Author Dee King wrote, “Love will travel as far as you let it. It has no limits.” And this season, it will certainly have to, as we shelve our holiday plans, leave the suitcases unpacked, and sadly miss the festive gatherings we were so looking forward to. But when we find ourselves in these moments of sadness, it’s important to focus more on what we do have and less on what we do not. It takes gratitude to lift our spirits in times like these. Giving thanks—after all—is what the season is all about.
So, let us share a few ideas on sending love from afar, as we find ourselves leaning into gratitude and forcing ourselves to get over Zoom fatigue to keep connections current. In whatever ways we can safely connect with our loved ones, we are so very grateful for the opportunity to share the holiday season with you all.
- Share the love with those working hard
We’re doing a lot of gifting, shopping, and spending online to do our part and stay at home. And we’d be remiss if we didn’t offer gratitude to the people putting themselves out there and working extra hard to deliver goods and services right to our car and doorstep. A note of thanks in the mailbox, a basket of treats, hydration, and goodies for the delivery driver, or an extra big tip are thoughtful ways of letting the hard-working delivery crews know how much we appreciate them.
2. Send thanks to the team (and send it up the ladder!)
We all work or have worked with team members whose simple presence makes life on the job better for everyone. It goes a long way to let them know how much their talent, teamwork, and drive are valued. And, when we do, it goes even further to let their bosses hear it too. Letting people know they’re valued can be the difference between a bad day and a great week. We all want to feel as though our efforts and presence make a difference—this is the perfect year to go above and beyond with kind words and praise.
3. Share the gift of good health and kindness
When we wear a mask in public, it speaks volumes about our capacity for empathy. With so many in our community at higher risk of complications from Coronavirus due to compromised immune systems and other factors, wearing a mask helps reduce their exposure to germs and disease, and lowers the transmission of both COVID-19 and the seasonal flu. Sending the gift of 100% organic, protective masks to a loved one, a friend, or family member is literally sending the gift of good health.
4. Share the news—write a review
We miss our favorite salon services. We miss our favorite restaurants, gyms, clothing stores, and the list goes on. We all have our favorite businesses, and they have been hit hard. Word of mouth advertising is great, but what truly helps a business grow is sharing the good word publicly. When we love a certain barista and cafe, a five-star review online puts them on the map. Literally. It sounds small, but in a world where negative press spreads quickly, making a point to publicly praise—rather than publicly shame—can go a long way. Plus, being pro-stuff, not anti-stuff feels pretty great.
5. Create a “To-Do” future list with far-away family and friends
Let a shared Google doc or online list become the home of a new, collaborative “To-Do” list. While we may not be able to make it home to hang holiday decorations with Dad this year, we’re adding it to the list for next year. That girls’ weekend we’ve postponed twice this year? It goes on the list. The half-marathon we started training for? Definitely on the list. Holding each other accountable and having something meaningful to look forward to is unifying—it keeps it real and keeps it special.
6. Send a Hygge kit (and start building our own)
Hygge, the Danish word for a mood of coziness, is part of a cultural craze that involves serious stay-at-home nesting vibes that are oh-so-perfect right now. This trend embraces candles, hot chocolate and tea in our favorite mug, warm blankets, lace trimmed soft robes and loungewear, and crackling fireplaces. Suddenly, the idea of an indoor, snuggly holiday at home doesn’t seem so bleak. Putting together a care package with all-things-Hygge would be a warm welcome to all who receive it.
7. Spill the beans—share that dang recipe!
So we won’t be bringing our famous matzo ball soup to dinner this year. And Jim isn’t baking his sweet potato casserole. Maybe this is the year we all (finally) share those secret family recipes and master a new dish for our household. We all know food is a way of expressing love, so why not share it? Set up a cooking date with a loved one, create a digital cookbook to send around or let friends in on tried-and-true family traditions. Besides, we can’t make any more sourdough bread this year.
8. Picture this...a photo album
We’re crafty, but maybe not crafty-crafty. The good news is, building and sharing a photo album doesn’t take a ton of work or a design degree. In fact, our smartphones practically do it for us. Printing or publishing photo albums online are wonderful ways to share fun, personal memories, while telling the story of our family. Remind those far away how close they are in heart with a collection of shared visual moments. Better yet, hop on a call and view them together, while exchanging memories and recounting stories. The time will do wonders for bridging physical distance.
9. The soundtrack of 2020
What would the soundtrack to 2020 sound like if it were set to a movie? The answer is: whatever we choose. We don’t have to settle for mixed tapes or burned CDs anymore. But it’s still fun to pick and choose the music that tells the story of our year. Sending someone a playlist is like saying, “These are all the songs that make me think of you” after all. And there’s nothing quite like music to evoke emotion and bring people together.
10. Auld Lang Syne…
Although the lyrics to the famous New Years’ Eve song begin, “Should auld acquaintance be forgot,” we’re staying connected like never before. Grateful for the moments we do get to spend together, and will spend together again soon, our toast will mark the end to a challenging year. We still have a long way to go, but it’s worth noting with gratitude that we made it through. Remember that keeping distance is a form of love this year. Cherish the health we preserve by staying apart, and look forward to long physical embraces in 2021.
“It's not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.”