Staying Connected Over the Covid Holidays
We’ve said it many times. The summer, the fall, and now the holidays are going to look a lot different because of COVID-19. That doesn’t mean you can’t still connect with your loved ones, even if it’s from a distance.
December 8, 2020
Many families are having to make difficult decisions right now as they navigate the holidays during a pandemic. Do we meet for some normalcy or do we stay separated for maximum safety? If we meet, do we let grandma and grandpa come when they’re the most at-risk?
Some families have decided to all isolate, get COVID tests, and continue to isolate until meeting for Christmas. This is a much safer option than just meeting without tests but does not come without risks and requires a lot of preparation.
Ultimately, your COVID holiday plans will come down to what you and your loved ones deem safe and manageable. We can’t make that decision for you. As cases are rising in many areas, we’ll guide you through staying connected over the holidays from a distance should you choose to stay home and isolated this holiday season.
Connect over zoom before, during, or after dinner
We’ve been dealing with COVID-19 since March 2020. You may have had a Zoom dinner or two by now. If not, it’s time to try it out.
Christmas is a special holiday because it typically means gathering all your loved ones around a table and sharing good food. But it’s not just the meal that is special. It’s the time spent preparing the meal, chit-chatting, and enjoying drinks and appetizers that also creates special memories.
You don’t necessarily have to eat Christmas dinner, make a toast on New Years Eve or celebrate Hanukkah over Zoom. In fact, for some, it may make the disconnect even more obvious. Others have a difficult time sharing a meal over Zoom because they feel awkward eating in front of a screen.
Instead, have a Zoom meeting going while you and your loved ones prepare your own meals. You can set up a call for a couple of hours before dinner and enjoy one another’s company as you prep the dishes and snack on appetizers.
You can also set a call for after dinner. Plan to sit around the virtual table with your loved ones for dessert or drinks. It takes the pressure off of eating a meal together virtually but still allows you to connect and make new memories with one another.
Of course, if everyone is down for it, you can enjoy the whole meal together over Zoom. Just don’t think you’re limited to that option!
Plan to send cards and letters before the holiday
It may not always be practical to plan a virtual dinner across many households. We all have our own schedules and obligations that can get in the way of coordinating a time that works for everyone.
A great way around this is to send holiday cards you can look over with your own household during Christmas, Hanukah, New Years Eve, or any other holiday you’d expect to spend with loved ones.
While gathering with your own small group at home, you can take turns reading the letters and cards you received. This is a great way to connect with loved ones and feel their presence without having to schedule a time that works for everyone involved.
You can also use this time to write holiday letters for the future. If you’re hanging out with your household on Christmas or New Years Eve, thinking of loved ones far away, use the time to write them a letter they can enjoy for the rest of the holiday season.
This is especially fun if you have kids at home who like to get creative. They can go wild with stickers, stamps, and any other crafts you have to make the perfect snail-mail for your friends and family.
Cook together, separately
One fun activity to stay connected from a distance is to try out a new recipe together. If one of you finds a recipe you think the whole family would like, send it to the group and make an event of it!
An easy way to encourage everyone to participate is to have a fun family contest. Every household makes the same dish, and you all get to judge over video chat which dish looks like it tastes the best. Of course, given you’ll all be making the same dishes, there may be some bias involved.
Trying a new recipe is a fun way to add a little competition and connection to your COVID holiday.
Have a holiday meal train
Do you and all of your loved ones live near enough to one another you can drop off food? Then get cooking!
If you’d normally all be meeting up for Christmas, Hanukkah or New Years Eve you can instead take turns dropping food off at one another’s place. Each household can be responsible for one dish to distribute to everyone.
Coordinate your drop-offs with others and be sure to wear a mask if you’ll be stopping to chit-chat outside.
This is a fun way to all “eat together” without risking safety by eating indoors in close proximity.
However, if the weather is nice and you have a backyard, some may opt for an “outdoor Christmas” or “Outdoor New Years Eve” together. But after all, with Washington and Alaska weather, this may not be a feasible option for most and brings in additional risks.
Final thoughts on staying connected for a COVID holiday
It’s not ideal to stay home and ditch our usual holiday traditions because of COVID-19. But it’s a way to reduce the risk of spreading the virus and putting others at risk. With this in mind, we can work to stay connected over the holidays, even if it means changing up our usual routines.
Want to spice up your holiday season with a little green? Be sure to stop by Piece of Mind for everything you need to celebrate the COVID holidays!