Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Joy Project: Celebration

Celebration is the perfect chapter for this time of year, though it is a foregone conclusion that our holiday celebrations will look much different in 2020. American Thanksgiving is tomorrow, and most people I know have scaled back, or even eliminated, their traditional gatherings. Travel, especially by public means, is highly discouraged. 

Local holiday ale party from a few years ago

My mother is in an at-risk population, so she will not be joining us for only the second time in I don't remember how long. My sister lives in Washington State, where restrictions have recently tightened, and she will not be able to gather with her friends. I fear Christmas will be very much the same. 

But I firmly believe that anyone with the physical and emotional energy to do so should find reasons to celebrate as this year winds down. It helps us forge and strengthen connections, even in these socially distant times. Celebratory emotions such as joy are highly contagious and much healthier to spread than a certain coronavirus that continues to plague us. 

In Joyful, Ingrid Fetell Lee offers suggestions for fostering a celebratory mood, including:

  • Festive attire
  • Music
  • Song and dance
  • Color and motion
  • Things that sparkle, flare, or burst
And guess what? This is the perfect time of year to find all those things! Even 2020 can't keep us from donning ugly sweaters, hanging lights and sparkly decorations, and dancing around the kitchen singing "Jingle Bell Rock."

Please take time in the coming weeks to unplug from the news, make popcorn and hot cocoa, watch cheesy holiday specials, and drive around looking at lights. Find celebratory moments whenever and wherever you can.

Thursday, I will eat turkey and pumpkin pie and celebrate gratitude with my husband, sons, and dog. And as soon as the leftovers are put away, I'm leaning hard into the Christmas season. 

Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends. Stay safe and well, everyone!


  1. Thanks for the uplifting post, Jenny! I'm going to wear red or green sweatpants in December. We all have to do our part. :D

    1. Haha, you've inspired me, Pat! I need to up my sweatpants game! Gray isn't going to cut it this year :-)

  2. With temps nudging 100'F (mid to high 30'C) here, I think I'll forgo the hot choc, but we fully plan on doing the best we can to celebrate Christmas. Be just the 4 of us thanks to covid affecting our normal family gathering, but we plan on going for a picnic at a swimming hole so we can cool off on Christmas Day. Should still be lovely.

    1. I tried frozen "hot" chocolate once, so maybe that's more appropriate! A picnic and swimming hole are very fun things to look forward to. I just have to look forward about seven additional months, hah!