Thriving Through A Covid-19 Holiday


and the holidays are no exception. People are opting for smaller gatherings, relatives are no longer flying in to visit, the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping has died down, and we are finding ways to adapt to the immense amount of changes that a pandemic has incurred upon all of our lives this year. Though the word “thriving” may sound like a lofty goal for this holiday season, we can make a plan to aim for a new kind of thriving holiday while also learning that it’s perfectly OK to be merely “surviving.”

If you’re running out of ideas on how to make the best of the holidays this year for you and your family, browse through the suggestions below. These ideas are adapted from what I’ve learned from colleagues, friends, clients, and other innovative people in my life. No matter what you decide to do this year, make sure it is what YOU want to do. If there were ever an appropriate year to ask for an accommodation for the holidays – this is it! Take advantage of it.

1. Know Your Boundaries

Within the age of Covid-19 there comes a spectrum of varying beliefs, ideas, and comfort levels around what feels safe. Talk this over with yourself and your immediate family members and determine what works best for you. This may include only associating within a small “Covid bubble” of other family members who share similar beliefs and practices as you do or wearing a mask if you choose to attend a family gathering. Perhaps it means avoiding those options and having dinner with only your immediate family or your housemates. Use the CDC and your local county guidelines as a starting point and remember to keep things small and simple.

2. Dress Comfortably

Ah 2020 – the year of the sweatpant. Why don’t you open gifts in your pajamas, then keep those pajamas on all day? If you are staying home, who do you have to impress? This year is all about finding little ways to make your life easier and more enjoyable amidst the chaos. If wearing sweats, leggings, or pajamas are comfortable for you, then give yourself this little luxury – as often and for as long as you’d like.

3. Opt for Homemade Gifts

Have you ever looked up online how to make ornaments at home? It’s not as hard as you may think. Grab your partner, your kids, or your housemate and craft away! People tend to remember experiences with much greater detail and for a greater length of time than they remember a purchased gift. Use this opportunity to connect with your loved ones and create something meaningful and fun. Do you live alone? Schedule a Zoom video call with a few friends and tell everyone involved what materials to prep ahead of time. Swap ornaments via mail with one of your friends on the Zoom call once you’re done!

4. Look at Christmas Lights from the Safety (and warmth) of your Car

Have you ever been to the “Winter Wonderland” at Indian Creek Plaza in Caldwell? It’s really quite amazing — it’s also outside in December and it’s COLD. This year, you could opt for a safer (and warmer) option by viewing lights from comfort of your car. For $30 per car, you can attend “Christmas in Color” at Expo Idaho: a drive-thru light show occurring through January 2, 2021. You can also grab some hot chocolate and find several *free* places around town to look at lights and decorations (hint: there is a subdivision off Cole near Ustick that goes all out with the lights). Visit for more light locations throughout the Valley.

5. Give Yourself Some Grace

Whether you do all of these things or none of these things, know that it’s OK. You are doing the best that you can. We all are. Know that change is inevitable and adapting at times is necessary. Also know that it can be ridiculously hard to adapt. There are elements of this holiday season that will be different and there are people that we will miss. If you find yourself struggling, take a moment to sit down, close your eyes, and acknowledge it. Tell yourself that how you are feeling is perfectly normal and valid. Tune in to yourself for just a moment and allow yourself to grieve in whatever way feels right to you. Taking just one moment for yourself and allowing yourself to feel whatever you need to feel can help recharge you in a way that few other coping methods can. This year has tested everyone, even the most resilient of people. Reach out to those closest to you and give yourself some extra love and care this season.

Wishing everyone a unique, yet enjoyable holiday season and a better 2021.

With Warmth & Gratitude,


Krysteena Wilson, LCPC, LMFT is a Licensed Therapist specializing in individual, couple, and family therapy in the Boise, ID area.


410 S. Orchard Street Suite 220
Boise, ID 83705

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