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Three Ways to Brighten this Holiday Season

by Eileen Davis 13 days ago in list

It’s been a tough year and we can create more light this holiday season

Three Ways to Brighten this Holiday Season
Photo by M. B. Louis on Unsplash

In December 2020, some dubbed the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in the night sky as the “Christmas star” this holiday season. During 2020, we sought meaning from celestial events just as the ancients did. We want the heavens to provide answers for us today. As we seek answers from the heavens, we can also seek answers within to brighten this holiday season. We just need to be more creative during the pandemic.

1. Use Technology to Gather

Luckily, we have better technology than what Skype used to be at the height of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? popularity. The options include Zoom, FaceTime, Google Duo, Skype, and so many others. Each option has strengths and weaknesses. Personally, my family and I use Zoom to gather virtually each Sunday.

Video chat software has been such a blessing during this time, so we can still gather in some form. I especially love being able to see and hear my siblings, nieces, and nephews who live thousands of miles away. I can also safely gather with my parents who live locally when any of us feel ill.

The distance can feel smaller as we engage the two senses of sight and hearing to gather. At Thanksgiving 2020, my high school girlfriends and I chatted like it was yesterday. We visually and aurally shared laughs and tears over our triumphs and struggles.

So this holiday season, use video chat for the first or the hundredth time to gather virtually. Try out the different options.

How have you gathered using technology?

2. Go Old School: Use Snail Mail

A handwritten note feels special and it stands out from all the junk mail. We eagerly anticipate its content as we can peruse it over and over. This is also a physical object that we can keep for years to come. Besides, other communications disappear into the cloud (or only live on Wayback).

Before my grandma died in September 2020, I sent her letters because she couldn’t answer her telephone anymore. I don’t know if she read my letters, but I know I tried. Since my grandma had sent me cards and letters for almost four decades, she deserved a few notes near the end of her life. Thankfully, I still have some of my letters from my grandma and other friends and relatives.

So write and send a letter. You never know how much it means to the recipient.

Do you enjoy sending or receiving physical letters?

3. Give of Your Time and Talents

Many of us are under financial strain during this time so we can’t afford the usual store-bought gifts. But we generally have time or talents that we can share at little or no cost. For example, my mother-in-law recorded herself reading children’s books so she could share literature with her grandchildren. She borrowed library books for free and used her phone to create a video. Without spending much, my sons enjoyed seeing and hearing Grandma and Grandpa tell funny stories.

With household members, we can spend physical time together playing board games, putting together puzzles, or cooking together. And if we are particularly tired, we can watch a movie.

To give time to those farther away, we can call or instant message them. Some have found creative ways to still spend time together long-distance. For example, my nieces and nephews played board games through video chat with friends last year. Each player sets up their own board and moves their pieces and their opponents’ pieces throughout gameplay.

During this time, many have found ways to virtually share their talents. Several of my musical friends post their videos playing music or singing on social media. In my amateur singing voice, I recorded myself singing Edelweiss in German to share with my dad who proselyted in Germany for two years.

How will you spend time together (or apart) this season? Have you shared any talents as presents before?

Shine Light in the Darkness

As celestial lights guide us during the night, we need each other’s light to guide one another through the proverbial night this year. We can try these three ideas and many others. So, brainstorm with family and friends for additional ideas to brighten our lives.

Really, the stars are the limit.


Eileen Davis

Wannabe linguist. Wannabe novelist. Blogger. Poet. Avid reader. Boy mom. Have bipolar 2. Experience bisexual attraction. Love America. Love China. English language BA from BYU.

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