Holiday Survival Guide

Holiday Survival Guide

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During Advent, the season of waiting, we are often overwhelmed with all the preparations, events, gift buying and a desire to make everything just right for Christmas. We strive to make sure everyone will be happy. We risk wearing ourselves down physically, mentally, and spiritually.

Is this what our faith calls us to do?  What would happen if we intentionally decided to slow down, reflect on the meaning of Christmas, and enjoy the anticipation of Christ’s birth? Maybe if we let go of one thing on our to-do list, we will find time to build lifelong memories with a loved one. Maybe simplifying some of our holiday traditions will give us time to feel the hope, peace, joy, and love during Advent amid the difficult realities of the world.
 
The realities of the world are with us in COVID-19 variants, the rapid, early spread of influenza (Flu) and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). They weigh heavily on our spirits. We know that it is important to continue precautions such as washing our hands often, wearing a mask in crowds, making sure we get the updated boosters if able, getting a flu shot and staying home if when feeling ill. Sometimes this means missing a special gathering or activity to care for a loved one. Current data shows that Massachusetts and Rhode Island are experiencing high rates of flu-like illness and Connecticut is experiencing very high rates. The rate of Covid-19 transmission in the three states continues to be low to medium, however experts predict that transmission will increase through the holidays.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people make a COVID Plan. They developed a personal COVID Plan Worksheet to help. The plan includes information about Covid-19 symptoms, testing, and what to do if you test positive or are exposed to someone with Covid-19. Space is provided to document testing locations, your healthcare providers, medical condition, and emergency contacts. Preparing a plan facilitates testing and treatment if needed and reduces stress. Just like planning for a hurricane or power outage, knowing what to do if you test positive for Covid can help you protect yourself and others.
 
When I became a parish nurse, I was given a Parish Nurse Survival Kit to help me through stressful times. I think it works very well as a Covid-19 Holiday Survival Kit too! The kit includes each item listed below packaged in a small bag or box with a copy of the reminder list. The scripture passages can be printed too! The scriptures remind us to focus on the important things in life. I offer this kit to you with the opportunity to be creative. Keep the text handy and share it with others, it will bring a smile and a blessing; remember, it is the little things in life that have the potential to make a difference in our attitude and sense of well-being. I pray you find the blessings of hope, peace, joy and love this holiday season. 


Holiday Survival Kit

Toothpick: To remind you to pick out the good qualities in everyone, including yourself. Matthew 7:1
Rubber band: To remind you to be flexible. Things might not always go the way you want,
but things can be worked out. Romans 8:28
Band-Aid: To remind you to heal hurt feelings, either yours or someone else’s. Colossians 3:12-14
Pencil: To remind you to list your blessings every day. Ephesians 1:3
Eraser: To remind you that everyone makes mistakes, and it’s OK, we learn from our errors. Genesis 50:15-21
Chewing Gum: To remind you to stick to it and you can accomplish anything. Philippians 4:13
Mint: To remind you that you are worth a mint to your family and us.  John 3:16-17
Candy Kiss: To remind you that everyone needs a hug or a compliment every day. 1 John 4:7
Teabag: To remind you to take time daily to relax and reflect on God’s blessings. This is what makes life worth living every minute, every day. Thessalonians 5:18


For More information:

CDC - Twelve Ways to Have a Healthy Holiday Season
CDC - RSV in Infants and Young Children
Becker’s Hospital Review Dec. 5, 2022 - Flu Activity State by State 
Photo by S&B Vonlanthen on Unsplash

Author

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Debbie Ringen

Debbie Ringen supports the Conference vision to make God’s love and justice real through wellness ministry at the Conference and local church level. In addition to providing resources, educational workshops, blogs and networking opportunities, she is...

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