Healthy Holiday Season
I am writing this article just before Thanksgiving, so I want to wish each and every one of you a happy and healthy holiday season. Of course as we all know, this holiday season will be like no other we have ever had. We will be celebrating with our immediate at home family, but missing our extended and away family. In addition, a lot of us are at our year-end, so we are starting to evaluate what the covid year has done to our practices. The holidays, year end, and covid stress are more than enough to put even the most emotionally stable of us, over the edge. In order to continue to be successful, we all have to find our own balance. Here are some of my thoughts on how to achieve that balance.
In my year-end evaluation at work, I try to go in with a smile under my mask and appreciate all of our staff and my partners. I try to think about how hard they have all worked this year. There will be no holiday party for us to get together, but we are trying to keep some of our party traditions alive. There will be the silly annual office awards given to every staff member, a virtual mystery gift, and treats. This will all be via a swag bag, but the idea is to make sure they staff know how much we appreciate and count on them and thank them. I always write a song for the doctors to sing for the staff at the party, and I honestly believe, the docs found a little silver lining, in the fact that they cannot sing this year.
In my home, and personal life, we will continue to embrace our annual traditions and maybe add some new ones. Our lamp will still dress up like a turkey (long story for another article). I will still make my beer turkey and chestnut mushroom stuffing. The beer turkey came about the year my younger brother and I were the only ones together for Thanksgiving. Being the enterprising young men that we were, we decided that everything we made that year should, of course, be made including beer as an ingredient. I will tell you, the turkey smells like it was at a party prior to going into the oven, but comes out so amazingly juicy and tender. It has been our tradition moving forward ever since. However, I must say cranberry sauce and beer was not a good idea! Since we will be having less people at our table this year, I am looking forward to making stuffles with extra stuffing. Apparently you make a waffle out of your left over stuffing, cut it in half, put turkey, mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce on it, put the other half of the stuffing waffle on top, and you have the perfect Thanksgiving sandwich, the stuffle. I have never had enough stuffing left to try, but I am determined to see how it goes this year.
A new tradition will hopefully be our first annual Thanksgiving zoom trivia game. While we cannot all be together to eat, we can certainly find some family time for trivia and jokes. Since I can mute everyone whenever I want, it should work out great for me.
I am also anticipating our annual latke (potato pancakes for Hanukkah) dinner to become a drive through event this year, with family and friends stopping over to pick up their annual delicious treats in a safe, socially distanced and masked way. Years ago, I started to make these outside on my back porch, to decrease the amount of oil residue in my kitchen. The funny thing was that neighbors would walk by and talk loudly about the delicious smells coming from the yard. So of course we invited them down, and of course, they left with a plateful of these tasty pancakes. It's become a tradition, and we will keep it going, just with modifications to be safe, like a table in front of the house for pickup.
This is how am I balancing my work, life, covid stresses for this holiday season. We are keeping but modifying our traditions. In this way, things are moving forward and are safe, but still have the traditional feel. I hope all of you have or have had a wonderful holiday season and can figure out a great year end balance for yourselves.
Donald Morris, DO