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FEEL "TOGETHER" even when we're APART!





“We never know how our small activities will affect others through the invisible fabric of our connectedness. In this exquisitely connected world, it’s never a question of ‘critical mass.’ It’s always about critical connections.”

Grace Lee Boggs – American Author & Activist


Dearest Reader,


Many of us will be sitting at smaller holiday gatherings this year. With the pandemic still persisting, we will be facing less guests at our dinner tables. Traveling has been discouraged and parties have mostly been cancelled! At first blush, it can feel sad and lonely… as if a part of our dear traditions of family and friend celebrations has been taken from us! But there is always a fresh way to approach challenges especially if we go to the root of our intentions. For us, our intentions of hosting large family dinners for all holidays is to share our love for our children and their girlfriends and boyfriends. We like them to all feel welcome and loved and appreciated. And while they can’t all travel to us this year, we can still feel close and connected by being creative and determined to stay close. Here are a few ways to stay connected to your loved ones even if you’re not able to physically be in the same place for the holidays!


1. Communicate your love BEFORE THE HOLIDAY! Let your loved ones know REGULARLY that that you love them very much and while you will miss having them home (or going to them!) that you wish, especially during these challenging times, to feel close to them. Ask them how they plan to celebrate and consider sending one of their favorite dishes or recipes or even some decorations so they feel a sense of HOME wherever they are! (Stringed lights come in all colors and add lots of pizzaz to any room!).


2. Find common interests that unite you and your loved ones and make connections based on your shared interests. It should not take a special occasion to bring people together EMOTIONALLY anyways! My children and I love to share pictures of what we made for dinner or desserts. One of my sons and I post our workouts on Strava (an app on our phones) so we can encourage one another. My younger son and I send each other funny jokes. My husband enjoys political banter with one daughter, walking with another, and discussing future fun vacation destinations and adventures with another. By connecting topically, it sparks an on-going exchange of love and playfulness.


3. PLAN TO ZOOM OR FACETIME – but consider doing it differently than you have in the past. Many people are feeling ZOOMED OUT especially if they are needing to attend virtual work meetings. So be creative. Don’t expect everyone to come together at the same time. Instead, use your technology skills to help your loved ones. Offer to read a book to your grandchildren or to teach your children how to bake their favorite cookies or pies or casseroles! Younger children love one on one attention even on the computer! Our 13-year-old daughter doesn’t love the big family zoom gatherings but she delights in one on one facetime calls with grandma! Find out what works for your tribe. One size does not fit all when it comes to connecting electronically!


4. Resist comparing how others are celebrating! It’s fine to scroll through social media to see how your friends are celebrating, but once you’ve made peace with what is the best plan for YOUR FAMILY and YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES, don’t second guess yourself when you see someone else has opted to meet up with their entire family to go skiing or attend large parties! To each their own! And before posting any of your own photos, be sure you have permission from those in the photos to share! No matter how much fun it may be to do oatmeal/avocado face masks with your teenager or young adult children, they may lose their sense of humor when they hear you’ve posted what they thought were private family photos on social media!


5. LOVE WHO YOU ARE WITH! Whoever ends up being with you over the holidays, make the best of it! Even if you are alone (don’t brag – it sounds appealing in some ways), decide ahead of time how to make your celebrating special with delicious foods and rituals that will delight you!


Remember, this too shall pass and before you know it, we will be gathering in large groups again. But until then, embrace the unique and wonderful opportunities to connect heart to heart even if not face to face. Wishing all of you much love this holiday season, Diana


Diana Stone, M.A., is a Wellness Consultant and inspirational writer and speaker. Connect with her at dianalynnstone@me.com or www.dianalynnstone.com


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