Safer Things to Do This Christmas

This year has flown by because of its strangeness. It’s hard to believe that next Friday is Christmas. This year the holidays are hard because it’s not safe for us to be close to loved ones. That’s especially true for those of us with health concerns or who are older. Many folks have made a choice to stay home and have small celebrations with just their immediate households. That means some people will be by themselves. Some families have moved festivities online, and others are still planning on meeting up to celebrate together.

We wrote some excellent advice about embracing how different these holidays will be over on our sister blog for Glucocil. You can make new traditions and learn how to move things online. You can also just treat this as a write off the year and give yourself permission to skip it altogether. But, if you are going to meet up, what are your safest options?

According to the CDC, your best option is to stay outside, keep your crowd small, and keep it short. If your family loves opening presents together, maybe plan on meeting up at a park to open gifts in the morning, all bundled up and in masks. It’s not perfect for anyone: the CDC would rather people didn’t meet, and you might rather spend the whole day together. But it might strike a middle ground where you get to see one another at least!

One person on our team has food and gifts for a family member that they are going to hand off using the “supermarket curbside pickup method.” She’s going to put things in the trunk of her car and pop it when she gets to his place. He can put her gifts in and take his stuff out. It’s not perfect, but it’s a way to share the Christmas spirit here in San Diego, where we are under pretty stringent safety guidelines!

If you’re somewhere where there is snow, maybe the kids can build snowmen at safe distances from each other. Otherwise, you could set up a socially distanced game like horseshoes or cornhole to enjoy together. This year, we have to avoid many of our normal behaviors: hugging, singing and sharing food. To be safe, you might want to skip food altogether and just have a meet and greet; that way, everyone can keep their masks on.

It’s heartbreaking to have these toned-down holidays. But, with new record death rates from COVID-19, it’s better to have a lackluster Christmas this year than have your family coping with loss. We keep hearing about weddings, conventions and family parties turning into “super spreader” events where one seemingly healthy person made many others ill.

This year, staying apart is best. But, short of that, stay outside, stay masked and avoid the mistletoe!

Banner image: Sean Foster via Unsplash
December 18, 2020

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