Beginning with Thanksgiving, the long string of winter holidays traditionally are times when we express our love for family and friends.
Odd as it feels, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year one of the best ways to show we care for each other is to skip the large indoor gatherings that usually mark the season.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate. We’ve put together a few ideas for safer celebrations, just to get you thinking.
- Take it outside: Go for a walk or do something fun outdoors with a few friends or family, before you head home for a holiday meal with your own household. Or bundle everyone up (no more than six people, please) in warm clothes and have a socially-distanced picnic outside. Everyone can bring their own food/beverages, or you can order individual take-out meals.
- Share: You can still prepare all of your favorite recipes. Then deliver a sampling of your seasonal meal to older family members or neighbors who may be alone, or aren’t able to cook.
- Virtual feast: When you’re ready to sit down to your holiday meal, get on Zoom or Facetime with friends and family from other households to share conversation (and recipes) while you all enjoy what’s on your tables.
- Watch and relax: You can still enjoy your traditional holiday screen time! Go ahead and kick back with that football game, parade or favorite seasonal movie.
If you do have a guest who doesn’t live in your household at your holiday meal, serve up individual plates instead of everyone dipping in and out of the same dishes. Only take off your face coverings to eat, and make sure everyone washes hands first! If possible, it’s a great idea to open a window for increased ventilation.
It’s by far the safest to stay home this year. But if you have to travel, drive if possible. Limit your exposure to people who don’t live with you for 14 days before you go, especially if you’ll be visiting older adults or family members who are at risk of infection. And as always, wear a face covering, wash hands often, and watch your physical distance. When you get home, limit your exposure to people you don’t live with for 14 days.