Spread Some holiday cheer

Image created by Shwetangna Chakrabarty on canva.com

This term too ended with a bittersweet feeling; since the last year and a half, every holiday has been the same: no travel plans, no duty-free shopping, no family dinners, no tight hugs, no gift exchanges, and no adventures with friends. On the last day of this semester, I had my students discuss holiday plans while sharing hot chocolate and gingerbread cookies. They all had the same bittersweet feeling; a long holiday but does not seem exciting. I felt a wave of sadness sweep over the class and I had to do something. Gulping down the hot chocolate helped as the sugar rush gave me extra adrenaline and a bit of warmth in the biting cold. I had to get rid of the cold air somehow for the sake of my own sanity and my students’ morale. After all, it is the time of the year to spread some cheer and happiness. I asked my students to list all the things that they usually did before the Covid19 restrict during the winter break. And then the next challenge was to come up with ideas that would be in the same spirit in the new paradigm of travel-less holidays. 

Here is the list of 10 activities for the holidays in the new paradigm by modifying regular holiday activities:

Holidays Before Covid19Holidays in the New Paradigm
1Draw holiday greetings for family members and give them during gatherings.Can’t meet family members so make digital cards for friends and families, create stunning digital cards with the many online applications. Explore your creativity.
2Buy and wrap gifts for friends and families and exchange them during gatherings.Buy and wrap gifts for homeless people, children in orphanages, elderly in the care homes and send them to respective charities or NGOs.
3Eat grandma’s delicious baked goodies.Cant meet grandma, get her recipe, try it yourself and send pictures to grandma.
4Go out for big family picnics and dinners.Organise a ‘Dine Online’ on the virtual platform with family members. Eat together while sharing stories over a video chat.
5Go on an adventure with friends and family.Adventure can be taking the risk of learning something new like cooking, painting, running, cycling or even meditation. Something you have never done before is always an adventure. Try to rope in a friend or family member to do something together like online yoga.
6Go to the movies.Organise a movie night over a video call and share screen with friends and family. Laugh and cry together over some popcorn that you don’t have to share!
7Go shopping to explore new markets.Organise an online market where you and your friend can exchange clothes, accessories without having to pay other than delivery. 
8Pack bags for travel.Pack unused items, clothes and shoes, donate or upcycle. Get rid of baggage.
9Unpack when you come back from a holidayUnpack all things that you have not used yet, like the travel mug you have been saving for a holiday, use it all, don’t fear unpacking. You can even do some unboxing and post it online.
10The tight hug when you first see your mum, dad or grandma or your loved ones after a long timeSave it for when you meet them after 2 years or more. Nothing comes to mind that can replace this feeling except giving a tight hug to people around you to spread the holiday cheer.

Try this activity with your family or friends or students – it will be a great way of spreading the holiday cheer, getting rid of the anxiety of the unknown. Not being able to travel during winter holidays or other long holidays can be painful. But we need to make the most of what we have; that is being true to the spirit of holidays. Spread some holiday cheer!

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