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The Holidays Are Longer Now. Is That a Good Thing?

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He arrived in the Northeast the Tuesday before Thanksgiving and will stay with his father for two weeks. “The thing about going home is in theory it’s fabulous, it’s restorative, it’s grounding,” he said. “But I can’t forget that after a week of being home in my childhood room I am going to argue with my dad about leaving coffee on the pot too long.”

He hopes this stay will inspire his family to celebrate the holidays more creatively in the future. “I’m working on my dad and sister to see if they want to go to Big Bear and get a cabin for Christmas,” he said, referring to the resort city in Southern California. “We’re in this weird transitional moment.”

For Eric Sedransk, spending only a few days with his mother in Hilton Head, S.C., over Thanksgiving would feel strange since he lived with her for six months during the pandemic. “The whole paradigm has shifted where you naturally expect to stay longer now,” he said. “That length becomes the new normal.”

He can’t even fathom what he used to do for the holidays. “I had a job where I had to be in an office, so I was always trying to think about how I could get a direct flight, and how I could get home and back without an absolute disaster,” he said. “The holiday always felt like it was too expensive, too rushed and too stressful.”

Now Mr. Sedransk, 38, who lives in Bend, Ore., and runs Member for a Day, a charity platform where organizations auction off golf experiences, is spending at least two months with his mom. He arrived before Thanksgiving and was planning on staying after Christmas.

They are still planning on doing all their holiday traditions including “making the biggest bowl of mashed potatoes on Earth,” he said. But he isn’t sure if the actual holiday will feel as special because his trip is so long. “The actual day of Thanksgiving, because I’ve already spent two weeks with my mom in advance, might not be the same,” he said.

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