Ho! Ho! Ho! Christmas and New Year are finally upon us. We’re all left wondering how a festive celebration in pandemic is going to look like. While this holiday season may be a little different and muted than the ones you spend every year, it doesn’t mean it cannot be fun as well. Whether you are with your family, away from them or stay alone, we’ve got little tips to brighten up your holidays while also staying safe. So, keep reading.
One of the most important traditions of Christmas is family dinners. Now if you want to spare yourself the hassle of cooking and cleaning, you can always order meals from a restaurant to nearby families, relatives or neighbours. The hotel industry has been deeply impacted by the pandemic, so it’s a great boost for their businesses as well.
You can also ask each participant’s family/group to cook dishes and drop it on each other’s doorstep in your community. If you live at distances that are far from each other, then you can plan to match your menus and make everyone prepare the same dishes. It’s a good learning opportunity and a chance to bond with your family during the celebration in pandemic.
Designate one person each to serve and handle every course of the meal. If you want to avoid washing the utensils after your meal, opt for using compostable plates, cutlery, cups and napkins.
Buying, making and sending gifts is a Christmas tradition in itself. If you’re making online purchases, make sure you order and plan well in advance to avoid any delays as e-commerce services will be heavily booked during this time. You can always leave gifts at the doorsteps of people who live within walking/driving distance.
Since you’re going to avoid delivering the gifts physically, you can always make the celebration in pandemic extra special by leaving a heartfelt, handwritten note along with the gifts. It’s little things like these that can make someone feel truly blessed and joyful.
Make use of technology! There is no reason why you can’t make use of video calling. Send digital invitations, records your family singing carols, or wishes and send them to each other.
Speaking of Christmas traditions, how can we forget our very own Santa Claus. The traditional sit-on-Santa’s-lap probably won’t be possible right now. But you could definitely bring out the magic of virtual Santa. Alternatively, you could ask a close friend or family member to dress up as Santa.
While you may not get to visit your close friends or family members this year, you can definitely take the opportunity of staying at home to use Christmas decoration as an activity of creative outlet, to keep the festive vibes alive. Play around with colours, textures and lights. Reuse and upcycle the items you have at home and turn them into gorgeous DIY decorations. Don’t hold back on the trees, especially. This is the time to go all out with the tree decoration.
Prioritize the traditions that mean the most to you. If at all you want to go carol singing, make sure you stand at a safe distance from the entrances of the houses you visit. Also, remember to keep a safe distance from other carolers when you’re standing in a group.
One amazing thing that has come out of the pandemic is how friends and families get together and meet up over the virtual medium. You can cook and eat meals together over a video call, watch movies, sing carols or play fun Christmas games. Think of something out-of-the-box and organize an event that will be memorable and innovative. This year, celebration in pandemic is about how we make the best use of everything that’s around us.
If you are planning to host a Christmas event in your home, avoid the urge to hug your friends or family. Instead, bump your elbows or create a fun greeting. Wipe down tables and other surfaces to limit the surfaces that guests can come in contact with. If you are thinking of indulging in any outdoor activities, look for socially distanced events that follow all COVID precautions. Finally, don’t forget the basic precautions even if you’re at home – masks, washing of hands and physical distancing. Spread out in the house rather than sitting at one table.
If you are planning to host a New Year’s party, then make sure all the bathrooms are stocked with hand soap, hand sanitizers are placed all around the venue and try to avoid shared meals or buffet. Instead, serve portioned snacks or meals to guests and minimize the use of shared utensils. Do not attend any party if you exhibit any of the symptoms. If you’re serving alcohol, make sure you arrange and serve it responsibly.
5. Spread Some Joy
If there is one thing the pandemic has taught us, it’s how much the people around us matter. So, go ahead, donate some books, clothes or charity to old age homes, bake some cookies and drop it off at your local orphanage or organize something that will strengthen your community’s spirit. After all, Christmas and New Year are all about spreading joy, smiles and happiness all around.
If you are spending New Year’s alone, there are many ways you can celebrate and have a blast by yourself. Video call your loved ones, read a good book, watch your favourite movie or bake some cookies or cake for yourself. Spend your time in a way that will make you feel hopeful about the coming year.
Don’t be bummed out because it’s a celebration in pandemic. In fact, this year has given us an opportunity to do things differently and cherish some never-seen-before moments. It has brought us closer to each other and made us realise the value of being part of a community. Lastly, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year!