When we wished one another “Happy New Year” on December 31, 2019, no one would have predicted that we were going into a year that would be rocked by a global pandemic. The holiday season this year is already looking quite different with many restrictions to mingle safely.
As we near the end of 2020, one question is on everyone’s minds: How should we celebrate the holidays safely and still make it feel special? Holidays are special because we gather with people we love…and this year “gather” we can’t! We care too much about our parents, grandparents, and loved ones with compromised immunity to risk their health.
While things are different this year, let’s not give up on the holiday season yet. You might be surprised at the many creative ways you can celebrate the holidays. We researched and compiled a list of safe activities to make the most out of this holiday season while still connecting with your loved ones.
But First, if you are celebrating the holidays in person, do it so safely!
- Make sure to check all guidelines. It’s important to see what the CDC recommends for your specific area. Check their website for specific information on states and counties, including updates on the pandemic in your area. Based on this information, you will be able to make a more informed decision on what you and your family should do. You should also check CDC’s holiday guidelines for recommended safety measures.
- Keep holiday celebrations to only immediate family members. This essentially means the people you live with. While everyone loves seeing Grandma and Grandpa for the holidays, it might not be safe to do so this year. Play it safe and keep your celebrations to a minimum, only involving the other people in your household. Check with your state’s guidelines for additional restrictions such as limits on indoor gatherings.
- Follow these simple safety rules:
- Improve ventilation by opening windows and doors
- Wash your hands often with soap and water
- Stay at least six feet apart from others
- Do not share food, drink, or any utensils
- Wear a mask while preparing or serving food
- Consider small seating table arrangements in multiple rooms with plenty of spacing
Creative Ways to Celebrate the Holidays
Who says you can’t still celebrate with your extended family? Luckily, we live in a technology era, which enables us to connect with our loved ones across the world within a matter of seconds. Consider holding a Zoom session, or even coordinating online parties. For example, you and your family can set a date for an online ugly sweater party in which everyone gathers on Zoom. You can also set up playlists on sites such as Pandora or Spotify for everyone to listen to, and coordinate meals so that everyone shares the same menu- all while practicing social distancing.
- Have a virtual Holiday cooking/baking party
A virtual cooking session is the closest some of us will get to cooking with family and friends this holiday season. Pick a date and agree on the most popular recipe amongst the group. A few days or a week before the event, share the recipe with everyone to give them enough time to buy the ingredients. Connect virtually and either cook the same recipe or find different versions of the same dish and try out which one works the best. You can even take pictures and post on social media to see who will get the most likes!
- Drop food off at a relative’s house or ship it. Who doesn’t love a dozen homemade cookies? Bake some and share in pretty holiday-themed boxes or jars. This is a great gift for your older and younger relatives. Try our favorite pecan pie sandwich cookie recipe from The New York Times.
For those of us who are not so gifted in the kitchen, consider dropping off a bottle of wine or dessert instead.
- Exchange gifts using digital wishlists. Avoid crowded malls and shop online while sipping on wine. Create and buy from digital wishlists to ensure that your family members are aware of what everyone wants to avoid disappointments when opening presents. With apps such as GyftHint, you will be able to compile a wishlist of everything you and the other members of your family want from any website or online store. You will then be able to browse each others’ wishlists, purchase directly through the app, and have presents shipped to your or the recipients’ doors!
- Organize a virtual movie night. Use a watch party app to stream everyone’s favorite movie. The app will stream the movie at the same time and let everyone chat during the movie.
- Plan a fun game night. With the help of professional virtual game planners, such as Let’s Roam, your game night will be anything but boring. Get your teams ready and play trivia, charades, drawing games, and many more.
If anything 2020 taught us, is the importance of staying in touch with your loved ones. While it will be difficult for most of us to do that physically, thanks to technology, there are many options to stay connected. This holiday season get creative and spend it safely with family and friends. And here’s to hoping that we will have a much better holiday season next year!
Download GyftHint now and enjoy safe holiday shopping.