This also offers insight into why, despite warnings and requests from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other infectious disease experts to stay home, some people are flouting the recommendations and traveling to visit family and friends for the holidays — something Dr. Xygalatas says is itself telling. “This is one way in which you see how important rituals are to us,” he explains. “There are a lot of people risking their lives to take part in them.”
Is it Time for a Reset?
Not everyone shares this enthusiasm for the holidays and their accompanying rituals. In fact for some, holiday traditions can feel more like entrapment than something to celebrate, according to Dr. King.
The good news, she says, is that this year we have the chance to reconceptualize the holidays, finding new ways to recreate stability and a sense of belonging by starting our own traditions.