How covid changed our holiday traditions and celebrations

“The pandemic liberated us from certain traditions,” Lichtenfels says. This year, she and her husband raced out the day after Thanksgiving and cut down an eight-foot Fraser fir to ensure they had a tree, but it’s smaller than what they had in pre-pandemic times, and she only hung half as many items on it, skipping her traditional “ornament neighborhoods.” (She also confesses to ditching some ornaments from the “island of misfits” — the tacky pieces that were always hidden in the back.) Instead of installing the tree in the formal living room, where they rarely spend time, she stuck it in the kitchen, “where we can see it from three rooms.” Excited about her tree’s new look, she shared it on a story on social media. “Within one minute of posting the tree on Instagram, I got a text from my youngest son that said, ‘What are you doing?’ and a big sad emoji,” she says. “If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that we need to simplify our lives.”

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