By Rita Wilkins
The Downsizing Designer

This week kicks off the holiday season and many people I’ve talked to are dreading the holiday season this year because of the many restrictions and concerns surrounding the spread of covid-19.

But those of you who know me as a friend, as a design, or as a coach, or even as a mom, you know I am going to push back when I heard people say “there’s no way the holidays will be fun this year!”.

And you know I am going to encourage you to just think differently, to see through walls or barriers that are preventing you from believing it’s going to be a great holiday season.

In fact, you know that I am going to challenge each one of you to have your best holiday season!


For sure, almost everything in 2020 has been different… So why not…

1. Break old traditions all together and create new ones or
2. Re-invent the way you celebrate your old family traditions whether you are together or apart.

We all know how important family traditions are especially in uncertain times.

• They provide comfort
• They bring us together, near or far
• They are the glue that holds us together in spite of distance

We look forward to this time of year and today I am going to tell you that in spite of the pandemic you can still celebrate a semblance of family traditions that are safe, low stress, and fun! You just need to be a little creative.

Think of some of your family traditions you most enjoy, but you are telling yourself…

• “No way!”
• “I can’t possibly…”
• “Why bother?”

I’d like you to consider thinking differently and ask yourself: “How can you create a semblance of those traditions whether you are together or apart this year?”

One of my favorite poems is from Mother Theresa called “ANYWAY” you’ve probably heard it before, it goes like this:

“People are often unreasonable and self-centered

“If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motive.

“The good you do today, people often forget that tomorrow

It seems paradoxical…

• To love anyway
• To be kind anyway
• To do good anyway

It seems contradictory and on many levels it seems unreasonable.

When you think about it, the pandemic is challenging us

• To be unreasonable
• To contradict the ways we’ve always celebrated the holidays
• To think differently so we can be safe, have fun, make memories while still celebrating this wonderful season that we have looked forward to all year long.


Another favorite poem “TOGETHER, YET APART”, was written by a young man who lost his dear “Poppy” and who was missing him during the holidays saying…

“Family reunions will never be the same
because you’re not here with us.”

“Your chair at the table is empty and cold
you need to come home
I need someone to hold.”

Have you ever taught the holidays would never be the same…?

• After a death of a loved one?
• After divorce?
• Or after your kids left home?

But what did you do? You reinvented what the holidays would “look like” in spite of the changes.

The same is true today. Due to the pandemic we are being challenged to reinvent holiday traditions whether we are together or apart.

Today I am going to challenge you and hopefully inspire you to think and act differently.

What can you and your loved ones do to create or design your best holiday ever?

I know some of you are resisting and thinking… “No way”, “I can’t”, or “why bother?”.
I ask you to think out of the box because you are the one that might be able to encourage not only your family but also your friends to think differently so you can all have the best holiday season ever whether together or apart.


Get your FREE download, 31 Lifestyle Upgrades Here

Objection vs. Solution


Objection: “Why bother decorating for the holidays, no one will be here to enjoy it!”

Solution: To decorate anyway.

To borrow from Mother Theresa, decorate anyway so at least you can enjoy it.

• Whether it’s decorating the tree with a bright white lights and well-worn holiday ornaments


• Setting a beautiful table with linens, crystal, china, and silver


• Wearing your favorite holiday dress or ugliest holiday sweater made just for you by your favorite grandmother

it is important that you and your home feel and look festive. Put your favorite holiday music on, light your favorite scented candle, and immerse yourself in the holiday spirit whether together or apart.



Objection: “Why bother, there’s no need to prepare traditional holiday foods, no one will be here to celebrate!”

Solution: To cook your traditional holiday foods anyway.

Whether its cooking for a large family gathering or cooking for one or two, it’s still the holiday season we look forward to all year.

The fun of planning a festive menu… some old recipes, some new will get you in the holiday spirit

• Share recipes with family and friends
• Cook together on zoom
• Share fun stories about past and future holidays together
• Whatever your family food traditions are, cook them anyway (maybe just smaller portions)



Objection: “Why bother with gift-giving this year, it’s no fun without everyone here to open them

Solution: Give gifts anyway.

What are new ways you can give gifts without buying a thing? Get creative, give them the gift of your thoughtfulness and the gift of your time.

Gratitude notes Handwritten notes on holiday note cards. Share a heartfelt message, thanking each family or friend for what they contribute to your life.

Who does love getting a note like that? Likely, you will make their day and they will cherish it for years to come.

Care boxes Fill a box with few of their “favorite things”

    • Hand bagged cookies (they love that you are famous for)
    • Photos (memories of times together)
    • Funny memories of things you’ve done together (either by writing of videos)

Drop of or mail the care box that you’ve thoughtfully made.

Donate to those in need

    • Donate your time, energy and money. The pandemic has been extremely hard on many people.
    • Donate to the food bank.
    • Donate excess clothing that you no longer need and someone would be grateful for. It’s the perfect time to clean out your closet.



Objection: “Why bother getting together in person, there’s so many restrictions!”

Solution: Get together anyway.

Using safe guidelines, think differently. How could you get together with a few friends and with family while still being safe?

Here are a few ideas

• Al fresco Dining

• Create potluck dinners outside around the fire pit or surrounded by heat lamps

• Where new attire this year! Jackets, hats, gloves, and boots.

• Keep it simple, make it easy, but make it fun!

• Thanksgiving picnic in the park. Follow your picnic with a family hike make smores and pumpkin pie for dessert and create a family Olympics competition.

• Stories by the campfire. Invite young and old to participate. Share special memories of holidays traditions in the past



Objection: How can a zoom call possibly replace in-person holiday fun?

Solution: Wear your ugly sweater anyway!

Why not carry on the fun family traditions anyway whether together or apart.

• Have a zoom or facetime virtual holiday that will allow you to be together in spite of the distance.
• Why not still have your ugly sweater family contest?
• Why not bake holiday cookies or dinners together?
• Why not carve pumpkins together? or decorate trees together?

I hope you are inspired or even fired up to not let the pandemic get in your way of celebrating… truly celebrating the holidays this year.

“When one of those objections of why bother comes up? Smack it down and create new ways to have one of your best most memorable holiday seasons ever.”



“I am committed to each and every one of you living out your best life now!”


Rita Wilkins
The Downsizing Designer
Office # 302-475-5663

Check out my book on Amazon “Downsize Your Life, Upgrade Your Lifestyle: Secrets to More Time, Money, and Freedom” CLICK HERE