Holiday Celebrations May Be Different This Year, But You Can Still Make Them Memorable
“There’s always an excuse to celebrate someone you love.”— Cynthia Rowley
As the winter holiday season approaches, many of us will turn our thoughts to celebrating. And for most of us, our holiday celebrations will look a little different this year than in the past. With the need to limit the number of people in our get-togethers and to maintain safe distancing when we do share the same spaces, those boisterous, multigenerational family dinners will have to be postponed.
But we can still express the joy of the holidays and find creative ways of sharing what’s in our hearts with the people we care about. In fact, this year it’s probably even more important to do just that. Our need to connect with others doesn’t go away at times like this. For many, it becomes stronger.
Sustaining The Community Spirit at Heron’s Key
The residents of Heron’s Key are a warm and friendly bunch who take great satisfaction in the sense of community they’ve built together. Even now, the feeling of belonging is evident. Video sessions, using platforms like Zoom and FaceTime, have become quite popular here, making it possible for residents to stay connected, stay in shape and stay social safely.
No doubt many of them, like Don and Jean Hansen, will be “Zooming” with family members near and far as they celebrate the upcoming holidays. The Hansens are planning to get together with their four sons and daughters-in-law, though not all at once as in years past. Instead, Don and Jean will take a series of day trips to see each of the couples separately. But they’ll also be using Zoom to visit virtually with their nine grandchildren — and to celebrate the birth of their new great-granddaughter, who’s in Tennessee.
To Show You Care, Put It In Writing
Along with video calls, residents have also been relying on email and written notes to stay in touch, whether it’s with their neighbors or friends and family. Marty Beert said she has always made a habit of sending notes and letters to let people know she’s thinking of them.
“I enjoy reaching out, even if it’s just a short email to let someone know that I enjoyed our walk together,” she said.
Marty said she sends out about 150 holiday cards every year, and this year will be no different. She always includes a handwritten note in each card to give it a personal touch, and she said she usually hears back from everyone who receives her cards.
Don Hansen also sends a lot of holiday cards — about 500, he said — and he personalizes his with artwork. Don is a talented artist who paints watercolor scenes, and some of those beautiful works of art make it onto the front of the cards he sends. Like Marty, he also includes a handwritten message inside each card to make it all the more special to the person who receives it.
Celebrate The Everyday Experiences, Too
Other than birthdays and anniversaries, the winter holidays tend to be when we most often think about celebrating. But, as Don reminds us, “It doesn’t have to be a holiday to have a celebration.”
Even on what might seem like an ordinary day, we can find reasons to celebrate. For instance, Don said he celebrates his good health at the end of his bike rides. He also noted that Jean is an excellent cook, and at the end of each dinner, he celebrates how good the meal was. Jean likes to do crossword puzzles and said that many times finishing one will put her in a celebratory mood.
Marty said that she takes time to celebrate the richness of her life, which has included two deeply meaningful marriages, two children, two grandchildren, a varied and fulfilling career, extensive opportunities to travel, and many abiding friendships.
When asked about how she maintains her upbeat perspective, she replied, “It’s a choice.”
So many residents at Heron’s Key are like Marty, and Don and Jean Hansen, who choose to regularly celebrate all that’s good in life, large and small.
Be Safe, And Be Generous With The Joy!
We wish you and yours a safe and delightful holiday season, and we hope that you find ways to celebrate and share some joy with the people who matter to you.