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Advice on Having a Happy (Quarantine) Holiday

I think it’s universally known by now that this year, the holiday’s are going to look a little different than usual. Although the idea that most of us cannot gather around with our families on Thanksgiving to stuff ourselves full of potatoes and other carb-filled goodies, or possibly even see our loved ones on important December holidays (such as Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa) is quite depressing, this doesn’t mean the entire holiday season has to be. All it’ll take is some self care, some self-discipline (so that you don’t go to that big holiday party in fear of FOMO), and acceptance that this year is just… different. Whether we like it or not. 

In order to enjoy these holidays without doing what makes these holidays enjoyable, we need to redirect our attention to the smaller, simpler things. For me, I’ll be focusing on reading Christmas themed novels and other novels that remind me of autumn, to feel festive for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. 

Another option would be watching your favorite holiday-esque films, even if you watch them 10+ times this season (don’t worry, I’ll be doing it too). If you celebrate Christmas or even just want to feel festive, looking at Christmas lights is a wonderful, safe bet to keep you in the spirit. (If you live around or in Cincinnati, Coney Island and Sharon Woods have a drive-thru Christmas light show!) 

To commemorate Thanksgiving without subjecting yourself to a large group of people, making a Thanksgiving dinner or learning to bake a Thanksgiving staple dessert like pumpkin or apple pie is an option; plus afterwards you’ll have a yummy treat to indulge in on Thanksgiving night. My plans include making a small Thanksgiving dinner to be able to celebrate the holiday while away from my family – but another way I’ll be commemorating Thanksgiving is by learning more about the origin of the day, keeping that in mind while celebrating the bittersweet holiday. 

All optimism aside, it’s completely normal to feel alone and even anxious during this time without the support and company of those we love. The holidays are usually hard for many people, pandemic not included – so feeling extra blue is normal. The most important thing is to know that if you are feeling blue, you are not alone during these stressful and unfamiliar times. If you need to, be a little selfish this year (but please please not in the way that’ll potentially harm you or others). Take some extra time for yourself and check in on yourself. Allow yourself to love and enjoy the little things, because they mean that much more this year than normal. And no matter what holidays you celebrate, try to enjoy them for what they are. Just know that this year is unlike any other and together we will all get through this.

Sydney Poynter

Cincinnati '22

Sydney is a current writer for Her Campus and a second year at The University of Cincinnati.
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