Although this holiday season will look quite different than in years past due to COVID-19, that doesn’t mean you need to miss out on your favorite holiday traditions. There are plenty of ways to make the holidays festive and celebrate safely with your loved ones.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has asked people to “consider how your holiday plans can be modified to reduce the spread of COVID-19 to keep your friends, families, and communities healthy and safe.” Putting in a little extra effort to connect safely and responsibly is necessary.
“With the number of nationwide cases as high as they’ve been in recent weeks, we need to redouble our efforts,” says Dr. Roy M. Gulick, chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center and the Rochelle Belfer Professor in Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine. “We all should protect ourselves and the people around us.”
With that in mind, here are eight creative ways to enjoy holidays that are festive and safe:
1. Trim your tree or light Hanukkah candles virtually.
By now, many of us are accustomed to Zoom and FaceTime, so make a plan to celebrate traditions virtually. It’s a simple way to gather together, but in a safe way. Extend the fun by making it into a craft night and see who can create the best snowy mason jar, paper snowflakes, or popsicle reindeer, making it a festive time for kids and adults alike!
2. Host a holiday baking contest
Food brings people together — and a little friendly competition makes it even more fun. Set up your computer in a corner of your kitchen, pretend you’re on your favorite baking show, and put a new spin on your cookie-making traditions. Baking can be a daylong event. “You still get to spend time with family; you’re just not in the same room with them,” says Dr. Gulick.
3. Watch a socially distanced holiday movie together.
You can enjoy popcorn and a movie together from afar. If the weather is right, consider moving the home theater outdoors — and get extra cozy with plenty of blankets and hot cocoa. Just remember to sit 6 feet apart and wear a mask. “If you’re going to get together, being outside is key to ensure you have good air circulation,” Dr. Gulick says.