By Michelle W. Jones, CAE, CMP

Here on the east coast we are on the heels of our first major wintery storm. My friend in upstate New York’s car was buried under nearly a foot of snow. At my house in Virginia, we suffered downed trees and lost power due to a thick coating of ice. All of this and attempting to navigate the holiday season while we’re still in the throes of the pandemic.

It’s disconcerting to know  we may not all be able to be with loved ones for the holidays– especially if they are in senior homes, confined in hospitals, etc. And it’s equally disconcerting to know that some will surely gather, disregarding any official regulations or safety measures. A quandary!

Some holiday traditions have had to go by the wayside this year. I know of Christmas parades that have been done in reverse or were canceled altogether. The ICE! events at the Gaylord Hotels have been postponed until 2021. Office holiday parties are not happening with everyone working remotely.

My plan is to be with just my closest family, in my home, in the safest way possible. And while we may already have cabin fever and/or are longing for travel, we can cling to traditions and memories of holidays past and enjoy the simple pleasures. One thing I like to do to make the house feel warm and inviting and cozy, is make it smell good. I fill a small saucepan with water and then add several cinnamon sticks, slices from two clementines, a pinch of ground cloves, and a dash of vanilla extract. I simmer that on the stove, and it smells amazing. Try it!

Wishing all of you the safest and happiest holiday season possible!

Michelle W. Jones, CAE, CMP, is IPMI’s director of meetings and membership.