‘We need some sunshine’
Every now and then we need a little boost of good cheer.
With all we have going on these days — living in the midst of a pandemic, being worried about the start of the school year, changes in finances and so much more — we need some sunshine.
Good cheer came my family’s way this week when a box was delivered to our home — and it wasn’t something we had ordered.
The kids were excited to see its contents once we cut through the tape and opened the flaps.
There inside the box were beautifully wrapped presents, complete with red ribbon and bows. Christmas presents!
No, the presents weren’t early for this year. They were from Christmas 2019.
My cousin and I are a little late exchanging gifts this year. OK, most years. And for 2019, she beat me to it. Her gifts are still waiting to be packed in a box and mailed.
We had hoped to get together shortly after the new year, but once February hit, life’s events didn’t allow for that.
So, it’s Christmas in July at our house, so to speak. And we are OK with it because, well, the spirit of the holiday makes us feel good.
I’ve been too busy to watch the Hallmark Channel’s “Christmas In July” movies this year, but that’s alright. My daughter made a list of Christmas movies she wants to watch in the coming days.
We’ve already watched “Christmas Chronicles” and the three “The Santa Clause” movies. And she has a list of a few more.
Aside from movies, Eleanor has a few more special treats planned. But no tree or decorations, I said.
It seems like a good time to focus on the spirit of Christmas for a lot of reasons.
First, the holiday season is a time of year that people spread joy and love in a way that doesn’t happen at other times of the year.
And right now, we all need that. We are in the middle of a pandemic and there’s no end in sight.
People are dying from COVID. People are arguing about whether to wear masks (please do!). People are hurting and grieving.
Stress and anxiety are heightened for many.
Tapping into the joy and love that are expressed during the holiday season can soften some of that stress and anxiety. It’s not going to go away. But if something positive and lighthearted can make one temporarily forget about some of the stress, it’s a good thing.
Second, the temperatures in Connecticut have been in the high 90s the past few days. And throw in the humidity. Yuck.
I’d much rather be thinking about snow and sledding right now than about the sweat rolling down my forehead after stepping outside for two minutes.
Lastly, due to stay-at-home orders earlier this year and the continued recommendations to keep our interactions with one another limited to help mitigate the spread of the virus, the majority of folks have spent (and continue to spend) more time with their immediate family members.
What better way to spend time with loved ones than participating in activities that bring a smile to one’s face?
Maybe it’s watching a movie, or making a homemade gift and exchanging it. Maybe it’s having a parent pull the kids on a sled in the back yard, albeit on grass. Or putting up a set of white twinkling lights on a plant in the house.
Whatever it is about the holiday season that makes the spirit within you spark, tap into it.
Kick back and relax. Get cozy in pajamas, make some popcorn, snuggle under a blanket and watch some movies. It’s Christmas in July!
I have to run. I need to mail those belated Christmas gifts.
Deborah Rose is a lifelong New Milford resident who has worked at The Spectrum since its inception in 1998. She can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.