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‘Tis the season to be jolly, but many of us may be feeling like a Grinch this year. With the pandemic still a looming threat to our health and happiness, the economy still a hot mess and so many of our favorite seasonal activities canceled, getting into the holiday spirit can be challenging. Lucky for you, we’re feeling nice, even during these naughty times. Here are tips and strategies to help you maintain holiday cheer, even during COVID-19.

Go virtual to maintain holiday cheer

Have your holiday plans been canceled because of a last-minute quarantine?

Host a virtual get-together with your family and friends instead of the in-person gathering you’d planned. Share a menu, create a program that can include binge-watching the best holiday movies  together or playing virtual holiday games, and be sure to mail out your gifts with enough time to reach your loved ones by Christmas.

Give of your time

The holidays will have an extra measure of loneliness for the elderly this year. Take the time to reach out to an elderly relative, neighbor or friend who is stuck inside, and share some holiday cheer. If the elderly acquaintance is tech-savvy, jump on a video call together. Otherwise, use the time to inquire about their well-being and update them about your life. If you dare, sing some holiday songs together over the phone.

Giving to others will make your own holiday a little bit brighter.

Be flexible

Keep an open mind when it comes to your holiday plans this year. It’s best to expect the unexpected, and to go with the flow, even as holiday plans change. Being mentally prepared for changes will make them easier to handle.

Stay positive

It’s hard not to feel down when thinking about the winter ahead — one that will harsher this year with our “new normal.” Keeping a positive outlook helps make this year’s holiday season easier to handle. We know a lot more about the virus now than in the spring and a vaccine is now a reality.


Squeeze in a few minutes for self-care each day during the hectic holidays. Take a walk around the block, a hot bath or a timeout from your phone each evening. These slices of alone time can be crucial to your mental health.

Make self-care a priority. It’s important to tend to your physical needs during times of high stress. Exercising regularly, eating well and getting sufficient sleep will help boost your psychological wellness.

Simplify to keep your holiday cheer

2020 was the year we all learned to revise our realities. We discovered that we could get by without our weekly manicures, survive months without the gym and attend all kinds of social events, from weddings to graduations to birthday parties, while wearing fuzzy socks and sweatpants.

As we draw the curtains on a year that will forever be marked by face masks and fear, let’s carry our new minimalist attitude toward all things material. We can stand to trim our gift lists this year, to forego the annual gathering with the entire extended family and to dine in throughout the holidays. Lowering the bar will help us keep holiday cheer this year and save us money at the same time.

The 2020 holiday season will likely follow the pattern of the entire year. We will celebrate differently. There may be fewer gifts and excursions and no crowded parties; however, by using the tips outlined above, you can keep the holidays cheerful this year no matter which way the infection rate spikes.

Happy holidays from United Texas Credit Union!

Your Turn: How will you keep the holidays festive this year? Tell us about it in the comments.

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