For many people, the 2020 holiday season may look… different, to say the least. Large family gatherings may be postponed, and those with out-of-state families may not be able to travel home for the holidays. After all, coronavirus cases are on the rise across the United States, and the CDC recommends people celebrate with those in their home instead of traveling. What’s more, some people may not feel comfortable traveling from state to state during this time — and that’s totally understandable.
That doesn’t mean your entire holiday season needs to be canceled, though. Here are some tips for safely celebrating the holidays this year if you live far away from your loved ones.
1. Plan a virtual celebration.
Video conferencing companies like Zoom have been lifesavers for remote workers and learners this year. They not only allow you to work and learn from home but they also make it possible to celebrate the holidays from a distance.
If you’re not traveling to visit family for the holidays, plan a virtual celebration with your loved ones instead. Cook a nice meal for yourself, set up your webcam, press a button, and voila! You’re ready to celebrate virtually. Who says you have to cross state lines to celebrate with the family?
2. Celebrate before (or after) the actual holidays.
If your schedule is flexible, you can plan to celebrate the holidays either before or after their actual dates. For instance, you could plan a Thanksgiving dinner for the weekend after it passes, or you could plan a Christmas celebration the weekend before. This way, there’s no pressure to celebrate the holiday on the actual date. What’s more, it allows you to plan a celebration that works for everyone.
Plus, you could save yourself a lot of hassle by traveling before or after the holidays pass. Even with coronavirus cases spiking across the country, people may still travel to see loved ones for the holidays. So save yourself the hassle of dealing with crowded airports and highway traffic this year.
3. Schedule an alternative celebration in 2021.
Many great events are currently rescheduled for 2021 (think the Boston Marathon, the Tony Awards, and basically every concert known to man). If you don’t feel comfortable traveling for the holidays this year, you could plan an alternative holiday celebration in 2021. For instance, you could do Christmas in July, or have some of your favorite Thanksgiving food on Easter.
Postponing the holidays also gives you more time to shop for your loved ones. Last-minute shoppers, rejoice!
4. Celebrate the holidays (responsibly) with local friends.
Let’s be real: No one wants to spend the holidays alone. If you’re not traveling for the holidays this year, try to get together with a small group of friends to celebrate. You could gather five of your close friends and do a Friendsgiving dinner or swap presents with one another on Christmas Eve. After that, you can host a virtual meet up with your family. It’s a win-win.
If you do have a small gathering with your local friends, remember to take your state’s recommended social distancing guidelines into consideration. Some states may recommend not having too many people gather close together as coronavirus cases spike. If you celebrate with friends, celebrate responsibly, and do what you can to keep everyone healthy.
Remember, the holiday season is in your hands this year. If you don’t feel comfortable traveling, there are alternative ways to celebrate with your family and friends. The key is to be safe and do what makes you happy. The holidays only come around once a year, so make the best possible memories you can. This pandemic will eventually pass — but your holiday memories will live on forever.