In the past, the holidays were marked by large, festive gatherings with friends and family. This year, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, these traditions will need to change in order to keep everyone safe.
However, while the holidays may look a little different, there are still ways to celebrate with loved ones. All you need is a little creativity to bring on the joy and cheer.
Here is a guide to celebrating the holidays in a safe, meaningful way this year.
- Hold a virtual snowman building contest with family and friends, share the photos online. Don’t have snow in your area? Host a virtual cookie or virtual gingerbread house decorating contest. Have everyone vote on their favorite!
- Go on an outdoor scavenger hunt to find birds, icicles, holiday lights, snow shovels, animal tracks, frozen leaves, and other winter creations.
- Make nativity story stones to tell the story of the stable birth.
- Create a holiday season-to-do list or bingo card with ideas for celebrating the holiday. Include things like bake cookies, write to Santa, sing carols, watch a holiday movie, make paper snowflakes, and build a gingerbread house.
- Organize a drive-by caroling event to surprise a loved one.
- Work with your neighbors to create a drive-by light display block party.
- Host a virtual celebration of music with mini performances from each home. You can also create a holiday playlist to share with each person’s favorite song.
- Make a list of your loved one’s favorite holiday movies, and host mini movie nights with those in your household. Don’t forget the popcorn and hot cocoa!
- Have a virtual dinner gathering. Ask everyone to place their tablet, phone or laptop on the table so that you can chat while enjoying the meal. Drop off portions of the different dishes to each household or share the recipes with everyone beforehand. Have everyone share what they are grateful for.
- Host a virtual New Year’s Eve party with family and friends. Send party horns and noisemakers in advance, then have everyone sign onto a virtual party just before midnight to welcome 2021.
If you do decide to host an in-person holiday gathering, be sure to keep your celebration small and take every safety precaution including:
- Having everyone wear face masks when they aren’t actively eating or drinking
- Make sure guests practice physical distancing
- Keep hand sanitizer or soap and water available and ask guests to wash their hands regularly
Most importantly, ensure no one is feeling sick or been in contact with someone who had symptoms or tested positive for COVID-19.
Stay updated on what Mercy Health is doing related to COVID-19.