Last year my friends and I started my new favorite holiday tradition. We call it Christmas Movie Marathon. It started last year, during the pandemic, because we were all terribly lonely, missing each other from the geographic distance between us and the isolation that COVID brought to us all. You see, we had all used to work together and were very close, because we had a very nontraditional work environment. We traveled together, protested together and even got arrested together pretty frequently. Once we all quit that company, we went our separate ways, and then the pandemic came and made everything even more lonely.
How Christmas Movie Marathon Weekend Started
We resolved to quarantine ourselves so that we could safely get together for one weekend in December for a big, adult sleepover at my house where we would watch Christmas movies endlessly, eat cookies and play games. We had so much fun last year, and it truly brought the connection that we all desperately needed. There was no question that we’d do it again this year.
Planning Our Get Together
We began planning months in advance and we all were giddy with anticipation about our weekend of charcuterie and cheesy Hallmark movies. We had a running list of all the holiday movies we were saving for our festive weekend in our group chat. We assigned each person a very important task. I was in charge of drinks, while my friend, who is an excellent baker, was in charge of making cookies!
For months, I’d been looking forward to our Christmas Movie Marathon weekend, and it did not disappoint! This past weekend, one friend drove in from Washington, D.C., and the others drove in from Albany. We gathered together and watched many B-list Christmas movies with predictable gooey endings, ate piles of cookies and mounds of cheese, and played some hilarious games. My dogs were thrilled to have company. I was thrilled to have some of my closest friends around my kitchen table as we compared which cheese paired best with which crackers (the cranberry goat cheese was my favorite!).
As much as I love my family (and I truly do love my family), Christmas Movie Marathon is my favorite holiday tradition. I hope we continue to host it for years to come. As years go by, our lives can drive friends into separate directions. Even when we want to stay connected, it can be incredibly difficult. Having just this one weekend dedicated to indulging in delicious food and laughing without a care in the world with the friends I love helps me to stay connected with them, shows that I love them and also helps me to feel rejuvenated as we get ready to start a new year.
If the pandemic has taught me anything, it has taught me that there is nothing more important than making time to spend with the people we love.
About Stephanie Woodward: Stephanie is a brand ambassador advisor for Quantum Rehab® and works as a disability rights activist. She has received many awards for helping communities become more accessible, as well as for her actions in fighting for the rights of disabled individuals as it relates to Medicaid and other support services. Click here to learn more about Stephanie.