With restrictions being tightened around the country, but especially in California, the question floating around is, “has COVID-19 canceled Christmas?” Of course not! It has only shifted how we look at the holiday. Some traditions will be placed on pause for the year while others will require some pivoting in order to keep everyone safe.
The real question is what can you do to make this holiday season feel just as festive and that you’re surrounded by your friends and family -- but still following the guidelines?
We found an article that has 25 different ideas of how you can have a safe COVID-friendly holiday in your rental.
Decorate Your House to the Max
On the store-bought front, The Home Depot has a flurry of cool Christmas inflatables this year, including a Kaleidoscope Dragon With Santa Hat and National Lampoons Christmas Vacation Station Wagon.
Also, apparently people are all about the loud, proud, flashy and kitschy artificial trees this year. For example, a 6-foot Pink Fir Tree and this 7-foot Rainbow Fir, both available at Amazon. Get a full list of our favorite artificial Christmas trees under $100.
Do a “25 Days of Giving” Box and Donation
My co-worker’s family is putting a twist on the advent calendar by doing a “25 days of giving” box. Each day, you count down to the holidays by adding a canned or boxed food to the container. At the end, you donate your nourishing gifts to a local food pantry or person in need.
Schedule a Virtual Santa or Mrs. Claus Visit
Our local mall still has Santa coming to town with a socially distanced setup and mandatory masks, but if you want to avoid the crowds, your children can chat with Saint Nick from the comfort of your couch!
For example, Chit-Chat With Santa (pictured above) lets you schedule a personalized live video call with Santa or Mrs. Claus. Calls with Santa are $28 for an up to 10-minute video call. In addition to speaking with Santa, you can also do Story Time with Mrs. Claus ($28) or a personalized Claus Clip ($20), which is a 60- to 90-second pre-recorded video greeting from Santa or Mrs. Claus.
Macy’s has a virtual Santaland complete with a greeting from Santaland elves, interactive games, a tour of Santa’s workshop and an interactive meet-and-greet with Santa that comes with a photo (register now).
Stream “The Nutcracker” and Other Holiday Performances Online
Many holiday theater classics, from “A Christmas Carol” to Handel’s “Messiah,” are adapting to the times and will be available to stream this holiday. New York City Ballet and The Washington Ballet are taking “The Nutcracker” virtual this year as well. Which means, yes, you can finally perform the “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” alongside the ballerinas, and no one has to know.
Seek Out Volunteer Opportunities—Even if Only Virtually—or Donate to Those in Need
It’s the season for giving, and now more than ever, others can use your help and kindness. You could donate to local food banks, sign up for Meals on Wheels or check out these virtual volunteering options, like Soldiers’ Angels (holiday stockings for heroes is going on right now), Holiday Heroes, Adopt a Nursing Home, The Trevor Project and more.
More Ideas on Celebrating Holiday Safely
If you want to actually attend a small gathering with friends and family this year or are looking to host some of your family for a few days then check this CDC article. It outlines what you need to consider when having small gatherings, attending/hosting small gatherings, food and drinks at gatherings, traveling and overnight stays, along with what to do if you become exposed during your holiday gathering!
During the winter it can be hard to have any party or gathering outside, but with COVID it can be helpful to not be stuck indoors. Outfit your backyard/patio with a fire pit, outside heaters, fluffy blankets, and hand warmers. Doesn’t hurt to have warm drinks for them to sip on as well!
No matter how you celebrate the holiday this year, remember to take into consideration the guidelines your state has provided along with reading what the CDC has stated. We want everyone to have a fun yet safe holiday season!