There’s no question that the past two years have, at best, been highly stressful. For most of us, masks and social distancing have become necessary ways of life. Nevertheless, although the pandemic may change how you celebrate the upcoming holidays, it need not ruin them. Some advance planning and creativity can still result in you, your family, and friends enjoying the season. Here are some tips on how to do that.
Acknowledge Your Holiday Traditions and find new ones
If your family is like most, you’ve established some traditions surrounding the holidays. While these may have become essential parts of the holidays over the years, keep in mind that they’re not really what makes or break your holiday enjoyment or that of others. That comes from the togetherness itself, not its precise trappings. It is also an opportunity to develop new ones that can start from this year.
Decorate as Usual
Decorate as much or as little as you feel. This will make you feel better and give you a sense of tradition, even if you need to establish new traditions this year.
Keep Gatherings as Virtual as Possible
To enhance everyone’s safety, you may want to consider having virtual get-togethers this year rather than in-person ones. Luckily, it’s easier than ever to set up a conference call or video gathering. Once everyone agrees to “meet” at the same time, you and they can then do many things together, such as:
- Eat dinner while chatting
- Open gifts
- Share stories
- Play games
- Listen to holiday music
- Watch holiday movies and TV specials
Whether local or national most stores now offer online shopping with either no-contact pick-up or delivery for free or a nominal cost. Avail yourself of these opportunities from the comfort and safety of your own home. Online shopping becomes even easier if you and your family exchange wish lists of desired gifts.
Send Cards and Letters
If some of your family members live far away, they may not be able to safely travel this year. Consider starting a round-robin letter or, better yet, an email in which each household contributes its greetings to the whole family. This way, everyone gets to participate even though not physically together.
Limit In-Person Gatherings
If you get the chance to host a gathering of family and friends, consider limiting the number of people you invite. Also, consider limiting the amount of time they stay. While you don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable, still you owe it to your guests to make sure everyone there remains as safe as possible. To this end, you likely will want to do the following:
- Lay in a supply of extra masks, hand sanitizer, and surface disinfectants.
- Consider making it a BYOF, i.e., Bring Your Own Food gathering.
- Recommend that everyone get fully vaccinated before attending this or any other gathering.
- Remind everyone to stay home if they feel sick.
Finally, remember that all of our Elder Care Alliance communities are staffed with professionals dedicated to keeping you healthy while providing gathering rooms and activities where you and your family can enjoy one another’s company as safely as possible.