Giving Thanks 2020 Style

By Grechen Wingerter, President of the Board of Trustees


It’s that time of year — the holiday season. As we approach Thanksgiving here in 2020, it’s doubly important to focus on the things for which we are truly thankful — family, friends, food, shelter, health, life, a new president. I’m thankful for all of those things — especially the last item — and many more every day. The holidays may look a little (a lot) different this year. We may not be able to gather with our friends and family like we usually do. And yet, we can still celebrate, we can still connect, we can still share. We might just have to be a little more creative in our methodology. I plan to share photos of the food I am making on Instagram, do some Zoom and FaceTime connecting with friends and family, and celebrate traditions by using recipes (adapted to be vegan friendly) from family members I am unable to celebrate with in person.


2020 has been a rough ride, but I’ve also be thinking about the lessons this year has taught us — or least the lessons it has taught me. I’m learning to be more present. With all the time spent online teaching classes and attending meetings, it’s been hard not to develop “Zoom fatigue”. To combat this fatigue, I try to spend the time I am not doing those things without a screen in front of me. I am not always successful, but I do my best to use my free time wisely. I listen to music more often, I’m channeling my creative energy into cooking, I talk to friends and family on the phone a bit more regularly, I walk, I take care of my plants, I feed the birds (and inadvertently, the squirrels), and I try to give myself permission to just be. To put down my phone and be in each moment as much as I can. No easy feat. But, I am learning. You can teach an old dog new tricks.


Whatever this holiday season brings you, may it also bring you time for joy, bring you time for rest, and bring you time for celebration, connection, and sharing.


Peace, love, light, and thanks.

Grechen Wingerter

President Board of Trustees


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Westside Unitarian Universalist Church

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