I hope that Mr. and Mrs. Claus are safe and healthy at the North Pole. They should probably avoid travelling this Christmas. Stay put and let us figure out the material trappings of the holiday season. I am not sure that what is truly needed this year can be put into a box under the tree anyway.
Naughty or nice, rich or poor, most of us are struggling to cope right now, and hard on ourselves as a result. This December, I am asking Santa to send a little extra holiday spirit our way. To recognize those doing their best to adapt to difficult times and be there for each other. Maybe we could celebrate just being good enough as we are this year.
Good enough parents No parenting book ever came with a chapter on how to keep children safe and happy during a pandemic. We are all flying by the seat of our pants, keeping little kids entertained, making tough decisions about school and daycare, balancing work and family, and staying connected to adult offspring from afar. Exhausted parents, please give yourselves permission to dial back on the extravagance of the season.
Good enough children Kids are incredibly resilient. It breaks my heart to see kindergarteners lined up six feet apart with tiny masks on, waiting for the bus. They have adapted to the new normal, as kids do, even when rules keep changing. This year has been heart wrenchingly difficult for many adults too, who are caring for, separated from, or grieving the losses of older parents. We are all children at Christmastime. Let’s focus on the simple things that make the season magical.
Good enough partners Sometimes the people closest to us receive the brunt of our frustrations. Let your sweetie know your heart still beats for them even if they have not been at their best this year.
Good enough relatives Some families are more dysfunctional than others, but I have yet to meet a clan where everyone lived in harmony. Disagreements are inevitable. Perhaps this is the year to let go of a grudge or two and reach out to distant relatives.
Good enough friends It is harder to stay in touch when life gets busy and the winter winds howl. Make a point of reaching out to the people in your circle. Virtual hugs are not the same, but a heartfelt text or a phone call can make a difference in someone’s day.
Good enough neighbours With social gatherings curtailed, many people are spending more time close to home this year. We may not see eye to eye with all our neighbours, but what is the harm of putting aside any petty grievances for the season? Go for a walk down your street and smile at the people you meet. Stop to admire their Christmas lights. Maybe check in on neighbours who are frail or living alone.
Good enough workers This year has been particularly hard on health and social service workers, teachers, and those employed in retail and service industries. Maybe we could all be a little more patient and generous when accessing professional services, and take extra care of the front line workers in our lives.
Good enough politicians So easy to criticize the other party or to rebel against unpopular decisions. Maybe they too, are just doing their best to deal with the mayhem of 2020.
Wishing you and yours a good enough holiday season this year!