As we head towards the end of 2020, and look forward to next year, we can see that the first half of 2021 is going to look pretty similar to what life looks like now. We will continue to wear masks every time we leave our homes, we will wash our hands often, we will stay physically distanced from people outside our immediate household, and your kids will most likely complete this entire school year in whichever mode your school is currently using. (Last night I had a conversation with a PTA mom who has begun to plan her high school’s virtual graduation to be held in June.)

The second half of 2021 looks more promising. Vaccinations will hopefully be available to all who want one, and hopefully the vast majority of Americans will choose to get vaccinated. I personally can’t wait – I will be in line at the very earliest opportunity. In the meantime, my husband and I will stay home even more, visit our friends and our kids virtually only, and will limit our in-store shopping to groceries only. We’ll do these things in order to keep ourselves and others safe.

This will be the first holiday season in 36 years that I have not been with one of my kids. So I’m going to feel a little lonely, and I’m going to miss them, and I wish things were different. I understand that this “missed” holiday season is a difficult challenge for many, and I don’t want to minimize any sadness that some of you might be feeling. But as I always say, everything we do is a choice, and every choice has consequences.

So let’s choose to make this a time to teach our kids about resilience (we can deal with this), creativity (let’s make some new holiday traditions), generosity (donate food to Second Harvest), and health (a balance of screen time and outdoor time is valuable).

Let’s light our Hanukkah candles and hang our Christmas lights. (In my house, we do both.)
Let’s bake some cookies and share some with an elderly neighbor.
Let’s cook dinner together.
Let’s have a family movie night complete with popcorn and hot chocolate.
Let’s take day trips to a park, on a hike, to the coast.
Let’s set up Zoom calls with the people we are missing.
And let’s appreciate our health, and that of our loved ones.

I wish you and your families a happy holiday season, and send best wishes for a 2021 filled with good health, happiness, vaccinations, and many family reunions.