December Community 2021

Welcome to the Holidays!

By Shellie Miller-Farrugia

Getting through this entire pandemic “lifestyle change“ has been quite the challenge! Anticipating the holidays for 2021 has got me a little pensive. When reflecting over the last 20 months and the changes we’ve all been saddled with, I started the conversation with several different friends to find out what they are doing this year. What seems like a lifetime of change has really only compromised one cycle of the holiday season, though it feels like much more. So here goes… What will December look like for you and your family versus other years?

My friend Sally Dixon lives up in the Nashville area. She says, “We are all gathering at my youngest’s for the first time in a long time. I’m so looking forward to seeing my kids and all of my grandkids together!”

Many of us have been craving the company of our friends and relatives that we’ve been forced to be apart from. There is so much to be said for the physical connection that is vital to the human experience. Research shows us that loneliness is on the rise, and that a lack of human connection can be more harmful to your health than obesity, smoking and high blood pressure.

Many of us not only want to be reunited with family and friends, but we’re also craving for a change of scenery. Once travel is allowed, some will book a European tour or visit the Cayman Islands, while some will explore domestic tourist destinations.

Let’s cross the pond and speak to my friend Joanna, who is from Poland, but lives with her husband and three children in London. She says, “For the first time in the last two years, I’m looking forward to Christmas! We will have a traditional Polish Christmas Eve supper, and then Christmas Day will be all English style.”

Personally, our family Holidays have changed a lot since we’ve become empty-nesters. Those cute little toddlers all grow up and become adults with their own lives and families. Coordinating Mom and Dad and all of the other siblings and grandkids is a fun puzzle to assemble each year. For 2021, our daughter booked a vacation home in the mountains for all of us… getting nine people there coming from all different directions is sure to be a story in itself!

And to remind us all about how families grow and change, let’s listen to another friend of mine, Jodie Bland from Louisiana. His perspective is one that many of us look forward to. He tells me, “All of our holiday traditions are the same, and we’ll have a new tradition because of our new grandson. I’m looking forward to starting new traditions with him!”

Whatever you’ve decided to do this Holiday season, please remember that there are family and friends who have been hoping to reconnect with you. Who are they? What can you do today to make a positive difference for both them and yourself?

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