Have you ever heard of Raddish for kids? If not, allow me to enlighten you. Every month we receive a box in the mail (about the size of a shoe box) which contains recipes that kids can make. There are some other fun items in the boxes too, such as various but matching cooking utensils. While I was writing my “Is the toffee kosher” email last Sunday, my girls were busy in the kitchen plowing their way through the December Raddish kit. At one point I walked into the kitchen to …well, what could probably be best described as a detonated flour bomb plus nearly every mixing bowl we own and the blender out and dirty. I didn’t say a word. I did an about- face and walked to the basement where Heather had already sought refuge from the kitchen insanity. I asked, “Have you looked at the kitchen lately?” Her reply? “They’re cooking dinner; let them make a mess!” It was this comment that stuck with me throughout the week.
This past Friday I had to fly a day mission for one of my troops who had to come off of the flight. I took a different route home since I had to drop off something to a client. The route took me by my Dad’s (step-dad) gravesite so I stopped to wish the “old man” Merry Christmas. For many reasons, Christmas was a special event for the two of us. As I stood there brushing the snow off of his stone, I smiled thinking back on our Christmas gatherings. I couldn’t help but wonder how this year’s events would have changed so many of our traditions.
Nearly everyone is having to make holiday adjustments this year. To help keep this season positive, focus on these three ideas. While spending time safely with loved ones, you might even find new ways to take some stress out of the holidays and build new traditions that will last for years to come.
- Take care of yourself. Many of the conveniences we've grown accustomed to during the pandemic can make the holidays easier to plan for and manage -- while also limiting your risk of getting sick. Many local retailers are offering online shopping and curbside pickup. Support a local restaurant by ordering a precooked holiday meal or mailing their signature pies to your family as gifts. If you do shop in person, remember that your Santa beard, while festive, isn't a good substitute for a face mask. However, my youngest did sport reindeer antlers along with her mask as she cruised through Kohls today. As for the 3,000 calories a typical holiday meal can contain, try to limit your portions, especially if you have underlying health conditions and haven’t been as active as you usually are during the pandemic.
- Gather responsibly. According to the CDC, "The safest way to celebrate winter holidays is to celebrate at home with the people who live with you." If you do decide to host or attend a party with people outside of your household, try to utilize larger rooms with good ventilation where families can create their own six-foot bubbles. Yes, "ventilation" means opening doors and windows to circulate some fresh winter air, so you might need to wear your coat along with your face mask.
- Focus on what is important in the long term. Altering holiday plans initially seems painful after a year in which we've already sacrificed so much. We all will make our own decisions about the safest ways to celebrate under these challenging circumstances. But even if this year's holidays won't be as perfect or traditional as years past, you and your loved ones still have so much to be grateful for. Your decorations are still glowing. The fresh-baked pies and cookies are still warm. And family members, near and far, still have ways to support one another. In our house, we will continue to allow the girls to “make a mess” as we build new holiday traditions. In fact, without extended family members joining us at our house, the girls will have an even freer rein in the kitchen, and we will finally take the time to watch some of the classic Christmas movies they have not yet seen. I can only hope that they will one day brush the snow off of my stone while fondly reflecting on our family’s evolving Christmas traditions.
All of us here wish you and your family a safe and fulfilling holiday season. We look forward to helping you make 2021 as merry and bright as possible.
Please remember that we are “here” and available for you. If you have any questions or concerns, financial or otherwise, please do not hesitate to call or email. If you have friends, family, or neighbors you feel would benefit from a conversation with me, I’m more than happy to have a call or jump on a Zoom meeting with them.
As always, I hope that you are doing well, and staying safe & healthy!