I am sad and have been sad for the past few months now.

October 31 was the last time I saw my immediate family and September was the last time I saw any relatives. My family made the executive decision to keep our distance when COVID-19 cases began to spike in early November, and I have been struggling with the disconnect.

I am extremely close with my family. Not being able to hug my parents or hang out with my nephew has been a mental roller coaster that I have been dying to get off of. I feel fortunate that I have a family that is tight-knit and that I will be able to see when this nightmare is over, but with the holidays around the corner and the looming conclusion that it will be much lonelier than usual, my spirits have been low.

Then last night, I received a video message from my mom, and I had to share it on-air. She sent it to the family group chat and shared some words of comfort with a friendly reminder that there are still ways to enjoy the holidays together.

Listen here:

“To say this year has been disappointing and crazy is an understatement,” she began. “But even though we can’t have company, of course, I still had to decorate and bake because it makes me happy.”

Her plan was to take us on a virtual tour of her Christmas decorations, but in true mom fashion, she couldn’t figure out how to switch the camera lens.

Pictures flooded in of her immaculate Christmas decorations all over her house, and the rest of the family followed suit by sending over their own video messages and pictures. Truthfully, it was the first time this holiday season that I felt comfort and joy.

My mom reminded me that, yes, the holiday season is hard right now, but it doesn’t have to be all bad.

I wanted to share this with anyone who feels lonely this holiday or is feeling down about the lack of company you may have on Christmas. The sound of my mom’s voice and her Christmas spirit lifted me up today, and if you’re feeling low, I hope it will lift you up, too.

Pick up the phone and share a holiday message. Send a picture of your Christmas tree to a loved one. Call your cousin that you haven’t heard from in a while just to say hello. We have to get creative this year, but brighter holidays are ahead. Hopefully, by next year, my mother will know how to take a proper video.

GET SOME HOLIDAY CHEER: Christmas Trees on the SouthCoast

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