Top 10 Holiday Season Traditions, COVID-Style

vLife You Can Do it Holiday Traditions COVID-Style by Erin Elaine Casey. Showing surprised Santa

Ah, holiday season traditions. We’ve all got them, whether we like it or not. Getting your s**t together this holiday season is a little more complicated than usual. And let’s be real—you’ve had enough self-improvement for one year. What you need is someone who understands. Someone who gets you. Someone whose holiday observations are so spot on you think they’re possibly peering in your windows at night.

That person is me. I see you when you’re sleeping. I know when you’re awake.

So just to reassure you that you’re not the only one feeling like a hot mess, here are my Top 10 Holiday Season Traditions, COVID-style. They may or may not be loosely based on my own life.

Halifax City Hall's holiday projection show lights up the Grand Parade.
Give yourself a locally made gift and check out Halifax City Hall’s gorgeous projection show in the Grand Parade!

Pre-25th Holiday Season Traditions

1. Scrape together those last few holiday gifts.

You know the ones: the snow cleats for your father-in-law; the velour zip-up housecoat for Nana. Your local holiday celebrations (because with COVID restrictions, there’s no other kind of celebration) won’t be complete without picking up something for those hard-to-buy-for people who really don’t. Need. Anything. And just because it’s last minute doesn’t mean you have to succumb to the hideous bath bomb and matching polyester pouffe set in the drugstore checkout line gauntlet. There’s still time to buy local—especially from some of our small and local providers!

2. Plan your pandemic bubble parties for local holiday celebrations.

Dr. Strang has spoken and 10 is now the magic number for gatherings in Nova Scotia—even gatherings in Halifax! Heck, we can even get in the car and drive all over the province to bubble up together. Just don’t forget to heed the latest COVID restrictions to keep your bubble to the same 10 people. Bubbles are not Venn diagrams… they shouldn’t overlap.

3. Forget to take the turkey out of the freezer.

It wouldn’t be the holidays without a slimy turkey berg floating in the kitchen sink on Christmas Eve, the lady of the house desperately bathing it in cool water to hasten it to thaw. Don’t forget your Christmas apron! (Here’s how NOT to thaw a turkey, by the way.)

4. Buy too much food.

Also, make too much food. And eat too much food. May I recommend supporting the local supply chain by choosing local meat (see “turkey”, in item 3) and local produce?

5. Get lots of booze delivered to your front door.

Perhaps one of the most charming innovations of pandemic times is ‘home delivery’ of beer, wine, and spirits by practically every brewer, distiller, and wine merchant in the province! Why didn’t we think of this sooner?? (Curbside pickup is also an excellent option.)

Uncomfortable Holiday Season Traditions

6. Receive a gift from someone you’ve forgotten to buy for.

That’s when you joyfully cry, “I have something for you, too!” and skitter away to grab one of the beautifully wrapped local gifts you have on hand in anticipation of this moment. Do you remember what’s in the box? No. But you know it’s from a local small business and that’s what matters. Check out our fabulous Provider categories for tons of ideas!

Emergency Holiday Season Traditions

7. Figure out which stores open on Christmas Day (because you have no whipping cream).

Okay, so this is only ONE emergency holiday season tradition. But depending on when you actually remember to take your turkey out of the freezer, that could be an emergency too. Just remember to show gratitude to the wonderful folks working in the stores, restaurants, and coffee shops serving you from the 24th to the 26th. Some of them are students who can’t go home, some are folks who don’t celebrate Christmas, and some just need the work. Smile hard, so they know from your eyes how much you appreciate them.

Post-25th Holiday Season Traditions

8. Drag your sorry (and quite possibly larger than last year) butt to the Boxing Day sales.

I’m not going to spend too much time on this one, because even thinking about it makes me tired. Let me just say: Don’t assume you can only get deals at big box stores. Check out the small independent business scene on your local Boxing Day hunts. Check out my last blog post about local gift baskets for ideas.

9. Make plans for New Year’s Eve and then wish you were home in your pyjamas.

Don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about. The good news is that you can have the best of both worlds this year, without feeling like a loser: Fancy drinks and a deluxe takeout local restaurant meal, all without putting on shoes or a brassiere! Go ahead—make your own darn fireworks.

10. Replace the 2021 New Year’s Levée (or levy? …either way) with equally headache-inducing at-home festivities.

Missing that “I’m super hungover but I’m going to get showered, dressed, and go to that morning party anyway” feeling? Levées are a Canadian tradition. But not this year! Instead, why not embrace the tradition from which levées sprung? Apparently, King Louis XIV of France received his male subjects in his bedchamber just after arising each morning. You can replicate this extremely strange tradition by asking the early risers in your family to gather at your bedside, chewing loudly and clinking glasses as you awaken. If you’re not too grumpy, someone might even bring you some coffee with Bailey’s.

I don’t know if you’ve been bad or good… but I know you’re trying.

Like I said before, I see you. It’s been a year to remember, and we’re all doing our best. I hope 2021 brings you peace, health, happiness, and prosperity.

Happy New Year from all of us!

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