Utah Family Finds Ways To Embrace Slower Holiday Season Despite Change In Traditions

Dec 23, 2020, 9:32 PM

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – This holiday season looks very different for many families, without many of the usual traditions. But different isn’t always a bad thing. One Utah family has found a way to enjoy the slower pace this December.

This time of year is usually filled with the hustle and bustle of the season.

“Lots of choir concerts, orchestra concerts, band concerts, piano recitals, and lots of basketball tournaments … neighborhood parties and ward parties and all kinds of family parties,” Angelina listed.

“Sometimes it does get overwhelming, because it’s like, ‘OK, we have three things tonight and we have to get everything in,’” she added.

Despite a break in tradition, Angelina, who describes herself as a very social person is enjoying a slower, simpler and less stressful December.

Angelina says although she was stressed at the beginning of the pandemic, she’s found ways to embrace a simpler and slower holiday season this year spending more time with her immediate family. (KSL-TV)

“It’s been a lot more time for me and my family to be together and do things that we haven’t ever done before,” she explained.

She’s embraced the stillness of the year. “So we cook together a lot. We make candy and we have watched a lot of movies,” Angelina described.

Her family has also watched Christmas concerts from the comfort of their own home and found ways to serve others in new and meaningful ways.

“This year we were able to do a ‘Sub for Santa’ because I had more time on my hands,” she said. “I finally had the energy and the mental energy to actually think about, ‘OK, I can go shopping for all these other people, instead of just trying to get the gifts that I need for my family.’”

Angelia and family were able to sponsor a family for Sub For Santa since she had more time to think about and plan ahead this year without all the traditional holiday parties and events.

Angelina has also made an effort to touch base with those in her circle. “Just looking out for all the neighbors and trying to talk to them or see them or if we can deliver your little gift,” she said.

Angelina admitted she was very stressed at the beginning of the pandemic. She said she still has days when fear and stress overwhelm her, but she’s tried to make the best of what she can control. “This year has been a lot simpler,” she said. “Very love-filled for me and just very heartfelt.”

Intermountain Healthcare’s Dr. Travis Mickelson, a psychiatrist and associate medical director of mental health integration, acknowledged this year has been filled with a lot of uncertainty and the differences we are experiencing this holiday season may be hard. But he said it’s possible to embrace new traditions and it starts with service.

“Serving others and taking care of others feels better to me and feels more soothing to me probably more than it ever has before,” he said. “[It’s a] great time to go out and shovel the sidewalks of our elderly neighbor or drop off something … on their front porch. This year more than ever before, that might be more meaningful to us just because of the struggles we’ve all been hearing about.”

While many can’t see each other in person this year, Mickelson said it’s more important than ever to stay connected. “Try to have these conversations over zoom or FaceTime, so that you can see faces and facial expressions … there’s far more powerful of a connection than if we’re just texting,” he explained.

Angelina and her family have watched Christmas Concerts from the comfort of their home this year rather than going in person as usual. Although it’s been different than going in person, they say they’ve enjoyed it.

Mickelson said many studies show social connectedness increases our physical and mental health. “It improves our immune system, it improves our inflammatory system, it improves our sleep, it improves our empathy for other people,” he explained.

He also said it’s important for people to manage their expectations this holiday season. “We need to really allow ourselves to acknowledge how we’re feeling,” Mickelson said. “If we’re experiencing more stress and more anxiety, we need to really be able to acknowledge those emotions.”

Mickelson encouraged people to focus on what they do have, even if their celebration is within the walls of their own home this year. “It gives us an opportunity to really appreciate our smaller family unit,” he said.

“I’ve actually felt the Christmas spirit a whole lot more this year, just because of all that other stuff was gone away and we just have what we have here at home,” Angelina said.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Your Life Your Health

Mike Hayes says he noticed changes when he started intermittent fasting...
Ayanna Likens

The health benefits of intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting has become increasingly popular and health experts say there are some benefits to it.
4 days ago
Marrianne Peterson is now cancer free...
Ayanna Likens

Woman pleads for Utahns to get HPV vaccine to prevent cervical cancer

January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month and approximately 14,000 women in the US are diagnosed with this type of cancer each year.
11 days ago
(Duke Speer)...
Ayanna Likens

How blood donations saved a Utah man’s life

Blood donation saves lives, like that of 67-year-old Duke Speer in 2021.
18 days ago
A exercise physiologist preforming one of the test's to measure breathing. (KSL-TV)...
Ayanna Likens

A health assessment could help you reach your health goals

With half of Americans looking to improve their exercise routine, Intermountain Healthcare is offering a health assessment to get a personalized plan to help you reach your goals.
24 days ago
Marc Callister lost 70 pounds...
Ayanna Likens and Cary J. Schwanitz

How to set healthy goals for the new year

With the new year around corner, setting healthy new year’s goals is top of mind for some people. 
1 month ago
Ayanna Likens

A shared cancer journey with provider and patient

Receiving a cancer diagnosis can be scary, but having a support system can help you through it. One teenage girl created an unexpected close bond with her medical provider after her diagnosis.
1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t Let a Ransomware Attack Get You Down | Protect Your Workplace Today with Cyber Insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Utah Family Finds Ways To Embrace Slower Holiday Season Despite Change In Traditions