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In the days of Covid it’s easy to lose your holiday spirit. Even though a vaccine is on the horizon, they say it’s going to be a long, lonely winter before we feel its positive impact. So we’re told not to gather. Not to visit. Not to toast one another. Even the age-old tradition of caroling is frowned upon. 

But wait just a second. Before we get all Grinch-like, let’s focus on the positive.

Let’s believe in the light. 

Believe in the good.

Believe in miracles and the promise of a new tomorrow.

After all, isn’t that what Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanza are all about?

If traditions are different for you this year and you’re feeling a bit blue, here are a few ways to keep your spirits bright this holiday season.

Honor those who are celebrating with you.

Maybe Crosby Stills Nash had it right all along: “If you can’t be with the one you love, honey, love the one you’re with.” I’m not talking about romantic love. I’m talking about all the other kinds of love and how they offer you comfort. Can’t be with your mother or brother or best friend this year? It’s okay. Enjoy who is there celebrating with you. No moping and being wistful for what could have been. Be in the moment. Show your appreciation to those who care enough to be there with you, even if it’s just your dog.

It’s time to believe.

Yes, bad things are happening every day. (2020 was a complete s#@tshow, if we’re being completely honest.) And sometimes, the bad things crash into our worlds and make us worse for wear. It’s now that we need to practice the spirit of Christmas the most. It’s time to hope and pray and find peace. It’s time to believe that good is coming.

Be excited about the future, not wistful about the past.

Sure, there may have been better holidays in the past. Ones filled with more joy, more laughter, more togetherness. But guess what? If we’re lucky, there will be plenty more holidays ahead of us. And who knows? They just might be the best yet.

The holidays aren’t meant to be perfect­—they’re meant to be enjoyed.

I am a recovering perfectionist and there’s something about the holidays that makes me relapse into that I gotta do more mode. I run around making sure I have just the right everything for everyone, and I don’t take time to stop and just enjoy the energy of the season. It’s about goodwill and hope and peace. It’s not about shopping and cooking and wrapping presents. It’s about magical moments. It’s about being happy in the moment and not run-down. It’s about loving ourselves and accepting that we are good enough without having to be perfect.

I can’t help but feel that there’s a simplicity to be enjoyed this year—one that is light and meaningful and special. That beauty is there to be enjoyed by those who are embracing what is while believing in a better tomorrow.

XO

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Karena Kilcoyne

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