This Year's Holidays Will Be Different—So Lean Into It

As we approach what used to be termed the holiday season, it might be tempting to focus on all the celebrations we can’t look forward to this winter. But documenting your experiences—good, bad, or just plain confusing—can feel like hope for the future.

Every milestone this year has felt a bit tentative: Will there be Fourth of July fireworks? How do we celebrate graduations and birthdays—or do we? Even for those who don’t observe any specific holidays, there’s something to be said for the “It’s that time of year” vibe, when store windows are arranged just so and twinkling light displays turn the dusk into something festive.

The CDC is begging Americans to curb the spread of COVID by keeping celebrations limited to those in our households. We hope that you’ll take this advice seriously. But if you expect winter to feel like just one more loss, is it worth planning anything at all?

In a very uncertain time, we at RLM are absolutely certain that, whatever you do or don’t do, you’ll want to remember it. Think of all the times you’ve found comfort in paging through old family documents or scrolled through your phone’s photos with a smile on your face. Well, someday, someone—maybe a younger friend or a grandchild—is going to ask what it was like to live through 2020. Maybe that person will be you, just ten years down the road!

So this year you won’t be taking pictures of the extended family gathered around the turkey or the menorah or the tree. What might you do to preserve memory instead? A video diary leading up to your first ever Turkey Trot? Maybe a notebook you can use to record your reflections, or your ideas for a novel, or the wildlife that shows up at your backyard birdfeeder? Or maybe start a tradition of exchanging classic family recipes via e-mail and creating your own cookbook—we at RLM are huge fans of this!

However the holiday season unfolds, we promise you won’t regret documenting it. We can find ways to make this time meaningful—and ensure that it’s remembered years down the road.