With numbers of positive COVID-19 cases on the rise all over the world, the pandemic has all but ensured that December holidays like Hanukkah and Christmas will be celebrated quite differently this year. But different doesn’t have to be a bad thing.
For most, especially parents, it just means thinking creatively about how we host a holiday celebration. What should you consider as you plan a holiday over Zoom? And how can you move your indoor traditions outside where it is safer? These are some questions many people are asking, so we’ve compiled a few suggestions to help you sort it out.
Many people are choosing to move their holiday celebrations outside. While some climates are more conducive to this than others, there are many ways to set up a cozy outdoor holiday party that follows the CDC’s recommendations for safety.
Setting up fire pits in your backyard can provide warmth and cheer for your friends and family coming to celebrate the holiday. While most people think of fire pits as costly constructions, but the fact is, you can create a fire pit in as little as a day and on a budget. Methods include using a tin drum, building a fire in a grate drum, or creating a stone ring — just be sure the stones are dry!
Help vulnerable family members stay safe by spacing out tables six feet apart. Encourage people only from the same household to share a table. Be sure each table has access to hand sanitizer and masks so that everyone can choose their level of comfort.
It is further recommended that each table bring their own food and drinks to maximize safety. If that’s not in the cards for your event, consider catering your celebration with individually boxed meals.
Any physical gathering is going to put people at risk of spreading and contracting COVID-19. Your best shot at keeping family members safe is to go virtual. Zoom removed its 40-minute time limit on free accounts for Thanksgiving, and it’s likely they will do the same for December.
Verizon recommends that if you host a virtual holiday party, do so with digital security in mind. Cyber attacks are on the rise, so it’s important you go the extra mile to protect your tech from cyber threats and yourself from identity theft.
Make it a production.
What do you want to be memorable about this holiday party? Turn it into a clever production. You can have someone in your household dress as Santa and reenact the classic tale The Night Before Christmas. You can ask each household to act out their own versions of traditional holiday stories or movies. This can be especially fun for kids who might be missing their regularly scheduled holiday festivities.
Host a toast.
Celebrate your blessings by having each household share a toast of gratitude and goodwill. While this year has been full of challenges and setbacks for many, there are also many reasons to be grateful and optimistic. Gathering around food and drink as we normally do for a holiday can be accomplished virtually by eating the same dessert, drinking the same holiday beverage, or even sharing a full meal together.
Don’t be afraid to change things up a bit this year. While it’s bittersweet to miss a holiday with family, this year has been pretty stressful for many. Consider making your holiday a self-care break — especially important for parents who have been managing their kids’ virtual learning and their own remote work. Instead of taking a risk and gathering with extended family, take a secluded vacation to a cabin in the woods where you can relax and unwind. This can be a great way to reconnect with your kids during a time when everything seems overwhelming and uncertain. And always remember what Professional Mom says is the key to getting through these times with love and compassion (for others and yourself): trusting in God.
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*Editor’s note: Leslie Campos wellparents.com is a welcomed contributor to professionalmom.com. I know that many are still taking precautions for family visits and I understand being careful, that being said, the McDonalds are looking forward to our “normal” crazy Christmas, just being aware of having small visiting groups for 91 year old Grandma Nodar! Merry Christmas everyone! Stay safe.