The holidays this year are already shaping up to be different than almost any I have experienced (with the exception of the year I spent living in South Korea).

This is the first year my husband and I will be spending the holidays together at our home, at least for Thanksgiving. Our families live near enough that we could drive to see our parents, but the risk is too great given the pandemic. Despite assurances from my mom that “It’s just a day and we can celebrate next year,” I find myself a little lost as I navigate this unprecedented season of my life.

So what did I do? HOLIDAY COPING MECHANISMS.

  1. I started decorating for Christmas the week after Halloween. I know some people think this is sacrilege, and as a “not until after Turkey Day” purist before this year – I get it. However, considering how tough this year has been (I lost my Grammy over the summer + COVID + so many other things), let’s give each other a free pass and go for it.
  2. I stocked up on baking essentials from Costco before the holiday rush/panic buying ensued.
  3. My husband spent 2 hours helping me decide on the perfect Christmas tree. We purchased a fully flocked fir tree with twinkling lights and pine cone accents from a local greenhouse/tree shop. #supportlocal
  4. I bought tree skirts for both of my trees (I also have a skinny white tree from a couple of years ago that has 3 ornaments – all for our love of German Shepherds).

Beyond the items mentioned above, I am thinking about my friend, Paul, who is fully isolated during this time. We normally see each other a couple of times per month and that just isn’t possible for so many different reasons (physically distanced with masks or otherwise). After explaining to him about how I am baking ALL THE THINGS to cope with this week (a holdover from grad school – will explain later) and asking about his favorite baked good, a thought formed: random acts of pastry.

While I cannot come into direct contact with people, I can wear my mask and deliver baked goods to the doors of my friends. So that’s what I will do the next couple of days. For those of us staying home to keep our loved ones (and everyone else) safe, I will be doing “Random Acts of Pastry” throughout the rest of the week for my neighbors.

What are you doing to stay connected over this holiday week? Facetime? Online board games? Food deliveries? Let me know in the comments below!

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