Christmas Without You: ‘Dear Culture’ on surviving holidays during pandemic

On the Dear Culture Podcast, hosts Gerren Keith Gaynor and Shana Pinnock discuss holiday traditions during an unprecedented holiday season.

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As the global coronavirus pandemic continues to impact communities, the holiday season has taken a different turn this year. While some folks prepare to travel and many others remain in quarantine, a lot of us are going to have to make do as best we can.

This week on the Dear Culture Podcast, our sweet-and-spicy duo, theGrio’s Managing Editor, Gerren Keith Gaynor, and Social Media Director, Shana Pinnock, discuss holiday traditions, throwback Christmas music with theGrio contributors Tonya Pendleton and Matthew Allen, and how to remain safe during this unprecedented and unpredictable holiday season.

The special holiday episode asks the heartfelt question: “Dear Culture, how do we celebrate Christmas without our loved ones?”

Read More: ‘Dear Culture’ looks at lessons from 2020: What did we really learn?

“Whether this holiday is of sadness or bliss, it’s worth discussing it all,” says Pinnock.

(Photo: Adobe Stock)

Christmas is a loaded holiday. Sometimes this holiday feels like a “reminder” of that missing person in your family. Whether to COVID-19 or other causes, Gaynor remarks that the holidays “haven’t felt the same since [his] dad passed away” in 2011.

Christmas is often attached to the memories of childhood. For Pinnock, growing up her mother would double and triple wrap presents from her curious daughter. But as we age with our parents, we begin to take holiday traditions easy. Pinnock shares that now her family cooks a meal together and enjoy their meals in separate rooms doing different activities.

Gaynor and Pinnock both agree that Christmas time is a moment to celebrate one’s own childhood and traditions that were passed on by family members.

Read More: ‘Dear Culture’ examines how to navigate back to school time amid the pandemic

“I enjoy just laying on the couch and watching my favorite Christmas movies.” says Gaynor.

If you’re alone, Gaynor suggests journaling and tapping in with yourself, especially if you live alone. He advises others to “use the opportunity to not run away from what you’re feeling” regardless of how the emotion comes to you. Whether it’s grief, mourning, missing, and more, think about the memories and honor them through that.

For Pinnock, tapping into herself means vision boarding for 2021 and having a “lil dance party” in her room. However and whichever way you feel, the Dear Culture Podcast reminds us to express ourselves however we see fit. 

(Photo: Adobe Stock)

And on the note of expression, this year’s moody Christmas cannot be complete without a look into our favorite Christmas songs from Black artists. From Prince, Marvin Gaye, H-Town, to Eartha Kitt, Whitney Houston and Boyz II Men, Pendleton and Allen review staple Black Christmas songs to pour our emotions into.

Whether you’re feeling moody, happy, sexy or joyful — our theGrio contributors have your bases covered!

Tune in Dear Culture, the smart, reliable Black news podcast. Now streaming on Apple Podcast, Spotify, and Stitcher.

TheGrio is now on Apple TV, Amazon Fire, and Roku. Download theGrio today!

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