Tips on How to Keep Your 2020 Holidays Meaningful and Bright!

Jonathan Cobrda

*sounds of Santa’s Sleigh bells ringing*

Ho! Ho! Holy smokes is it that time of year again?! Mrs. Claus and I haven’t had a concept of time since March! We’ve been planning our days between peppermint coffee time and frasier fir blitzen cocktail time. Staring at our little screens in bed with anticipation to stare at bigger screens later on. We were also the originals of the so called “quaranten” … it took us an afternoon.

Did the year that felt like a strange 10 finally get to the most magical and busiest of times? Since it’s started getting dark at 2 PM, Santas Outlook has maxed out its storage from all the Black Friday sales and my alarm clock has been set to Mele Kalikimaka I think … “Oh by gosh, by golly” it is! (try not to picture Santa in a Speedo)

I thought I would chime in for a seasonal eggnog cool yule chat to offer some tools to give you all the inspiration you need to stay positive and organized this holiday season amidst such a monumental year.

“You better watch out
You better not cry
You better not pout
I’m telling you why

Santa Claus is comin’ to town
Santa Claus is comin’ to town
Santa Claus is comin’ to town”

1. Pay It Forward

If this year has taught you anything it’s what you need versus what you want. You don’t need anything on Etsy Kelsey. So please for the love of schnitzel with noodles and all things gingerbread do not add to cart that electric scooter. Come January 1st you will solely regret it. You have everything you already need right in front of you; however, sadly there are still so many people that are in real need this Christmas — that have undergone profound loss, hardship and are struggling to stay jolly this time of year. So, Santa says, “Pay it forward when no one is watching.” Friends, a little kindness goes a long way. Buy the person in line behind you at Starbucks their grande mocha frappe wanna hippopotamus for Christmas with 17 pumps of caramel and an extra shot of sugar. It will make their day more than you know. Christmas, especially in 2020, is about giving than receiving.

“Pa rum pum pum pum”

2. Donate

Remember that warm winter coat or hand stitched sweater your Auntie made you that you know you will never wear? Santa says, “donate” it to a nearby coat drive at your neighborhood congregation. Or donate $1 to 10 different organizations that are truly making a difference in our world everyday. Ones that are the nearest and dearest to your hearts. Folks, those people and places are where real magic have occured. The real heroes of 2020 should be celebrated. Even better donate your time to a local homeless shelter or elderly community. We all need to be reminded of humanity this Christmas and give the gift of laughter, love, and community. The theme of 2020 was coming together, apart. We learned and experienced how powerful every little bit can count when we all act and do our part. It takes each of us to be the change we want to see.

“A very Merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let’s hope it’s a good one
Without any fear”

3. Presence over Presents

Listen, Santa knows that this was going to be your year. 2020 was going to be the year you got everything you wanted — success in your job, your relationships, your emotions, health, finances, everything was going to align and be coming up roses, but this is the year you were given where you ended up knowing what you were truly grateful for. What really matters. Santa says, “Sometimes limitations can set you free.” 2020 taught us to do less than obsess. This Christmas, whether you are with family, friends, or your roommate remember that their presence their gifts of life that you so freely borrow are the best presents that don’t come with a gift receipt. Show how much you appreciate them by giving those gifts back and raising a glass in their honor.

“Love and joy come to you
And to you a Wassail too
And God bless you and send you
A Happy New Year
And God send you a Happy New Year”

4. Sing

Wherever you are this holiday season whether in the snows of New England, up in the Pacific Northwest, or on the warm tropical beaches on the Florida Coast I really hope you get into the spirit of a festive Christmas sing this year. I don’t mean sitting back in your Lazyboy listening to Uncle Earl have all the fun, I mean throwing back your heads, opening up your hearts and singing as loud or as pretty as you know how. Gang, singing is a lot more fun than you’ll ever know unless you give it a go sometime. So, Santa says, “Knock back the Christmas punch and let that elf on the shelf fly baby!”

“The moon is right
The spirits up
We’re here tonight
And that’s enough
Simply havin’ a wonderful Christmastime
Simply havin’ a wonderful Christmastime”

5. Make A List and Check It Twice

I have said it once and I will say it again. One of the best tried and true ways to start succeeding in your organizing needs in all aspects of your life is to make a list. Santa’s got it down pat, I am a very organized man dealing with many little rugrats across the globe. Santa says, “Make a list (that you won’t lose) of everything to get accomplished that week.” The name of the game is attainable goals. Not reaching for the stars Brendan, nothing outside the realm of possibility Angela, but tangible, attainable goals. Groceries, gifts, appointments, reminders, etc. If you throw it all into one singular sensation of a list, you’ll be able to essentially prioritize more successfully your outsourced to-do’s instead of feeling so overwhelmed to accomplish it all in one day that you run for cover and the Chardonnay. So, be your own Santa this year (including the quaranten), make your list and check it twice. Who knows, maybe you’ll do so well, someone special will leave you a plateful of milk and cookies.

6. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

This is a year this has been a year that will go down in infamy. Do yourself the biggest blessing you can and end it on a good note. I know we all have every fatigue in the book (you try keeping a mask on Rudolph), but there is finally light at the end of the tunnel. We are in a new age of healing, empathy, forgiveness and faith.

Can I ask you a question? At some point this year did you ever lay in bed wide awake? Did your thoughts take you in every corner of anxiety and helplessness wondering what the next day was going to look like? How you and your family will make it to next month? Yes? Me too. I’ve received so many letters asking for guidance, hope, a better situation and to that end I’d like to share with you that whenever Santa is laying in bed wide awake thinking of all of you, I like to hum that classic Bing Crosby tune,

“When I’m worried and I can’t sleep
I count my blessings instead of sheep
And I fall asleep counting my blessings
When my bankroll is getting small
I think of when I had none at all
And I fall asleep counting my blessings”

From the bottom of my heart I wish you and your family a happy, healthy, and hearty holiday. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Oh! And I almost forgot, please don’t forget to wear a mask this holidays season. Be smart — don’t try to pull a fast one over Santa … I know when you’re sleeping I know when you’re awake I know when you’re not wearing your PPE so be safe for goodness sake! Santa out!

*sound of Santa dropping the candy cane mic*

Jonathan Cobrda
Life Management Consultant
@jonathancobrda

Jonathan Cobrda is a Life Management and Social Media Consultant at In Order To Succeed