While it is important to stay safe and have fun for both your physical and mental health during this holiday season, it is also important to do so in a safe manner this year.
With COVID-19 cases rising, it is important to follow CDC guidelines to protect yourself and your loved ones during the holidays. However, this does not mean that you can not still celebrate by taking part in lower-risk activities to get into the Christmas spirit.
How you can be safe during the holidays:
- Wearing a mask that covers your mouth and nose
- Standing six-feet apart and social distancing
- Washing your hands
- Avoiding unnecessary travel
- Have small, limited gatherings
- Taking part in lower risk holiday activities
Keeping holiday traditions are important for emotional well-being. This year has been stressful for everyone and counting your blessings is one way to kick off the season. Holidays are a time to celebrate the positives in life and connect with friends and family, albeit this year virtually for everyone’s health and safety.
Christmas music is a fun and simple way to also get into the holiday spirit and it has already started playing on 101.1 FM radio. From the classics such as Nat King Cole’s “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire” to more recently recorded songs such as Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” and Ariana Grande’s “Santa Tell Me.” Some songs hit different, especially on the car ride home from work, the Christmas music places your excitement through the roof. Or when you begin to decorate the house for the holidays, some songs help make the process more exciting.
Even though Thanksgiving has yet not taken place, it is still a great time to start decorating for Christmas. Even if it is only a little around the house. Better yet, the weather has been surprisingly nice and it’s a great time to set up the outdoor Christmas decorations in order to prevent doing it in the cold. Whether it is indoor or outdoor decorations, blast the Christmas music and start decorating for the holidays, and don’t be afraid to sing and dance while decorating.
Hallmark has become quite the place to watch Christmas movies, but nothing tops Freeforms 25 days of Christmas. Freeform takes it back to “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” “A Year Without a Santa Claus” and of course “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.” They do also have more recent movies such as “The Santa Claus 1, 2 and 3,” “The Christmas Carol” and “Home Alone.” So take a day to bundle up in a Christmas onesie or pajamas, wrapped in a blanket with hot chocolate and binge-watch your favorite Christmas movies.
Walking around a recently decorated store usually puts us in the mood to do some Christmas shopping. In November. It helps individuals stay on top of things during the busy holiday season. From holiday sales to decorations for the house to fake trees that light up different colors and sing Christmas songs. These are the type of decorations that send butterflies in your stomach and an anxious, exciting feeling for the holidays. And even if you can not go to the mall to see these decorations, there are Christmas sales on television with actors and actresses dressed in Christmas accessories that makes us just as excited. Some commercials are repeats but are classics, such as the Hershey Kiss Christmas commercial.
Baking is always a must during the holiday season, but why not start a little earlier? Besides, who can resist the smell of freshly baked cookies? Chocolate chip, sugar, oatmeal, gingerbread, the options are limitless. And, on top of baking the cookies, let your creativity shine by decorating them with icing and sprinkles. Even your little ones can join in the fun, just be prepared to clean afterwards. It’s a great way to keep them occupied for a while. Also, after baking, your house is left smelling like cookie heaven for hours.
As for the young children this Christmas season, Santa is still making his way to different plazas and malls to see them all before his big night. The Plymouth Meeting mall has a large set up where children can safely meet Santa and the children also have the option of meeting the big man in red virtually. Santa Claus plays a huge role for the children and there is no stopping him from seeing all the good girls and boys. He has found a way to safely see all the children in time for Christmas. In order to find where Santa will be next, Valley Forge and Montgomery County have made safe events to see Santa before the big night.
Christmas Spirit of Mother Cabrini
The Mother Cabrini Messenger wrote in December 2018 that Mother Cabrini received “new encouragement, new energy and enthusiasm” each time Jesus came to her. God sent us his only son, but He did not send him to us “in power.” In her journal in 1903, Mother Cabrini wrote that Jesus was not sent to us with glory, power, riches or comfort. “…He preferred to be born deprived of everything, in an uncomfortable place, in a raw season at midnight, shivering and deprived of all kinds of comfort to show us an example of the way that leads to heaven, that is, the way of humiliations, poverty and suffering.”
Christmastime reveals the love inside human hearts, the joy that can flow throughout and the peace we can bring others. “Joy is a heart erupting and overflowing with the power and riches of everlasting love.” At the end of a very difficult year, may God bring you and your family new encouragement, energy and enthusiasm for the years ahead.
May this Christmas remind us all to stay inside with the ones we love, keeping those we hold dearest to our hearts safe, and those we do not know even safer. Perhaps, there is no greater act of his power and everlasting love than this Christmas!