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Ask Umbra

The 2021 Holiday Makeover

“We’ll get back to normal.” We’ve heard the promise over and over again for almost two years. And what could be more normal — or “normative” — than the good ol’ American holiday season? But you might also find yourself thinking about your old holiday traditions (like so many aspects of pre-pandemic life) in a new light: Well, what was normal? And was that really so great?

The more we learn about the carbon emissions and other forms of pollution that are produced by everything we buy and all the trips we take, the harder it is to deny that the way we’ve “normally” done the holidays is kind of a disaster. I’m not trying to rain on anyone’s poinsettia here. Because let’s be honest: For many, many people, the old end-of-year traditions have been notoriously stressful. There’s the overpriced travel and the packed sales and the family tensions. Oy vey!

So what if we tried to do the holidays differently — to make ourselves and the planet happier? Let that be our gift to you this year: Welcome to the Ask Umbra 2021 Holiday Makeover.