Rethinking holiday traditions post-pandemic

Naasei Lynn, Staff Writer

Holidays are the most important time of the year for families and communities across the world. People are able to come together to celebrate sacred traditions all across the globe, uniting many under a common cause. However, amid a worldwide pandemic, an unprecedented increase in inflation and the ever-changing social and political state of the United States, the time has come to rethink how we celebrate our holidays.

According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, the price of a Thanksgiving meal rose over 20 percent from last year. Price hikes like this were a part of the concerning trend the US saw entering 2022. Across all commercial sectors, prices began to soar as the sudden full-reopening of businesses and increase of consumer purchases led to a supply-chain shortage. The raised prices have led many to adjust their holiday spending practices in order to conserve money.

“Prices are growing…and our budget is smaller than last November,” Washington, D.C., resident Manuel Rojas stated in an NPR interview.

 Increased prices have led to families reconsidering how much they spend on holiday food and gifts. Ideas of regifting old or unused items and buying fewer presents overall have been seen as ways to cut down costs as winter holidays near.

Much like increased prices, the cultural changes in the wake of a COVID-19-conscious world have also changed our holiday practices. The idea of traveling for festivities with grandparents has now been draped in an aura of danger, knowing the deadly effects that COVID-19 has on elderly populations. Despite the challenges that were brought with the pandemic, it gave families more time to spend together while celebrating the holiday season.

“Because of the pandemic, we accidentally created new traditions for our family,” Mélanie Berliet, a mother and New York City resident, mentioned in a Washington Post interview. 

For the Berliet family, the elongated periods of isolation gave them the opportunity to become more creative. They constructed a care package for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve, containing cookies, milk and carrots to leave out for the night.

 Restrictions and price gouges will always result in negative opinions at face-value, but by adapting to circumstance as a community, holiday-goers are still able to enjoy their time with new traditions.