your place to let it all out. How did it go? What were the best parts? What were the worst parts? What decisions did you make that you were proud of? What would you change if you had to do it again.
And please, on all that is holy, let this be our last pandemic holiday season.