For most Americans, the holidays conjure up festive images of family and friends gathered together, sharing favorite traditional foods, playing games, and exchanging gifts. While it’s hard to imagine a different sort of holiday celebration, 2020 is nothing if not different. As new COVID-19 cases continue to rise in nearly every state across the country, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is asking everyone to modify their holiday plans to protect the health and safety of families, friends, and communities.
So what does that mean for the start of the holiday season? According to Homespire’s Director of Nursing and General Manager, Jennifer Beck-Schmidt, RN, DC, it means that even though large, in-person family gatherings, holiday parties, plays, concerts, and religious services aren’t possible this year, the holidays can still be special.
“No matter how we choose to celebrate the holidays this year, they’re going to be memorable!” she said. “Perhaps the best way to approach long-standing family traditions is to think creatively—to say ‘yes’ to even the quirkiest ideas. By keeping an open mind, we can find inspiration and joy in surprising places.”
Here are a few creative ideas for sparking joy this holiday season—while still keeping yourself and your loved ones safe.
- Build gingerbread house from a kit with your grandchildren on Facetime (check out Trader Joe’s for holiday-themed gingerbread kits)
- Bundle up, wear a mask, and trim a tree outdoors with friends or family
- Bring your laptop to the table and Zoom your holiday dinner with friends and family
- Open gifts together—virtually
- Gather the family together on Zoom and tell an annual holiday story by passing a virtual “story stick” from one person to the next
- Create a list of favorite holiday movies and schedule virtual movie dates with family (popcorn optional)
- Get dressed up to attend virtual religious services
- Watch online performances of your favorite holiday concerts and shows (including “Christmas with the Tabernacle Choir” airing on PBS and BYUtv)
If you do plan to see loved ones in person this year, be sure to follow CDC guidelines:
- Bundle up and meet outdoors, even if just to share some hot cocoa and cookies.
- Limit the number of guests to allow at least six feet between households (defined as people who share a home)
- Require all guests to wear a mask over their nose and mouth, except when eating or drinking
- Do not host or attend in-person events if you or anyone in your household has been exposed to COVID-19 in the past 14 days
- Avoid travel which increases the chances of getting and spreading COVID-19; if you have to travel, review the travel guidance from the Utah State Government website
Our mission at Homespire is to inspire people to live healthier, happier, more independent lives—and helping you stay healthy and less isolated is one of the ways we do that. To connect with Homespire, call us 24/7 at 801-503-3210 or schedule a free consultation online.