Special considerations during the holidays
Being extra cautious during the holidays is the best way to help yourself, your community, and everyone get back to normal sooner rather than later. While changing your holiday plans to suit a pandemic is certainly not what you had in mind for this year, there are plenty of ways to still celebrate with your loved ones. Some changes and adaptations will need to be made, especially with certain people in mind, like your older family members and younger children.
Grandparents/older loved ones
COVID-19 has been especially hard on older people, as they are at higher risk of getting infected by the virus. That means many of your older loved ones have surely been a bit lonesome while staying at home to keep safe. Here are some creative ways to spend time with them and brighten their holidays
- Use virtual tools: There’s no reason Grandma and Grandpa can’t do a Zoom call with you! Take a deep breath: It might take some patience to get everyone set up. Get all the equipment your parents or grandparents might need — this might mean gifting them with a computer or tablet or helping them set up the internet, but it’ll be worth it.
- Social distance: If you’re able, you can try having a socially distant get-together with your older loved ones. Perhap you can gather outside while far apart, at least so you’re in the presence of each other. Or you can visit them through a glass window or door. While it’s not ideal, it’s still a way to get to spend time with them in person.
- Send over a care package: If your older parents or grandparents live far away or are at an extreme risk of getting sick, consider sending them a care package. Include some of their favorite treats and something comforting. Don’t forget to include pictures of yourself, your family, your pets, and maybe some pictures from years past when you were all together. They may be at-risk and elderly, and the 2020 holiday season might not be what you hoped, but they’ll definitely appreciate the gift.
Children are pretty adaptable. This holiday season will be different from what they’re used to, but if you set the expectations in advance, they’ll hopefully breeze right through the holiday season. Here’s how you can prepare your kids for what to expect this year:
- Explain what’s going on: This will vary based on how old your children are, but explain it to them so they’ll understand. They’ve already been dealing with the pandemic for months, so hopefully they already have a grasp of what’s going on. Share with them that this holiday season will be different but maintain a positive attitude so they’ll hopefully feel excited about new traditions.
- Create new traditions: Once you’ve explained to your children that this holiday season will be different, set up some new traditions so it’s still enjoyable. Your kids are most likely home more than ever, so take the time to cook with them, make videos, craft decorations, and even online shop together.
- Stay in touch: Download apps and games to keep in contact with family and friends you can’t be with during the holidays. It might be something as simple as video chatting or something more involved like a game that you can play from afar. Any way to bring the family together while social distancing will help your children still feel a sense of normalcy.
Helping the community
For many people, the holiday season is all about giving back and helping the community. Though these are unprecedented times, there are still ways you can help your community, it might just look a little different from what you’ve done in past years. While we have some suggestions for ways to give back, keep in mind that your safety and the safety of your community is of the utmost importance, so if you don’t feel safe doing any of these, then maybe get creative and try something else. Here are some thought starters:
- DIY something: If you’re a crafty person, try making some face masks to donate. They’re pretty easy to put together and some patterns don’t even require any sewing skills. Whip up a few of these and donate them to people in need, healthcare workers, and your neighbors.
- Donate to charities: Donating to any charity will be welcome during the holidays, but if you want your donation to feel extra special, find a charity in your community that really needs the help right now. Maybe it’s a group that’s at higher risk because of the pandemic or maybe it’s an organization that’s been hit especially hard.
- Volunteer safely: If you feel comfortable with it, you can still volunteer in your community with food banks, shelters, and more. If you’re in an area with a higher COVID-19, this might not be an option for you, so it’s up to your discretion.
- Check in with friends and family: Sometimes the kindest thing you can do in a time like this is to simply check in with friends, family, and neighbors. Call someone you haven’t spoken to lately and wish them happy holidays and show them you’re thinking of them.