Redefining the Holidays

Cassandra Tondro, "Breath of Fresh Air," abstract painting

Happy Holiday Season, Friends! Does it feel happy to you?

Here in Southern California we’re in another shutdown due to a surge in the number of COVID cases. Our hospitals are nearing capacity and sadly, the death toll is rising.

The lockdown order will extend through Christmas, and possibly into the new year. We’ve been advised to stay home unless it’s absolutely necessary to go out. No personal or public gatherings. Many businesses are closed, and non-essential workers are working from home. Restaurants are open for takeout and delivery only, and grocery stores are open at 20% capacity.

It definitely gives the holidays a different spin than the usual frenetic activity of shopping, decorating, wrapping, cooking, parties, travel, and whatnot.

Perhaps this is an opportunity to pause and redefine what the holidays have become — a chance to try something different, and maybe even invent new traditions.

I think we sometimes use the hectic pace of the holidays as a substitute for what we really desire — genuine connection with others. We all want to be seen, heard and truly understood. That is the greatest gift of all — someone who “gets” us. But with so much activity at this time of year, it becomes difficult to be fully present for another.

So how can we give the gift of true connection this year, when so many are feeling lonely and alone? I’d enjoy hearing your thoughts. You can share them with us in the comments section below.

With love and appreciation,

Painting at top: “Breath of Fresh Air,” 36 x 60 inches, repurposed acryic latex paint on canvas.



  1. We aren’t as bad as y’all here in S.C., but trying our best to stay healthy. Difficult times for sure, but we do stay in touch with family and friends. We miss get togethers but are learning to cope. I have the pleasure of amusement and purr-fect love from 6 cats. We just have to try and stay upbeat and keep moving around the house and outside when possible. Christmas will be hard but maybe this year we can reflect more on the true meaning of it. Stay well and safe and make your different memories this season ones you will enjoy.

    1. Hi Lynda. I have one cat and love her company! It would be a lot harder if she weren’t here with me. Cats are some of my favorite friends. Hope you enjoy the holidays, no matter what shape they take this year!

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