This year has put a lot of things in perspective. For many of us, it’s perhaps the first time we will be showing our loved ones – our family and closest friends – how much we care for them by not spending time with them in person.
It’s counterintuitive to say the least, but it’s made me realize that the way we show our love and appreciation for one another doesn’t have to be via in-person gathering. While I would love to do things the traditional way and spend time with family and friends this year, we must put health and safety first in a time that’s unlike any other we’ve previously lived through.
With that in mind, here are few ways you can safely celebrate the holidays and give thanks this year:
Write Someone a Good Old-Fashioned Letter and Mail It
Remember when we couldn’t communicate with people instantly? I remember a time when the quickest way to reach someone was via landline phone, IF they were home and picked up. There was no Facebook messenger, no text messages or WhatsApp.
There’s something nostalgic about sending or receiving a handwritten letter. For me, it always makes me think of my grandmother because she would write me letters when I was growing up. Handwritten letters are more than just a form of communication, though. It’s something the person took time to write by hand and mail to you.
Handwritten letters provide not only an opportunity to get your thoughts out, but it’s also something tangible from you that the recipient can keep. After my dad passed a few years ago, I found a letter I wrote to him years ago that he’d kept stashed away. Things like that can carry a lot of meaning for people; it gives them something to look back on down the road.
Find Your Favorite Pictures with Someone and Tell Them Why They’re Your Favorites
This one you can do by email or however you’d like, but bonus points if you have physical photos and combine this with the idea above!
Like handwritten letters, photos give us a tangible look at our past. They can bring back memories we haven’t thought about in years and make us once again feel emotions that we experienced at a certain time in our lives. It’s really a beautiful thing, living in a time when we are so easily able to capture moments and remember them.
Take some time to go through your old photos and remember those moments. As you find the ones that bring back the best memories, reach out to those in the photo with you and share that memory. This lets the other person know you are thinking about them, which is a wonderful gift, and it’s a simple and easy way to share the joy that you are feeling. To quote Mac Miller:
“People love you when they’re on your mind. A thought is love’s currency.”
Make Someone a Playlist and Send it to Them
Nowwa days, there are so many music streaming platforms and I’ll be honest, I don’t know how all of them work. I’m a faithful Spotify user, but I imagine if you can do this in Spotify, you can probably do it with other streaming services as well.
Music can elicit certain emotions and remind us of people in our lives. Depending on the situation, that could be a good or bad thing, but for the purposes of this idea, let’s focus on the good.
If you’ve got songs in mind that remind you of your loved ones, you should take some time to create a playlist for them that you can share. Like the idea with the pictures, you could even take it a step further and tell them why these songs remind you of them, especially if there are certain lyrics or moments in the song that are particularly poignant for you.
I guarantee those you do this for will love it. It’s another simple and easy way to show someone you care and are thinking about them.
While I’m sure we’d all prefer being able to gather around the table with our family and friends, I hope you are able to find new ways to show your love and appreciation for them safely this year. We will get through this challenging time together and one day, we’ll look back and remember what it was like to celebrate the holidays from afar in 2020. Wishing you and your loved ones a safe and happy holiday season this year!
Jeff Adkins is a public relations specialist with Henry Ford Health System and a Detroit PRSA board member/programming committee chair.
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