2020 has been a year of disruption. Many have lost loved ones, jobs, or homes and have had personal or family health crises, or financial upheavals. Our lifestyles have been altered permanently. And the pandemic is not over yet.

Particularly in the Northern Hemisphere, the December and end of the year holidays historically have centered around chasing off the darkness and deprivation associated with winter. In ancient times rituals developed to call the sun back when humans were afraid night would overwhelm the day. That we still retain some of this primitive fear of the dark and winter is shown by the increased number of deaths and severe illnesses occurring during this time of year which cannot all be associated with the cold. The long, dark nights increase depression that has been named Seasonal Affect Disorder or SAD. This year people are especially sensitive due to the isolation and loneliness associated with the shutdowns due to Covd19.

In response societies developed holiday rituals around bringing in light, joy, happiness, and abundance at the end of the year. Many traditions have rich histories expressed in home decorations, foods, music, gifts, and stories.

We can take comfort in past traditions as we continue to isolate to remain safe and healthy. As we head into the Holiday Season, focus on the joy of the present. Even if we cannot meet in person for those large family and community gatherings, we can use ingenuity and creativity to reinvent those holiday traditions at home.

Most of these holiday conventions can be continued in individual homes and we can share others over social media. Consider sharing recipes, songs, and stories over the internet. We can send them over email, by social media, or even by actual in-person calls.

Help children learn the history of your family or personal traditions of past holidays through sharing special stories of the culture, background, or ‘how it used to be’ and ‘how it will be later on.’ Ensure the children feel secure in knowing that this year is unusual and that holidays will be different in the future with other activities when this crisis has passed. We all need to keep in mind that this isolation is only temporary. Life will resume in the future. Certainly, it will be different, but the separation will not continue indefinitely.

We may be alone, but we always remain connected in our hearts and spirit and by the internet. 😊 No matter how we define it, family remains the core of society, community, and life itself. Family can be blood relations, or love relations of the heart. Connection to others is critical during this time of separation during the Holidays.

During this Holiday Season, concentrate on FAMILY:

Focus on the positive.
Accept each day and appreciate its gifts.
Make the best of each moment.
Inspire others with your actions and creativity.
Love life as it is.
You are the expression of the Divine in the world.

The most important gift I give you this Holiday Season is this reminder: 2020 is almost over! And that the biggest cause to celebrate.

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