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The Homebody’s Guide to Socializing During the Holiday Season

By Marisa Cohen
December 15, 2022

For the past two years, the holiday season has been muted for many people: quiet dinners with immediate family, wishing Grandma and Grandpa a merry Christmas or happy Hanukkah over Zoom, thinking longingly about all the gathering and partying we were planning to do when the pandemic was finally over.

Well, the pandemic is not quite over, but with travel restrictions lifted and COVID-19 feeling manageable for many families, this year promises to be the first “back to normal” holiday in a while. “For extroverts, who really need social interaction, this is going to be amazing,” says Annie Miller, L.S.C.W., a psychotherapist in Bethesda, Maryland. “But many introverts were really pleased to stay home,” she says.

And after having the perfect excuse to indulge in the low-key homebody holidays of their dreams, switching back to a scene of chatty relatives, high-energy kids, noise, and gossip may be a shock to the system. “We acclimate to our environment pretty quickly, so when we get used to something being a certain way and then have to switch back out of it, it's an adjustment,” Miller says. “I have clients who are really feeling a lot of anxiety about it.”