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2020 Holiday Survival Guide

Happy Holiday 2020!! First of all, a moment of celebration to acknowledge that we made it all the way to December in this wild and crazy year. In accordance with everything else 2020, your holidays might be looking a little bit different this year. Perhaps you are home instead of traveling (like me), or maybe your home is feeling a little more empty than usual with friends and family unable to visit.

If the holidays are feeling a little off and you’re feeling less than festive, I hear you, it is definitley different htis year, but it doesn’t have to be a season of despair. Here are a few potential silver linings and ideas to make the 2020 covid Christmas a little brighter, including some recipes

You can connect with even more people than normal virtually

The first Christmas my now husband and I spent together we had 7 Christmases (yes kinda like the movie). We started in San Diego with my Mom dining on prime rib and cheesy potatoes. The next day it was over to my dad’s house where we were served prime rib and cheesy potatoes. The next morning we hopped on a plane to Nashville, arriving at dinner time to a generous helping of, you guessed it, prime rib and cheesy potatoes. There were also two indulgent Southern breakfasts (grits and more cheesy potatoes), a big family lunch and another decadent dinner. It was fun and scrumptious and my tights, yes my tights, barely fit after that week.

This year, we are scheduled for 5 zoom calls (we already had 2 so far), and more sprinklings of calls and texts with friends planned throughout the day. The holiday is less centered around eating and more about talking and gathering, and helping all generations navigate the zoom app. No, it’s not the same. I miss hugging people and those cheesy potatoes, but we’re still connected and we get to see more smiling faces with no airport time.

And in the spirit of staying connected, especially this year, if there is anyone you know who you haven’t heard from in a while, or that you know lives alone, you might make their entire day with a quick hello text or call or note. I’ve always been one to hide away when I’m feeling less than myself and it’s always a special treat to hear from someone I love.

More control over your schedule

With the exception of some scheduled zoom calls, our daily dog walk, the day is wide open. I plan on squeezing in some time for reading and some Christmas movies. If you want to spend your day watching Hallmark movies and drinking cider, or binge on the Mandalorian, you are free to do it.



Binge watch basics – blanket and warm beverage


Catch some extra ZZZZs

If that sounds lonely, set up a watch party and binge with your family and friends. Or if you’re missing your usual holiday mass, a lot of places are offering virtual services these days.

This is also a great time to give back. Even if you can’t donate funds there are ways to help and stay socially distant, like hosting a virtual fund drive, knitting scarves for the homeless, or donating items from your pantry and closet. Check your local Nextdoor or Google volunteer opportunities in you area.

Recipes

We all have our traditional holiday meals, some we enjoy more than others. But if you’re alone or in a smaller group for the holidays making the whole elaborate feast may not make sense.

I look at this as fun opportunity to break all the rules, and maybe even make a few new traditions. If you want to just make one favorite holiday dish, like stuffing and nothing else, DO IT! Perhaps you don’t want to cook at all and turn this meal into pizza night or have Chinese food delivered. Perhaps you dread holiday meals because your normal diet doesn’t mesh well with rich fatty buttery meaty things. This year the pressure is off. Or maybe you want to have something special, but different. Now is your chance to try something new. Even if it’s just you this holiday, eat off the good china, light a candle, and play the “yule log” video on Netflix. Treat yourself because you are a gift and you are worth it.

Here are a few recipe favorites I love. They are declicious, approachable and can be made to serve one or many.

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Roasted Portobello Mushrooms Stuffed with Greek Fava

  1. Roasted stuffed with Beyond Beef, parsley and thyme – protein packed, simple, yet elegant

  2. Roasted Portobello Mushrooms Stuffed with Greek Fava – Fava made with lentils or split peas is creamy and comforting.

Spaghetti Bolognese

Spaghetti Bolognese

This is what I’m making this year (it’s my husband’s favorite). This is the vegan version , but you can swap out the beyond for beef, turkey, or italian sausage. Recipe here

Mac n Cheese

  1. The Cheesiest Baked Vegan Mac n Cheese – You’ll never know this is vegan. It’s soooo decadent and fabulous.

  2. Ina Garten’s Grown Up Mac n Cheese – I made this at Thanksgiving. The cheese choices make it to die for delicious.

Thai Roasted Chicken and Root Vegetables

Thai Roasted Chicken and Root Vegetables

From my most recent cook-along workshop. Take your chicken, veggies, and your tastebuds to Thailand. Soo Good! Recipe here

Mexican Hot Chocolate Pudding

Mexican Hot Chocolate Pudding

Mexican Hot Chocolate Pudding

No cooking or baking required, and it’s vegan, and good for you too! Recipe here

Whatever you do or don’t do this 2020 holiday, I wish you health, peace, happiness, and love.

Namaste and blessings,

Amy Sullivan

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