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Pandemic Holiday Special

Pandemic Holiday Special

Holidays are about making memories that will last a lifetime. It would be a shame to let this yearly celebration slip by because we won’t be at the family home or with all of our loved ones. Let’s all take an extra few moments to get into the spirit of the season, because it matters.

Family

Yes, FaceTime and Zoom are inconvenient, spotty, and awkward. No, that doesn’t mean you should skip it. Even a short call with your mom or your BFF will warm your heart and theirs. Set up a string of twinkle lights in the background, grab a cup of peppermint hot cocoa (a little splash of something strong never hurt) and call up the people you’re missing this year.

Food

Nothing marks a special day like a special meal (or several). Choose seasonal produce and spices, traditional favorites, hot drinks, whatever is special to you! In my home, we plan to start Christmas morning off with some spiced apple monkey bread, to fill the kitchen with warmth and cinnamon. And because my family loves Christmas cookies, we’ll be eating Belgian chocolate biscuits while sipping mulled wine all throughout the day. If you’re ambitious, combine trend with tradition and set out a curated charcuterie board with dried meats, soft and hard cheeses, nuts, chocolates, and dried fruit to graze on all throughout the day.

Gifts

Get your gifts early this year so you can ship them out in time!! If you’re still shopping, check out the CE Gift Guide for inspiration. This year, I’ll be wrapping, packing, and shipping all of my gifts by December 18, and for international shipments, you’ll need to get them shipped as soon as possible. Make sure to tuck in a card so your loved ones know how you’re doing!

If you have less people to shop for this year, remember the essential workers who have done so much for us. A card, coffee, and cookies is a wonderful way to show gratitude for your postal carrier, librarians, and/or healthcare professionals. If you were a hermit this year, consider a direct donation to charities close to your heart. And lastly, since you made it through this dismal year, slip a gift to you, from you, under the tree. We all deserve this one.

Decor

Make it a thing! I’m personally guilty of never decorating—I always figured, what’s the point when I live in an apartment and go home for the holidays? This year, since we’ll all be in our separate homes, let’s decorate properly. It doesn’t need to be expensive or elaborate. Throw a string of lights up in the living room. Slice up oranges into rounds, dry them in the oven at 200 for three hours, and string them along some fishing wire with a few sprigs of freshly cut rosemary or cedar for a Victorian-inspired holiday garland. And yes, of course you should put up a tree, as big or small as you are comfortable with. When you put in a little time, effort, and joy, your surroundings will reflect that back to you. Besides, your pets will have a wonderful holiday if there is a tree to climb, pine needles to chew, or delicate decorations to destroy. The memories will outlast the cleanup.

Atmosphere

You’ve got your cozy socks, a mug of something hot, and you’re playing some jazzy tunes or a cheerful movie. Outside, there are frosted homes trimmed with twinkle lights, decorated trees in the windows, and people curled up in warm living rooms with their loved ones. The decorations: traditional red and silver, glorious green and gold, icy blue and winter white. If you’re in the northern hemisphere it may be snowing, and there’s a chill in the air, but you are warm and cozy. The house is filled with cinnamon and spice, dinner is roasting in the oven, and you’ve got every reason to celebrate.

Wishing you the happiest of holidays.

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