November 26, 2020 5 min read

Merry COVID Christmas

Party Like It’s 1999!


Earlier this week, I passed my first COVID test! It seemed like something to celebrate, so I jokingly sent a text to my family to let them know I was in the clear and we should “party like it’s 1999!” That group message then took on a life of its own, as text messages with my family often do…can you relate?!? The barrage of responses pointed out that some of us were still in our teens in 1999 (not me), and others were in their late 40s (not me, either!) I was in my twenties living the dream!! This exchange made me think about 1999 and what it was like. It was pre-COVID, pre-9/11, pre-Hurricane Katrina, Rita, Wilma, Ike and Harvey and pre-lots of other things that have been devastating in their own right. So, 1999 had to be carefree and wonderful…just like I remember it, right?!?

So, as anyone who needs to refresh their memory does, I took to Google to see exactly how amazing 1999 was. If Google is to be believed, 1999 wasn’t all I had made it out to be in my mind. According to, we were all worried about Y2K in 1999. Remember that? It was going to be the end of computers and a crash of epic proportions! About the best things they could come up with to say about 1999 was the fact that Susan Lucci FINALLY won her EMMY and Who Wants to be a Millionaire was born. Think I’m kidding? Check it out here!

This short trip down memory lane made me realize that whether it’s 1999, 2020 or somewhere in between, life always has its challenges, and how I remember it will be up to me. See if you can follow me down this rabbit hole, now…That, obviously, led me to think about the fact that this week is Thanksgiving, and I should take a moment to reflect on all I’m thankful for. My mother-in-law created a thankful turkey-pumpkin this year, so we’ve been adding our blessings to it over the last couple of weeks, and its plumage is looking pretty good! It may be 2020, and we’re not living like the Jetsons, but we still have LOTS to be thankful for.

After we watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade this morning, I caught part of an episode of The Waltons. Anyone else old enough to remember that show?!? This one was about a particularly hard year in the Walton family. Grandpa had passed away, they had lost other family members and John Boy had barely survived his plane being shot down during World War II. There was a particular line in the show that made me think. John Boy was in the hospital and their mom was away taking care of him. Aunt Rose was trying to convince everyone they needed to work together to make a really special Thanksgiving dinner, but no one wanted to help. They weren’t feeling particularly thankful that year. As Aunt Rose plead her case, she said it’s times like these when we must try, really try to be thankful. We have to try. That, my friends, is why I believe we should “party like it’s 1999”! I know, I’m not really cool enough to make Prince references in the same paragraphs as The Waltons, but I am a child of the 80s and 90s, so I can do what I want! LOL

How do we celebrate the JOY of Christmas and the gratitude of Thanksgiving after the year we’ve had?!? WE GO BIG!! Just because we need to be cautious and adapt the way we celebrate doesn’t mean we don’t do it. Do you normally have two helpings of banana pudding or pecan pie at Thanksgiving? Go for three this year!! Calories don’t count on holidays…we all know that!

Not cooking/baking as much this year because family can’t be together? Maybe instead of backing off, you should double-up and deliver to other friends and neighbors who aren’t having big gatherings either.

Do you have free time on your hands today? If so, maybe you should go ahead and address those Christmas cards and get them in the mail! Add a few extra people to your list this year since you have more time. Send greetings to armed forces members who will be overseas for the holidays this year. Make cards for residents of a local nursing home. Instead of just counting your blessings today, think about how you can spread blessings to others this year.

Are you the Grinch of the neighborhood that doesn’t put up outside decorations? Surprise your neighbors and the Christmas lovers in your house by lighting it up like the Griswolds this year! There are plenty of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday sales to make it affordable and festive!

Be intentional with your gift-giving this year. If you have extra time, maybe you can make some gifts. If you’re not that energetic, at least consider shopping with small businesses who are fighting to survive this year. You’ll be contributing to helping someone’s dream become a reality. How can you not feel jolly when you’re having that type of impact?

Are you following me yet? Whatever it is, find your thing. Figure out what you can do to make yourself feel good and bring some JOY to others! It will be something different for each of us, but we can all find a way to lift our spirit, and in the process, bring someone else along with us. Think of it as the buddy system!

In 1999, we didn’t care if Y2K was going to wipe us all out. We still rang in the New Year with vigor. We set our New Year’s Resolutions and held to the hope the beginning of a new year brings. When I started this blog series, it was to help find ways to keep COVID-19 from stealing our Christmas JOY. But, y’all, in all honesty, for many people, the reality is that 2020 hasn’t been JOYful. For some, it’s the hardest year they can remember going through. People have lost loved ones, jobs, homes, cars, businesses and more. Many will ask how do we celebrate in the midst of all that? I ask, how do we not?

We need to dig deep and find gratitude for what we have wherever we can. Finding victories where we can helps sustain us in the darkest of times. Today, I give thanks for all of you fighting to protect Christmas JOY and finding ways to share it with others. I pray we’re all successful in ushering in 2021 with the best holiday season possible (responsibly socially-distanced, of course!).

Thank you for the blessing you are to me and others. Need other ideas on how to spread Christmas JOY this year? Check out other entries in this blog series here. I would love to hear what you come up with to help make this Christmas one for the record books, so drop a comment here or send a message to and let me hear how grand your plans are!

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