Commentary: Live in the moment and enjoy holidays with family
It sure doesn't feel like the holiday season, but, with Thanksgiving now in the rear-view mirror, here it is anyway as it begins in earnest.
As with everything else since the beginning of March, COVID-19 will certainly wreak havoc with the season and all that it usually brings.
The Salvation Army kettles will be absent.
Holiday parties, get-togethers and other events will be either greatly reduced in size and scope, or, more probably, called off altogether.
Gift exchanges at work and school will be exchanged for warm virtual smiles, cheery waves and electronic toasts of eggnog. Don't spill onto the laptop or tablet, please.
And as for family gift exchanges, can you spell g-i-f-t c-a-r-d? Or o-n-l-i-n-e s-h-o-p-p-i-n-g?
Midnight Mass and other religious services will have less of a mass of attendees.
Carolers may still be singing together, but they will be doing so from 10 or 12 different living rooms. Will they still dress up as if they were going from door to door in the neighborhood on cold winter nights? We'll see.
Christmas parades? They will march to the beat of a different drummer – perhaps that of The Little Drummer Boy, a lonely little fella, if I recall – if they march at all this year.
If you want to experience the hustle and bustle of the holidays, then you're probably going to have to find a nice big traffic jam on one of the interstates during the morning or afternoon rush hours to park yourself in.
So many things that we associate with the holidays have been confiscated by The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, who this year goes by the nickname of the coronavirus.
Dr. Suess would be so dismayed that his villain – perhaps only for this year, hopefully only for this year; the Grinch doesn't look so bad now – has been supplanted by one that isn't green or, for that matter, any other color. And this time, Whoville isn't the only place that gets affected. From Hartville to Orrville to Strongsville, and every point in between, we all get hit.
So, what's the answer? How do we get used to this newfangled Christmas holiday season?
As we've learned throughout this pandemic, and will continue to learn until it's finally over at some point, whatever point, the only way to even try to just cope is by adapting and making the best of a bad situation. Normal isn't an option anymore, even at Christmas, so we have to make do with what we've got,
And what we've got isn't that bad, really, when you get right down to it.
It's called family. Perhaps you've heard of it. Perhaps you remember it.
Christmas, before it was commercialized on steroids, was first and foremost a family thing. And while big families and extended families may not be able to gather together this year, smaller families – Mom, Dad and the two kids, or whomever qualifies as a single family unit with you and yours – can still come downstairs, upstairs or from wherever in the house to join as one.
All along, families have been brought together by this coronavirus, made closer at first perhaps only for the reason they had to, and then afterward because they wanted to, so why can't it continue in the biggest family-friendly time of the year?
Yes, sometimes, there are very simple answers for seemingly extraordinarily complex problems, and now – in this bizarre 2020 holiday season – this sure looks like one of those times.
So, live in the moment and enjoy.
It's so much better than the alternative.