What are you celebrating this year?
In a year of “unprecedented” and “unimaginable” events, we are still celebrating. Birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays — they keep coming, as if they didn’t get the memo that 2020 is, well, not a normal year. As the year wraps up, we’ve got a few left to cover — after all, if this is the most wonderful time of the year, we’ve got some work to do!
How did you celebrate Thanksgiving? With strong CDC guidelines warning against unnecessary travel, many of us stayed home in our own private bubbles and connected online or by phone. So what did you call this event? A top contender is ‘Zoomsgiving’, a natural step from the ‘Friendsgiving’ of recent years. ‘No-thanks-giving’ definitely casts shade on the point of the holiday itself, but understanding — there’s a lot of stress this year, which sometimes makes it harder for us to see all that we have to be thankful for. ‘Thanksgiveaway’ or ‘Thanksgiveback’ nudge us toward sharing all that we have with others — whether we know them personally or not. Thanksgiving has traditionally been a holiday that prompts community service and action, and we’d do well to remember that there are still opportunities to serve, even if they look a little different this year.
In 2020, the craziest shopping day of the year has been turned on its head — or has it? While not really a holiday (or is it?), Black Friday has been undergoing change in the past few years already. There have still been huge crowds and super-early sales, but they’ve been competing with orderly number-taking systems and not-until-Friday nudges to encourage us to spend Thanksgiving with those we love. Now, with in-person shopping restricted to keep us safe, companies have pivoted to extending today-only sales to the entire month of November (and December? TBD!). As a result, ‘Black Friday’ doesn’t seem quite as appropriate. Call it what you like. Perhaps ‘Blob Friday’, to represent the rapidly expanding amorphous spread across the calendar? An outreach on Twitter yielded the suggestion ‘Big Friday’, but still we’re stuck with the single-day issue. So which part of the name do we keep — Black or Friday? With a swing in the direction of contemporary trends, we might reexamine both parts and end up with #BLMForever. My personal favorite at the moment is ‘Black Fridaze’, an indicator of how easy it is to glaze over in the face of all of those sales — so easily accessible at any and every moment and guaranteed to make everything better — right?
Looking ahead, there’s still time to figure out how we’ll spend the rest of the holidays in the year. It’s tricky to use wordplay on the names of religious holidays — although I do love the idea of ‘Yes-we-canukkah’, a much more positive spin than ‘Chrismaybe’ — so I’ll leave that to you. The important thing is to be clear on what’s important and to plan accordingly. Is the health and safety of your loved ones less important than getting together for that traditional caroling event or big family dinner? Probably not. Figure out what matters most and find a way to make it work — safely. Holiday cards are more valued this year than ever, and amazing delivery options make it easy to deliver holiday cheer throughout the season. You’ve probably already heard the suggestion to create new traditions — more times than necessary, it’s possible — but even if you don’t repeat these new ideas and events, it never hurts to broaden your portfolio of cheer.
Use Your Words
The language we use creates our reality. No matter what you call each holiday and even if the season looks different this year, there are still plenty of reasons to celebrate. I can’t promise that if we all just say nice words — and clap our hands like Tinkerbell and click our heels like Dorothy — that everything will be better, but we can certainly help each other feel a little better. From celebrating with your employees and sharing cheer with your customers to supporting your friends and family — we believe.
Happy and healthy daze to you and your loved ones!