Holiday season in 2020: a different approach but the same spirit

December 3, 2020 — by Anjali Nuggehalli

Although winter break will be spent in quarantine, this year provides a unique opportunity to embrace the holiday season

I went into this semester of online school thinking that the next few months would fly by. After all, I was spending all my time at home, and I figured that burning out was impossible from my own room.

I was terribly wrong. 

I think I can speak for most students and teachers when I say that this online semester has been extremely draining, and this holiday break has never been more anticipated.

In previous years, I would embrace the holiday season by visiting family on the East Coast or ice skating in San Francisco. No matter what was on my agenda, I was practically never at home for the two-week break. 

But this year, along with most of my peers, I will spend my holiday vacation in the same spot where I did chemistry labs, calculated integrals and took finals: my house.

It is disheartening to find another special time of the year altered due to the pandemic, but perhaps staying at home will let us truly embrace the holiday spirit.  

My goal is to enter the new year as a rejuvenated and all-around better version of myself. In prior breaks, I would be so busy that I never had the time to reflect on what the holidays were all about: taking the time to give back to yourself and your loved ones.

I plan to rediscover the hobbies that became buried under mountains of homework and to-do lists, from baking to writing music. Instead of exercising solely to stay in shape for soccer, I’ve found some online yoga and dance classes to try. 

I also hope to use the holidays as an opportunity to show my appreciation to friends and family who have provided a constant pillar of support during this time of uncertainty. My friend group has organized a virtual Secret Santa, where we drop off gifts at each other’s houses and then do a gift reveal on Zoom. I also plan to give my friends care packages full of holiday-edition chocolates, homemade Christmas cookies and hot cocoa. 

One of the most crucial components of my winter break this year will be to hit the reset button and truly embrace having two weeks off from looming deadlines and exams. 

While it’s a blast to fill your days with hanging out with friends and venturing out of town, embracing the holiday spirit also means being kind to yourself, even if that means simply recharging at home.  


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