Celebrating the Holidays
During a Pandemic

Regardless of which winter holiday your family celebrates, one thing is for certain, this year our celebrations will look different than any other year.  It often is said that “different is just different, not better or worse, good or bad, just different” but this year it seems more difficult than ever to maintain that balanced perspective.

For many, the focus is on how to maintain the traditions.  Should everything be done the same way but just on a smaller scale? Is this a time to consider creating new traditions?  How do I balance the tradition while keeping myself and those I care about safe? Or, quite possibly, this is an opportunity to slow down, to focus on the holiday with a less frenetic pace.  Let’s be honest, from time to time we all have wished that we had more time and/or less to get done, whether cooking, baking or shopping for gifts. 2020 may just be the year that fantasy is put to the test.   

This issue of SAY Connect offers guidance and ideas to help ensure your holiday season is safe and festive.  The linked resources provide a wealth of knowledge on how to entertain safely during the pandemic, fun activities to share with family, friends or even if you find you are on your own. Don’t miss the tips about nurturing and caring for you. 
And, finally and most importantly, try not to judge – either yourself or others.  Remember this year is going to be different and different is not good or bad, it is just…different! 

SAY school-based services are offered for free in the following school districts: Beachwood, Chagrin Falls, Cleveland Heights-University Heights, Mayfield, Orange, Shaker Heights, and Solon.
Tips for safely celebrating holidays during Covid-19: 
Slowly more people are coming to terms that holiday celebrations may have to occur with fewer or no loved ones physically around the table. That does not mean the celebration needs to be canceled but you will need to be creative in figuring out how to manage travel and gatherings while still weaving in traditions.  To ensure a safe celebration for all, opt for small gatherings with the people in your home or consider gathering virtually by utilizing platforms like Zoom. Check out the links below.
The bottom line:  Decision-making regarding where and how to celebrate the holidays should be based on the risk factors and comfort level of each participant. The best approach is to discuss your holiday plans with family and friends in advance so you can assess the level of risk, figure out what steps can be taken to promote safety, and determine whether it’s safe for you and members of your household to participate.    
Activities to do during holidays: 
If this year has taught us anything, it has taught us to be creative. From DIY home projects to TikTok challenges, it’s safe to say we all have done things we never thought of before to stay occupied.  This also applies to the holidays. Although we can’t gather around to enjoy our favorite family dish, there’s many ways to ensure the holidays are filled with holiday cheer! To find covid-friendly activities you can participate in during the holidays, click the links below.
Activities to do in Cleveland during holidays:
Managing Stress During Holidays: 
Accept imperfection, don’t lose sight of what counts, respond with kindness, and rethink your resolutions. These are four tips we learn from John Hopkins’ Neda Gould, Ph.D. of how to de-stress during the holiday season. Learn more here.
Join us this month for
our upcoming SAY programs!

For more details, click the links below:

Student Leadership Workshop 

SAY Winter Forum
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Nancy Schaumburg

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Jessica Vendetti

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Cindy Johnson

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Tania Gordon

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Heidi Tolchinsky

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Shavaun Tucker
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