- Simply shrinking may not be enough. For many of us, the first place our minds jump to when planning a Covid-safe holiday celebration is “the same, but smaller.” We tell ourselves that we can still celebrate, just with our immediate family rather than extended family, for example. While this approach may work for some people, others may find that it misses the celebratory feeling of being in a large group, and by keeping all the other aspects the same, the diminished size may heighten our negative emotions about this compromise.
- Find a new way to celebrate old traditions. After 9 months of living in this pandemic, most people have found ways to adapt their favorite activities to these unprecedented circumstances, and there’s no reason we can’t do the same for the holidays. Does your family have a favorite Christmas movie you watch every year? Use a “party” app to watch it together from your respective homes! Does the whole family always play Hearts after dinner? Free online versions let everyone play together remotely. And of course, grandma can bake her beloved cookies ahead of time and ship them to each household so you can all enjoy them together during the remote celebration. We live in a world with unheard-of technology, and we can take advantage of this to ensure that our valued family traditions don’t fall by the wayside just because we can’t all be in the same room this year.
- Embrace novelty and build new traditions. Of course, a new celebration style can also open the door to entirely new traditions or activities. As we mentioned above, sometimes hewing too closely to our idea of what a celebration “should be” can make us more acutely aware of how we’re falling short this year, and for many families, embracing the unfamiliar circumstances can mean our 2020 holiday celebrations will be remembered fondly for bringing us together in new and exciting ways, rather than a “normal” celebration marked with a sad asterisk. Examples of new celebratory activities we’ve heard include sending holiday meal kits to distant relatives (and helping each other work through them!), discovering new electronic party games playable over video chat, and even having relatives do “video cooking lessons” to teach everyone how to make beloved family recipes.
Practice the fundamentals, now more than ever
For more advice for maintaining healthy family relationships during difficult times, pick up The Soul of the Family Business by Tom Hubler. Through personal anecdotes, real-world case studies, useful tools and frameworks, and more, Hubler offers an in-depth look at the challenges faced, strategies employed, and successes achieved by all sorts of family businesses. You can pick up The Soul of the Family Business, available in hardcover form on Amazon.com, directly through Itasca Books, or at a bookstore near you. And of course, if you’re ready to take the next steps, you can always contact Hubler for Business Families today.