With the holiday season coming up and people counting down the days till they can exchange gifts, you surely started to think about your Christmas festivities. But, like everything else that has happened this year, Christmas of 2020 may look different from what the past gave us.
Will you spend Christmas with your family around the fireplace? Are you planning to go caroling around the neighborhood? Did you make plans to go to your hometown’s Christmas festival? Will there be an office Christmas party this year? While it’s hard to think of Christmas without some beloved traditions regardless of religious background, we should see what we can do instead, as some of these things might not be on the menu this year.
It seems surreal that we have to think of a holiday that involves social distancing, possible lockdowns, and the need to limit your holiday cheer. Still, unfortunately, that’s the reality that 2020 brought along with it. We all have to be responsible and try to limit the spread of the virus as much as possible.
But, while this year’s Christmas may be different in more ways than we would like, we plan to give you a few ideas of how you can spruce up your holiday cheer in such a way that you don’t feel such a significant impact from the Pandemic. That is why we surfed the CDC’s guidelines and came up with a way in which holiday cheer will still have a place in your home over the Christmas season while you keep the unwanted virus outside of your home because there’s no better place for Christmas than at home.
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas
The Christmas holiday is a season to spend time with your family and loved ones. Despite the COVID-19 restrictions, you can still do that during Santa’s trip around the world. Your Christmas Tree will always be filled with tinsel and garland, while your Christmas stockings will be stuffed with the best sweets and presents available for every member of your family. However Christmas is celebrated around the world, we should still be able to enjoy this holiday season with our most beloved around us.
There will be caroling and merrymaking around the twinkling lights and sparkly ornaments, so keep your chin and spirits up. Christmas is right around the corner, and we are sure to keep you off the naughty list if you follow a few tips, tricks, and steps to make sure that you and your family keep yourselves and others safe.
Let’s limit the spread together so we’ll be able to celebrate next year’s holidays surrounded by all the people we love. One thing that any guest can do a couple of days before they come to your Christmas celebration is get tested for COVID. With free testing available across the country, the only problem should be figuring out which is the closest testing facility to you as red-nosed reindeers are not invited to the party physically, but technology can save your Christmas in many ways.
Family Activities that you can Social Distance
We shouldn’t think that every Christmas activity is off the table during this eventful 2020. There are always options at our disposal to have fun and enjoy our time with our family. While door-to-door caroling might not be a great idea or gathering indoors with many people, you can still enjoy plenty of activities with your loved ones.
Bring in the Holiday by Decorating
You can start with your Christmas tree, real or artificial, as that always inspires some Christmas cheer in folks. Your children will especially enjoy decorating the tree with hand-made ornaments as they get tangled in the string of lights. Decorate your home with tinsel and garland, but one thing not to forget is the Christmas lights both inside and out and the wreath on the front door.
Put on some Christmas music as you spread tinsel and garland around your house. There’s nothing like some Christmas music to get everyone involved in the decorating process. While you’re at it, light a few scented candles or place a few gingerbread cookies in the oven to add the extra holiday aroma to your home.
Have a Christmas Scavenger Hunt
Before Christmas morning, while your children are asleep, you can mix holidays slightly as it might not be ideal to have a stranger in your home dressed as Santa. Instead of Santa giving your children their presents, organize a Christmas hunt. It’s basically an Easter egg scavenger hunt but with presents.
Why risk COVID by having Santa hand out presents when a scavenger hunt makes things much more exciting and enthusiastic for all the children involved? If guests are around, children should wear masks, and disinfectant wipes should be available on hand for them. The CDC guidelines suggest disinfecting objects that are frequently touched continuously.
A Xmas scavenger hunt will add a hint of joy and healthy competition during a time when everything seems to be focused on less positive things. Take their mind away from the things that they can’t do and focus on fun activities that they can do. As this eliminates the scenario where children sit on Santa’s lap, it is easy to see how social distancing plays a role in our selection.
Go Outdoors and Admire the Christmas sights
Some of the most amazing things about Christmas is seeing how people have decorated their homes. We know it isn’t ideal to visit your neighbors and friends during this pandemic, which is why we are suggesting visiting the outside of their homes. Taking a walk around the neighborhood and admiring their decorations is a safe way in which you can enjoy the holiday season.
Weather permitting, take a walk in your neighborhood or even through your downtown, most cities have amazing Christmas decorations going up around the holiday. If there are outdoor concerts organized by a local church or local artists, you and your family might find these enjoyable as well.
As long as there are no crowds and social distancing is not an issue, your family should be able to enjoy outdoor activities safely. Bring a mask along for added safety, as the CDC guidelines suggest.
Keep up with the season and look for an Ice Skating rink in your hometown. Now, we want to stress here that it is highly essential only to go if people can adhere to social distancing. We wouldn’t want you to go to crowded places that do not limit attendance so that you can enjoy the activity in a socially responsible way.
If you can find a rink that mandates social distancing, this can be one of the most enjoyable activities for your family and friends. Whether you’re gliding across the ice with grace and style or flying past your friends in impromptu races, you won’t be able to help having a great time; just don’t put your hands on the ice!
Build a Snowman
This will definitely get your children excited while also awakening your own personal inner child. If the weather is cold enough and you live in an area where snow is a common occurrence around the Christmas holiday, make sure to gather your whole family outside and build a lovely snowman to grace your front lawn. This would be a great conversational piece for your holiday guests!
Get your woolly gloves on, hats, and scarves as well as some well-insulated winter coats, as you’ll need them to keep warm and start rolling snow. Necessary items are: a whole lot of snow, a carrot (for the nose), buttons, chunks of frozen dirt or charcoal (for eyes and buttons on the snowman), and for the arms, you can use dry branches or a shovel and a broom.
Other optional activities that involve snow might be building a snow fort. And once you have a snow fort, make another one and start a battle – parents against children, boys against girls, red against green. The options really are limitless. With tea and cocoa waiting inside, the cold won’t be a big problem, and you can easily implement social distancing as you’ll be outside with your friends/family.
Let Christmas Overtake You
Like the song says, “It’s been a long, hard year,| But now it’s Christmas, Thank God it’s Christmas …” It is, finally, Christmas. And that means hopes, dreams, and cheer will fill your home with laughter and joy. And what better way to do that than through a great selection of Christmas songs and the usual Christmas movies that will be played on most TV stations/channels during Christmas Eve.
So make sure you have some popcorn close by, eggnog ready to serve, and comfortable seating around your flat-screen TV. Only like that will you be able to enjoy Kevin McCallister’s hilarious adventures that will make you forget about the troubling times that we are going through.
How to host a safe Christmas dinner
One of the essential elements of the Christmas holiday is gathering friends and family around the table and enjoying a fantastic meal. This is still a viable Christmas activity in 2020, but you might have to pay some extra attention to a few do’s and don’ts considering the current times. Some might make cleaning up more manageable, while others can require more dedication from the host.
Do’s – When you welcome people into your home, try to keep a safe distance from them, and avoid direct contact like kissing or hugging. Maybe greet them with an elbow bump or an enthusiastic wave. Make it fun and energetic, so they don’t feel the lack of a hug.
Don’ts – The mistletoe traditions, if necessary and important enough for your family, should be limited to spouses and couples. Keeping a safe distance from one another should be a focus for all guests.
The main tips to making sure a Christmas dinner goes along without a hitch during a pandemic is ensuring a safe way to celebrate the holiday:
Location: Inside or Outside
While celebrations don’t necessarily have to happen in a grand hall or banquet hall, space is still essential. Ensure the guidelines regarding the number of people allowed at an indoor event in your area; it might be a good idea to pick the larger option. In case you want to have dinner with friends or family and there are more locations available to host, choose the largest of the options.
A bigger house has more space for the people that will come to the Christmas dinner. Social distancing during a party can be accessible within reason but opening a window goes a long way to ensure an airflow quality for a small gathering of people.
The best option, based on the CDC guidelines, would be to hold a dinner party outside. Of course, this can be applied in the southern states with no trouble, but northern states can also implement this.
If the weather allows it and an external heating system can be implemented (heating lamps), it might even be more Christmassy to have your guests spend Christmas, or at least a part of it, surrounded by winter chill in a bubble of warmth. Why not go ahead and roast a few marshmallows while you’re at it.
Advice on Setting up the Table and Menu
While celebrating Christmas of 2020 might be different from other years in many ways, one way that will make it different is the presence of masks and other measures that should be in place in every household.
Masks are necessary to ensure that all your guests are safe, and there are options available for children as well that can be purchased online on Amazon. One other thing that you should have available around the house, besides soap and running hot water, are disinfectants, especially near the food buffet and drinks. To add a bit more safety to the dinner, try to have a designated person to serve the food on everyone’s plate.
You can set the table depending on how many people you expect. While the CDC does not suggest a maximum number of attendees, we do recommend that you limit your party to 10 people or less. Keep this in mind when you organize the table and choose a bigger table if your party is reaching 10.
To avoid unwanted transmission from dishes and utensils, we highly recommend this year that you use disposable. And we mean everything disposable: plates, cutlery, glasses, napkins, not only is this the safest way, it also means easy clean up later.
Have extra disposable plates, cutlery, and glasses as guests might use more than one. The last thing you want is for people to wind up using used plates or glasses. Make sure you provide your guests with an easy way to label their disposable items either by using stickers, sharpies, or other distinguishable items to be able to tell their plates and glasses apart.
If you go with disposable plates, cutlery and glasses, make sure to have bins available for their disposal. Like that, you avoid having contact with someone else’s plate, and you also skip cleaning up after your guests. They’ll do it themselves. You should have at least one bin near the tables that hold the food and the drinks and strategically placed in transit areas around the table.
Wine and, Dine
When it comes to the actual food and drinks menu, the last thing you would want is to have unwanted guests get in your home in the form of invisible virus particles. These might be carried in with a catering order you placed. That is why the safest and most budget-conscious option would be to cook the menu yourself.
This year, the cook has more on their plate than they usually do. Not only are they responsible for making sure the food looks and tastes good, but making sure everything is sanitary and hygienic. Hands should be washed for 20 seconds with water and soap, masks and gloves should be worn, and anyone who isn’t involved in cooking should keep out of the kitchen.
Another option is to have a “COVID potluck”. Every guest probably has their favorite types of dishes, and like this, they can bring it. A twist on the classic potluck formula, with this adaptation everyone brings their favorite dish. Although a potluck usually entails sharing, in these times “sharing” the virus is the last thing we want to be doing!
If you choose to have self-serve options, make sure you have one person responsible for distributing the food to your guests. An overly zealous aunt or reclusive cousin would be a good fit for the job. Any relative or guest at the party can do this, but those that have a penchant for cleanliness or are germaphobes would be ideal. Just don’t outright tell them as they might take it as a chore.
Similarly, it is also important to note that drinks should also not be from large bottles. The fewer people get to pick up a bottle of Coke, the better. Instead of buying 2-gallon size bottles, opt for smaller individual sizes. It is also easy to find 50 ml bottles of wine or champagne in most well-stocked shops, aside from beer or traditional homemade Christmas drinks.
In these troubling times, when we want to be closer together, that seems like the last thing we should do. However, Christmas is a holiday that we all love and look forward to. It’s something that every son or daughter who went off to college looks forward to coming back home and spending time with their family.
Of course, it has always been a season to spread joy and love to the most important people in our lives. While we are going through less than fortunate circumstances, we should not forget that love and happiness can still be spread, and that is the spread that we should strive for.
COVID-19 can not spread faster than the love we have for one another, and if we do everything that we can to isolate the virus and surround ourselves with all the love that we have around us, this Christmas can be one of the best Christmases we can ever have.
We hope you enjoyed our recommendations for this Christmas. We were always trying to find ways in which you can still celebrate this festive holiday during these uncommon circumstances. Like & Share this article with friends and family whom you wish could be close to you during the holiday season.