This year, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other holidays will feel a lot different. The CDC is urging people to forgo large gatherings to avoid the spread of COVID-19. Some states are entering lockdowns again and it can be very disheartening to have to spend the holidays alone or with only a few close friends or family members.
It might be difficult to tell your family members that you’re not coming home for the holidays. They may not understand your decision or try to talk you out of it. Perhaps on the other side, you are upset that your children or grandchildren decided not to come over this year.
How to tell family members you’re not coming home for the holidays this year
Everyone is going to feel varying levels of sadness and will miss loved ones this year. It can be comforting to know that we are all going through it together. First, you need to decide what feels safest for you and your family. This might look different for different families.
When telling a family member you’re not coming home for the holidays, it can be difficult. They might try to convince you to come. Make sure that you validate their feelings and tell them it is difficult for you as well. You can also take the blame and just say that you don’t want them to get sick from you on your conscience.
When explaining yourself, use facts. Perhaps your state has already limited gatherings so you can just say you’re following the rules. Remember, just because you aren’t visiting family members in person doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate!
How to enjoy the holidays this year
Make a new tradition. If you live within driving distance, drive by to say hello outdoors or drop off some food. If you live far away, eat dinner together virtually. It can also help to start planning a celebration in the future when things get better. It can help alleviate those feelings of missing out and have something to look forward to.
There are also many sporting events, parades, movies, and specials on television to watch to keep your spirits up. Do some online shopping with all of the extra deals going on. Send your family members and friends a card or a gift. Drop off some food for someone living alone. Do your part to keep everyone safe and still have a wonderful holiday season and hopefully, next year will be better!