Making Your Winter Less Dreary

By Valerie Rice | November 29, 2020

Photo by Simon Matzinger on

Most societies have a time in the middle of winter where they celebrate a holiday. In the US there are at Least 14 religious holidays in December, and a few non religious, like New Year’s Eve. So when someone says “happy holidays,” they mean it. There is no war on Christmas, don’t get me rolling there, I already did that.  That is just a hidden way to discriminate and feel superior.  Hey, all these people can’t be wrong, can they? Winter is a freezing ball of suck, and celebrations can make us feel better. Let’s dive into how you can make your winter more enjoyable.


Photo by Harrison Haines on

Covid-19 has taken a toll on over 70% of U.S. households. Many families have lost income, homes, and filed for unemployment or gone on public assistance. Small businesses have gone under, either temporarily or forever, and the pandemic rages out of control. We know this is a political and health nightmare,with over 13 million Americans suffering and death lurking around every corner, forcing travel restrictions and harsh public health measures that many continue to defy and rage against, primarily out of ignorance. We just passed an unfortunate super spreader event that will likely make traditional Christmas time devastating. Yep, you guessed it, people ignored expert advice and gathered in groups for Thanksgiving. I didn’t, have a peek at what the other side did and more new tradition tips here. So now what?


Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on

Well, many of the holidays have a gift exchange, and now that so many of us are poor, and we traditionally spend around $1,000 extra this month alone, what are we going to do? I have a few ideas, because I have been poor for a long time. 1.) Homemade gifts: these are my favorite for a few reasons. Not only are they inexpensive, but they are thoughtful, highlight your talent or skills, and trim the fat. If someone is not going to appreciate a homemade gift, they probably shouldn’t be on your gift list in the first place. So. create artwork, write a poem about the person, knot, crochet, make a coupon book that they can benefit from, and so on. Create something that uses any talent you have and shows them how much you appreciate them. 2.) Care Packages: I like these too, and if you have a little bit of money, they are a great option. The one I am putting together for my sister has a few of my favorite treats, lotions, and some comfy items. These are all things I would get for yslf and instead are sending to her. I’m really not spending extra money except on shipping, and the sacrifice doesn’t hurt me, it makes me happy because I know how much she will enjoy it. 3.) Time: This sounds like it goes against covid restrictions, but it really doesn’t. For people in your immediate circle, spend extra time playing games, talking, or doing one-on-one activities. For those farther away, have extended video chats to let them know how important to you they are. Time is a valuable resource, and giving so much of it to someone you love is a really awesome gift.


Let’s face it, you probably aren’t going to get that massive Christmas dinner you are used to. What is it…ham or turkey or something, yeah? Well. I am telling you right now that it will be fine. Traditions are not actually as important as we think they are. Seriously, they are only as important as we make them. So make some tuna helper and canned green beans and be grateful you guys are together. Isn’t that what every single feel good holiday special is actually about? I wouldn’t know, I haven’t seen one in years and I don’t celebrate christmas. But I DO know that it is either some religious lesson or appreciating what you have that ends up being the lesson at the end of the day. And if all you have is Ramen noodles, then eat your ramen  together and enjoy! I get mine from the Asian Market down the street, I love the Korean Cheese flavored. It is soooo good. 


Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on

There are lots of super cool things you can do during the holiday season that are budget friendly and covid safe. 1.) Clear your space . We do this every season, actually. Clearing out clothes we no longer wear or don’t fit, toys and games we don’t use regularly, books we have read or lost interest in, and so on. We donate these things to a local shelter, and you can too. Anything in good condition can be sent to a shelter or thrift store. It cuts down on waste so it is eco friendly and it makes you feel good. 2.) Movie night: Do you have a streaming service? Well, gather round your tv or laptop and watch a movie together. Family togetherness is awesome! 3) Games break out your boards, cards, dice, whatever floats your boat. I mean, you guys are stuck in the house together anyway, right? We love D&D and Magick, but also Phase 10, Skip-Bo, and so much more. Excellent family bonding and fun time. 4.) Cruise the block, walking around to look at lights, or cruising a cemetery (we have one nearby) is great exercise and…you guessed it…more family bonding time. And it costs you nothing, but please bundle up if you live in a cold climate. 


New normal, old normal, nothing normal. Who cares? Make your own holiday fun and just do YOU. This is the season of joy and giving, but all we seem to do normally is make billionaires richer. Well, that just isn’t going to work well this year, so I say we stop doing it and start some new traditions that focus on us. And we start taking care of ourselves and our actual loved ones instead of trying to impress others with how much we can spend. So, until next time, be well!

Published by vrice2010

A mother, an author, a nerd. After many years working in the fields of mental health and developmental disabilities, graduating from the University of Phoenix, and pouring my talents into my local community, I decided to spread my wings and reach a wider audience.

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