Homesickness seems to take hold of us a little stronger during the holidays; our hearts long more than ever for our faraway loved ones to be near. When nearness isn’t possible, we seek ways to alleviate the pang of holiday homesickness. Creative twists on old traditions start to play in our minds as we try to find solutions to accommodate the distance between.
1. A Parcel of Traditions
At every festive gathering, there is something we all look forward to; whether it’s a white elephant gift exchange, a pumpkin dessert that your grandma only makes for the holidays, seeing holiday lights on snow-glazed houses, or pulling on those special, surprise-filled holiday crackers, which your mom always sets on everyone’s dinner plate.
Thanks to the postal system, favorite traditions don’t have to be forgone. Imagine the cheerful smile your special recipients would have if they open a package containing the ingredients to their favorite holiday dish, a string of lights and faux snow, a ridiculously perfect white elephant gift, and a mix of favorite holiday music. No matter the distance, a sweet little parcel from afar allows us to still take part in favorite traditions.
2. A New Loved One
Maybe you find that the missing link in your holiday cheer isn’t a tradition at all, but rather a person. Sure, those once-a-year dinners and activities are still missed; but the things you really wish for are precious conversations and time with someone special, like your grandparents or a dear friend.
Coincidently, there are other people near you who are missing their loved ones too. Whether it’s a neighbor, someone in a nursing home, the hospital, or a shelter, there are bound to be others who are longing for some company, like you. As you volunteer some of your time, wherever it may be, you can be certain to meet a person who reminds you of someone you miss. And as you begin to laugh and cry with your new friend, and you might realize that this person is bringing back the kind happiness that you thought was lost.
3. The Traveling Greeting Card
This is the greeting card industry’s favorite time of year. Cards are traveling everywhere, waiting to be opened to reveal the heartwarming messages from their senders. As you send off your holiday wishes to dear ones, near and far, why not begin a perpetual greeting card this year?
Choose a simple sketch book. Within its pages, write down your favorite holiday memory and include an illustration or a photograph; let your children scribble down their messages too. On the front cover, instruct your loved ones to record their thoughts memories as well. Then, seal the book inside of an envelope, and send it off to someone else. Imagine how wonderful it will be, with each passing holiday, to share memories among your family members. As you read their words, it will almost feel as if you’re all together, sitting in your mother’s love-filled living room, reminiscing about those moments that will stay with us forever.
While there is very little that could ever replace being in the company of our dear ones, there are ways to carry out old traditions – and even create new ones – to help buffer the loneliness of long distances