We’re approaching the time of the year when most of us reunite with our loved ones close and far away. We’re being told that this year will look much differently than that, and a lot of us are trying to get used to the idea that we’ll be spending the holidays with our loved ones remotely. For me, this bums me out because I won’t get to see the magic of Christmas morning through the eyes of my little nephews and nieces, and it means that I won’t meet up with old friends when I’m home for the holidays.

When I think about this, even though I get sad about it, I have to go through little practices to remind myself that I’m actually quite fortunate. I’m lucky enough to have not lost anyone due to the virus, and I’m lucky enough that I and my loved ones have access to the technology that will allow me to be as present in those important moments as possible. So many of us are far away from loved ones here in New York City, but another reminder that I pull out regularly is that isolation is the very thing that bonds all of us together – we’re all experiencing this at once, and this is a moment in time when we can all come together (virtually and remotely) and make the best of a challenging situation.

Here’s how I plan to approach this time of year with positivity, warmth, and hope (to the best of my ability) as I face a holiday season away from my loved ones.

  • Comfort food is key

For my family, the holidays are so reliant on the elaborate meals and the amazing food. I’m not the biggest cook in the world, and my kitchen in my New York City apartment is pretty small, but I plan on doing as much as I can to make it feel as special as possible. My hope is that during the formal meals, my family can Zoom me in, and we can all “go around the room” and share how much we’re thankful for one another and appreciate that we can still be “together” as much as we can. Plus, there’s nothing better than leftovers, especially on those days and nights when you’re just too lazy!

  • Decorations aren’t just for the kiddos

Ever since I’ve been living alone as an adult, I haven’t really invested much time or effort into decorating my home for the holidays. I always kind of figured that it was pointless to go through all of that when I was going to be away for the holidays anyway, but this year, I’m doing things a little bit differently. While I don’t have much extra space in my apartment, that won’t stop me from finding great deals on holiday decorations to make my home feel as cozy and welcoming as possible – I can’t help but feel as though it’ll make me feel that much closer to my family, even if they’re states and time zones away.

  • Pull out those family traditions

Every family’s got them. No matter how big or small, goofy or serious, this is the year to honor them just like any other year. A tradition that my family follows, which I think is fairly common, is to wear matching pajamas the night before Christmas Eve. My mom will get us all kids (and grandkids) matching outfits to wear that night so that everyone wakes up in the morning matching – even though I find myself rolling my eyes about it in my mid-30s, I also realize that it wouldn’t be the holidays without that tradition. I’m going to be doing my best to bring in as much feeling of joy as possible into the time around the holidays to avoid the feeling of loneliness or sadness – this means watching the Christmas movies that brought me joy when I was a kid, playing Christmas songs that I’d sing to in the car on the way to my Grandma’s house, and checking the window on Christmas morning to see if it snowed. On paper, they might seem silly to us, but we all have that little kid in us that comes alive around the holidays, so my goal this year is to pay as much attention to that kid as possible. I think this year, doing that is going to make the difference from a sad holiday from one where we all made the best out of a challenging time.

Category : Stay in New York