For the past two years, my family has gone to DC for the holidays, and actually spent Christmas there. It started out as a way to be safe during COVID but still make the holiday feel special without all the usual parties and gatherings, but we ended up having a really nice time. Getting to visit the National Christmas Tree by the White House on Christmas Eve is a pretty cool experience, and it’s usually at least slightly warmer there than it is here. It was a nice way to do something a little different for holidays, even if we ended up just spending a lot of time in the hotel.
This year though, for a few different reasons, the trip isn’t happening, and we’ll be spending the holidays here. I’m a little bit disappointed – the hotel we’ve been staying at is seriously stunning, and it feels so magical to walk into the lobby and see their giant Christmas tree. But the rest of me – the majority of me! – is actually pretty relieved, and looking forward to a nice, relaxing holiday at home.
These last few months – and honestly, a lot of the year! – has just been a lot. I’ve been talking with a lot of my friends about the burnout we’re all facing. So I want to really lean in to a cozy holiday season this year. I want to stay in pajamas, and read in front of the fireplace while sipping hot chocolate or a macchiato. I want to eat Christmas cookies for breakfast. I want to have game nights and movie nights, and maybe a small get together or two with friends.
It’s still a little bit odd, living in the in-between of “normal times” and “COVID times” like I have to. Increasingly, it’s harder and harder to figure out the right thing to do; to figure out which activities and events and plans I’m willing to take a risk for because I’ll regret not being there, versus the ones that I know I have to miss, no matter how disappointed I may be. And it’s especially hard around the holidays, when it seems like everyone else is going to big parties and events while I sit at home.
So with all of this in mind, I’m doing my best to really embrace the cozy, home for the holidays vibe – to make it feel intentional, rather than something I’m stuck doing, or something I’m being forced to do. To remind myself of all of the relaxing things I have ahead of me, and make my days full of things I enjoy doing. Hopefully, I can use this time to recover and start fresh in 2024.