December 9, 2021

Students playing in the snow last school year

Students playing in the snow last school year

Not sure what it is but sometimes the “holiday spirit” is difficult to conjure up. Maybe it is pandemic fatigue, maybe it is 60 degree days in December, or maybe the holiday spirit is introduced to us in the form of the first Christmas commercial circa October 15th. Whatever the reason, we should focus less on the “holiday” and more on the spirit. The spirit is not determined by the weather (lack of snow) or holiday music being piped into stores, but rather what are the true meaning of the holidays. It is important now more than ever that we focus on meaning.

The pandemic has co opted so much of what we used to take for granted. The simple is now complicated. The evolution of the pandemic has robbed us of the natural rhythms of daily life. The holidays are no exception. But if there is a silver lining to our current uncertain health situation, it is that we have become more comfortable with disruption and lack of predictability. In some ways we have become able to go with the flow instead of railing against the bad situation that has engulfed us all.

The meaning of the holidays is what we make it. Is it about family, gratitude, thankfulness, and joy? Is it about the religious traditions that abound across all faiths? Is it about the simple act of giving and receiving? Whatever it is, we need to make sure we are thoughtful and provide time and space to make meaning of the holidays. This is easier said than done, but because of the past two years, we need to make every effort to slow down and see the true meaning of the holiday spirit. The spirit is powerful, and it is made powerful because we endow it with meaning that is significant to us in this time, and in this moment.

Best,
Whitney

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