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Bringing Back Mocktail/Cocktail Hour

As you consider the routines that will make this time of pandemic a little more pleasant, how about cocktail hour?

I grew up with parents who always observed the ritual, whether it was a glass of cold tea or their favorite Canadian whiskey and seltzer. The drink wasn't important, it was their time to catch up with each other and share the details of their day. Weather-permitting, they'd sit outside on the deck my dad built, talk and decompress from the day before heading inside for dinner. Retired, they continued the tradition (though it often came earlier -- "Time for our 4 o'clock," they'd say.)

We've begun having this at our house. It serves as a boundary between the school/workday and home time. Kids and parents, we sit out on our patio with our drinks of choice and a little bit of a salty snack. Conversations just naturally happen when we're not in front of the tv or other screens. Being all together in one house (which makes it all too easy to interrupt each other when we're working), we've even started holding on to chat topics during the day, saving them for the evening. Even the dog joins us, as she quickly learned that it often means a stray chip will be tossed to her.

I think it's helped us stay a little more connected with our reality, too. There's the overarching reality we have to face: we are, literally, in the midst of a global pandemic that requires us to curtail much of our normal life to help protect the lives of ourselves and others.

But cocktail hour lets us get in touch with the other reality. That right now, we are not sick. We are together. We can enjoy things. Things like a cold drink, a salty snack, and chatting about our day.


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