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Sharpe-Jefferson: Spreading Peace and Love in a ‘Different’ Holiday Season

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By Keisa Sharpe-Jefferson

Will the holidays ever be the same? 

Spreading peace and love in light of a pandemic. What if the answer is no? The holidays won’t be the same, at least not right now.

I’ve seen a number of people’s social media posts acknowledging how “different’ the holiday season has looked and felt this year.

Our Thanksgiving (and it’s expected Christmas too) was hijacked by a pandemic and strong warnings not to congregate en masse. Those restrictions put a damper on our celebrations, but they are absolutely necessary to protect our most vulnerable.

So for now, this is our new norm. For example, 

— We have a new way of Zoom-ing and greeting one another.

— Social distance is (literally) a way of living (longer).

— Nothing can be taken for granted any more.

In a nutshell, we know our holidays won’t be the same this year. But as we’ve always done, we will adapt.

In some ways, it’s forced us all to take a closer look at those things that we hold most dear. We recognize now more than ever, holiday cheer must be spread mostly, if not solely, from an internal perspective.

For those observing the holiday from a safety perspective in light of COVID-19 restrictions, we recognize that our traditions have to be tossed out the window (at least for now). 

This year, we can’t rely on the vibrant holiday spread featuring the baked, culinary goodness of our family’s most coveted home chefs. The hugs and handshakes we took for granted are some of the memories we now hold most dear. The loud chatter and laughs from friends and family during gatherings past will be replaced by overbearing silence.

But we must always look on the bright side (I admit this does come from a holiday hostess’ perspective):

— Smaller gatherings decrease your chances of becoming infected with COVID or other seasonal illnesses.

— Fewer guests equal less stressful work (i.e. prep time in the kitchen) and less mess to clean after they leave. (Can I get an amen?) 

– And we significantly reduce our chances of suffering from holiday hangover, a fatigue which results from doing way too much in this short holiday timeframe.

In other words, let’s take the break and simply breathe. Let’s be thankful for the opportunity to just be.

This may not look and feel as it did in times past and that’s really ok. But why not use this as the perfect opportunity for you and/or your family to create some new holiday traditions?

One day in the future, the pandemic as we know it will be over and life will be back to normal once again. 

But here’s the big question. Will you have used your time to create anything meaningful as a result?

Those hugs will sure hit different when all of this is over, huh?

Peace, love and blessings to you this holiday season.

Keisa Sharpe-Jefferson is a life coach, author and speaker. Her column appears on the first and third Thursdays of each month online and in The Birmingham Times. You can contact Keisa at keisa@keisasharpe.com and visit http://www.allsheanaturals.com for natural hair and body products.