Well, happy holidays, ya’ll.
Reporters will make the point, endlessly, that these holidays feel strange and hollow.
Thanksgiving follows and concerns mount. Drop off food for the quarantining family members, maybe? Because we can’t risk making them sick, whether from flu or from COVID-19, and I’m out and about with my job, potentially catching everything. Christmas—same thing. We’ll put up our tree and buy some presents, but it doesn’t feel right.
Psychologist Kim Olver, in an interview for the Gift Guide, says we’re mourning for people and for our changed lives. I think that’s it. For many, it’s a grief-stricken holiday season. And all you can do is get through it, accepting that things have changed.
Is that depressing? I’m sorry. But Olver makes another point: that we can choose joy. It won’t look like joy from holidays passed, maybe, but we can look for and cling to happiness. We can look for others to help; we can support our friends and neighbors by shopping at their stores and yard sales, if we’re able to spend money. And if not, there are other ways to help.
Jude Waterston talks about loving from a distance, sharing food and caring. We take a look at predicted trends in holiday shopping and offer up a lot of suggestions for gifts in pandemic times. Reflexologist Caroline Verdi shares ways to stay calm and centered through the holiday season. And the Velvet Maple’s Alessandra Maria Iavarone shares her expertise on choosing the perfect gift for these strange times.
Stay well, everyone. And have a joyous holiday season.
— Annemarie Schuetz, section editor