• Emily Amador

Giving serves a vital purpose this holiday season

Change and adaptation are nothing new this year. Everyone has learned to modify their holiday plans to deter the ravages of Covid-19. From indoor Halloween to a Rosh Hashanah without communal interaction at a synagogue and parade-less Hispanic Heritage month, and and other watered-down rituals of life, we have creatively learned to be cope with the our minor-key mode of pandemic life.

What are Christmas, Hanukkah, Yule Winter Solstice, Kwanzaa, and other December holidays going to be like this year? Gift-giving can still go on in socially distanced mode, but mainly these are holidays that call for communal gatherings. Limited guest lists this year may be vital for reducing the spread of Covid-19, but they hollow out the experience of these communal life mileposts.

If it is absolutely necessary to gather, make sure that you along with all of your guests are tested prior to the meeting and consider all of the safety guidelines. Understand, however, that these gatherings should be of short duration. The CDC explains, “Gatherings that last longer pose more risk than shorter gatherings. Being within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more greatly increases the risk of becoming sick and requires a 14-day quarantine.”

Of course, this is much easier said than done. You do not realize how valuable communal gatherings are until you lose them. This pandemic has caused pain within a lot of families, created irreversible change, claimed millions of lives, amongst more. During the early fall, there was so much uncertainty and tragedy that a hopeful future seemed distant indeed. With potential vaccinations being introduced, perhaps soon social distancing will become a practice of the past. But it’s not here yet. It is even more critical that we are cautious; the pandemic is exploding as of this writing. Storage and distribution of the vaccine are the final miles. Post Covid-19 restoration of the economy, businesses, and families that have suffered is going to also be important.

Another important aspect to consider:

With all of the families struggling, the gift of giving is even more meaningful this year. Many organizations have shifted how they operate due to Covid-19. Though a lot of toy drives are not accepting drop-offs, there are ways to still help those less fortunate, if you are in the position to do so. There are virtual drives where organizations have made Amazon wish lists and have set up monetary donations. Your journey to supporting others starts with a simple google search: Virtual toy drives. You will find options for virtual child-sponsorship opportunities, wish lists, along with monetary donation options.


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