5 Ideas for Celebrating the Holidays More Safely This Year

With the holidays coming up fast, many families are thinking about how to re-shape their celebrations to keep everyone safe from COVID-19. Check out the CDC’s Holiday Celebration page as well as your state’s department of health regularly for up-to-date guidance.

We’ve pulled together some tips and resources to help you navigate the season:

A happy family have a thanksgiving dinner and sends a video greeting to their parents .
  1. Cook and Share Virtual Holiday Meals Together: For many of us the holidays center around favorite holiday recipes and sharing the table with loved ones. With a bit of planning you can bring those traditions to life virtually this year. Check out these tips from Forbes, AARP, and Martha Stewart Living to get you started.
  2. Host a Virtual Watch Party: Whether you agree to tune in to the same live program, movie, or sporting event together or stream something as a virtual group you can still make it a shared experience. Check out these articles by Wired and  Make Use Of on how to watch movies together online.
  3. Play Together While Apart: There has been an explosion of resources for playing games virtually since the pandemic began. Care for a bit of competition? Check out these lists of virtual games from Real Simple and Parade. And don’t forget a virtual dance contest and singing contest. If you have younger ones to entertain consider virtual block building or story time. Check out this list of virtual play date ideas by age range from Parents Magazine to mix it up for little ones with their friends and relatives.
  4. Plan a Virtual Office Party: Many of us are missing our colleagues and the more social parts of work. If your workplace usually coordinates a potluck or other gathering to celebrate the holidays check out these ideas from Teambuilding.com to celebrate virtually.
  5. Look for Ways to Give Back: Many families have a tradition of volunteering or donating during the holidays. There are still ways to get involved and give back, while maintaining social distance. Consider participating in a local Adopt-A-Family type program, cooking for or running errands for a neighbor in need, and/or choosing a charity to give to as a family or group of friends. The needs are great this season. The Combined Federal Campaign is also hosting a series of virtual charity fairs and that is another great way to learn about charitable organizations working in your community. And if you are able, please consider pledging to FEEA this year through the CFC. Our CFC number is 11185.

One bonus of virtual holiday gatherings is you may be able to engage more loved ones who are far away than you would have been able to in a traditional/pandemic-free holiday season.

In some parts of the country the weather may allow for limited outdoor gatherings. While this brings a higher risk than virtual gatherings, if you do plan to celebrate this way please review the CDC guidelines for in-person gatherings. Check out this article from Eating Well that summarizes Dr. Fauci’s recent interviews on the topic of reducing risk for the holidays.

Finally, we know this year will look different. If you or anyone in your circle suffers from depression or other mental health issues, or has/has had a substance abuse problem, winter in general and the holidays in particular can be tough. If you can, get in the habit of connecting now – through emails, video calls, texts, or whatever means work best in your relationships – with one or more people and maintain the connection throughout the season. Whether it’s sharing funny memes, asking how someone’s doing, or having a regular laugh or cry with a trusted confidante, human connection can be a big part of staying safe and sane in these odd times. Check out our recent blog on pandemic mental health for more tips and resources for caring for yourself and others.

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The information provided in this piece is for your convenience and informational purposes only and not to be construed as professional advice. FEEA and its coauthors and sponsors are not liable for any losses or damages related to actions or failure to act with regard to the content in this piece.