December 6-8, 2021
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The Leaflet Article


A Different Kind of Holiday Season

Jenabeth Ferguson

Two years ago, this month, I wrote about the ever-elusive quest to find quiet time.  Of course, that was set against the typical hustle and bustle of the holiday season.  Parties, travel to see loved ones, basketball games, get together with friends and all the running around it takes to buy gifts, plan menus, and decorate. 

That is certainly not the case this year for a lot of us.  I realize front-line workers, first responders, delivery drivers and more are still going off to work each day.  I am one of the blessed whose biggest contribution to beating back COVID-19 is to just stay home as much as possible.  Time at home, not constantly on the run, not waking up in another hotel room needing a minute to remember where you are used to be a luxury.  It has been over 287 consecutive nights sleeping in my own bed and 10 months since I was on a plane. Does that mean 2020 is a luxury?

It certainly has not been for the over 300,000 American lives we have lost and their families and friends who are grieving.  Or for the healthcare workers trying their best in unimaginable circumstances.  Or the small businesses who have had to shut their doors.  Or the families who have lost jobs and struggle to keep food on the table and a roof over their head.

For some of us though who again, our biggest contribution to beating COVID-19 is to just stay home, then yes, 2020 has allowed us to experience things we use to crave. I miss my family and friends and meeting up on the spur of a moment for a drink after work, or big, loud parties at my house. But I have also found ways to be with friends and family, even if 6’ apart and weather dependent, and those intimate gatherings are more meaningful.  The conversations we have are a lot more in depth. And the laughter is often is a lot louder.

Thanksgiving was quiet.  I still cooked all day, but instead we met in parking lots across our state to trade dishes and then gathered that night on Zoom.  Everyone still had to say what they are thankful for and we are the lucky ones as everyone was healthy and safe.  Christmas will be the same. It will be different but we will find a way to connect.  The surprise though is how much I enjoy the slower pace.  My niece (who with her parents are in my COVID pod) and I have been making one Christmas cookie each weekend since Thanksgiving.  Just a small batch and then we have watched a Christmas movie.  Not 6 different kinds all at once jammed into one day when we are all home.  It is one of the many ways we have adjusted our traditions and allowed ourselves to savor them in the slower pace of this year.

My hope for you this holiday season is that you and your family are safe and healthy as that is most important.  I hope you look at the different type of season as an opportunity to revel in the quiet and slower pace.  And stay home as much as possible, wear a mask and look forward to 2021 when I hope to see ALL of you in person! 

Jenabeth Ferguson
Vice President, Symposium Director
Healthcare Facilities Symposium & Expo

P.S. Have a thought about the Symposium? Please feel free to contact me at any time at

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