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Focus on what's meaningful to avoid holiday stress

Focus on what's meaningful to avoid holiday stress

  • Updated

After a heated discussion with one who shall remain anonymous, I noticed “CRAB SALE” was publicized in the weekly grocery ads ... Bah humbug! I knew a crabby someone their customers could have for free! Unfortunately, my attitude fit the description as well. Holiday stress had begun.

A pandemic is enough to drive each of us absolutely crazy, let alone being advised to remain home and also shop local. Do we order online and hope the goods are delivered under the cover of dark when no one is watching? Or do we shop at odd hours hoping the only store occupants are ourselves and the salesclerk? Is a “fake” tree better for the environment? Will the commercial with the man buying a truck for himself and an SUV for his wife run ad nauseum? Where DOES he work anyhow? Will there be enough flour and sugar to make cookies for the limited number of relatives who arrive? Are there extra masks in the house? Will gifts obtained in covert operations, hidden, and now lost be found in time to slide under the tree? Will God forgive naughty words uttered while furiously wrapping presents for mailing? Will it snow? If not, will Dec. 25 feel like Christmas?

PLEASE STOP!!! Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa … are not about snow, setting the mood with the shiniest ornaments, or giving the finest gifts. Nor does isolation typically define the holiday. We are celebratory creatures and tend to believe quarantining of the heart is nearly and sadly impossible. All of us hold memories, follow ancestral traditions with a twist of our own, and are especially lifted by the prayers spoken during a winter Holy Day.

This year there may not be the usual gatherings, but there will be memories, videos and pictures of past Christmases to enjoy. Next year, an ugly sweater will not seem so horrid.

2020 may not be hosting the traditional Christmas goose, but those extra calories were dreaded anyhow. There may not be the “presence” of family and friends, but the best “gift” of all is knowing we are missed as much as we miss others. 2020 is a present best left in the past. We will all be stronger, celebrate harder and love longer in 2021. Open your heart, and get ready. There is magic in the air.

Robbie Nathan wishes the joy of the coming holidays to all. Her tree is up; Alexa is playing carols, and she intends to leave cookies and milk for Santa. Reach Robbie (recipes for cookies anyone?) at


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