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Celebrating The Season Of Gratitude

4 Ways To Celebrate The Season During COVID-19

The Season Of GratitudeAfter a one-of-a-kind year, it’s hard to believe we are in the last month of 2020. December is normally a busy month filled with holiday parties, gift exchanges, and the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Unfortunately, as COVID-19 has disrupted most of our plans for 2020, there’s little doubt that the upcoming holiday season will also be affected.

While you and your Complex Learner might not be able to go ice skating with friends or participate in a neighborhood cookie exchange – instead of dwelling on what you can’t do – take this time to celebrate what you can do. While looking for inspiration for new traditions for this year, let’s choose to focus on gratitude.

Make Your Own Holiday Cards

Due to state guidelines and social gathering restrictions, chances are your social calendar won’t be as busy this year. Normally, the month of December is jam-packed with activities and parties, so much so that you and your family hardly have the time to catch your breath, much less send out handwritten holiday cards. But with more time this year, take the opportunity to send warm wishes and love to those family and friends who helped get you through this year.

Get your Complex Learner involved by having them help make the holiday cards! Set some aside for your child to write their own holiday cards to give them a chance to practice some gratitude and kindness. This year, maybe add a few more names to your list and thank your mailman, frontline workers, or the employees at your local grocery store.

This year has been filled with long months and challenges for everyone, a kind word can make all the difference!

Reflect As A Family

While it would be easy to think of a long list of things that went wrong this year because of COVID-19 – what went right? Did more time at home help your child uncover their love of baking? By having to postpone a business trip did you get to spend valuable uninterrupted time with your children and family? Maybe you uncovered a new favorite family film or are just proud of how your child handled all the curveballs this year threw?

Once you set out to find them, it’s easy to uncover a multitude of reasons to be grateful this year and this is an important lesson for Complex Learners to understand. Reflect on this as a family either at the dinner table every Wednesday or as you’re decorating sugar cookies for another viewing of Frozen.

As a family, set a New Year’s resolution of starting a gratitude journal and get a head start by writing in it throughout the month of December.

Help Others

The holiday season is normally a time where we all try to give back to others. While many of the traditional ways of giving back, like volunteering at a soup kitchen, may not be able to happen this year, there are still plenty of ways you and your family can help.

Reach out to a nearby non-profit and see what you and your family can do. Recruit your child’s help to do some research on organizations you can contact. Maybe this year instead of singing carols at a nursing home – it’s writing letters to the residents instead. Instead of purchasing gifts for families struggling financially, you donate gift cards to be used for groceries instead.

No matter how you do it, making time to think and care about others during this time of year, and this year especially, is a wonderful feeling and a true testament to the season.

Spread Holiday Cheer

After this year, we could all use a little holiday cheer and a lot more smiles.

Bring holiday cheer to your neighborhood by going all out with this year’s decorations. Winter lights and a smiling snowman are sure to make everyone from the UPS driver to your neighbor walking their dog smile. Or work with your child to cut out and decorate snowflakes that you then write positive messages on to hang in your front windows for every passerby to see.

Have you had to cancel your big family get-together this year? Get a cup of hot cocoa and log in to Zoom for a virtual gathering! You can host a Netflix Party and watch The Polar Express together or just spend time talking with one another.

Send a care package to a loved one, maybe an elderly relative or an immune comprised friend who has had a particularly tough time these past few months. The fact that you and your child took the time to think about them and send them such a wonderful surprise will mean the world to them! Be sure to include a gratitude journal in your care package to help spread the attitude of gratitude!

One of the most important lessons this ongoing pandemic has taught all of us is to truly take time to treasure what we have – our family, our friends, our health, our community. So, whatever you do this holiday season, do it with a smile and a grateful heart! What are other ways to practice gratitude this December? Share your ideas in the comment section below!

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