The 2020 holiday season will be unlike any other, with its focus on safety and precautions amid the COVID-19 pandemic. These changes can be especially difficult for children, but just because they won’t be singing in holiday concerts or sitting on Santa’s lap doesn’t mean the holidays are lost.
There are ways to keep this time special and stress-free with a simple reframing, according to Kelly Avila, a child life specialist at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. NewYork-Presbyterian’s child life specialists have experience caring for families who aren’t spending the holidays in the way they had imagined. “Every holiday season we celebrate with our patients who are in the hospital and we focus on finding the joy of the moment,” says Avila.
“Children may be disappointed, and that’s OK,” says Rachel Cavaliere, who is also a child life specialist at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. “But the most important thing is for parents and caregivers to be there for them and assure them these holidays will still be fun and memorable.”
This holiday season, the child life team has the following advice for parents, including alternative holiday activities you can do with your kids.