It’s difficult to picture the holiday season without family gatherings. Unfortunately, due to the ongoing pandemic, that’s what’s set to happen. Millions of grandpas, grandmas, aunts, uncles, and cousins won’t be able to mingle and be merry together like before.
While it’s a bummer of a situation, that doesn’t mean we have to spend Christmas in isolation. Furthermore, there are several ways to generate authentic holiday cheer despite being far away from your loved ones this season.
The following are five examples:
Gift by mail
Thanks to online shopping and next-day shipping, it’s never been easier to do all your holiday shopping by mail. This time around, have the items gift wrapped and sent directly to your friends and relatives. A similar option is giving them the gift of a monthly subscription box. Whether it’s exotic fair trade coffee from around the world or funky socks and t-shirts, recipients get to look forward to a new box arriving every month. It might not be the same as watching your loved ones open their gifts in person, but you’re still putting smiles on their faces, which is what counts most.
One way for families to spend time together during the holidays while following social distancing guidelines is to hold gatherings outdoors. While it’s not practical in regions where it’s exceptionally cold outside – and unfortunately that’s most places in winter – but those in warm climates or experiencing unusually warm weather might consider a backyard party or something similar. Just make sure everyone remains six feet apart at all times and that nobody is eating from the same plates and bowls.
Another option is to make plans for a postponed holiday later next year. Touch base with friends and relatives to see if there’s a time of year everyone can agree on for rescheduling Christmas festivities. While it might be nothing more than hopeful optimism, it’s an effective way to feel like you’re not losing out on the holidays, simply holding off on celebrating until things are easier.
Whether it’s sweets like cookies or something savory like roasted turkey, consider having multiple households making the same foods at the same times, following the same recipes if possible. The result is everyone sharing the same aromas and flavor profiles like each other. It’s a simple way to simulate the experience of a shared holiday under one roof.
Mass movie night
Thanks to streaming services, it’s never been easier to hold a movie night across multiple homes at once. Find a holiday-themed movie or family favorite available on Netflix, Hulu, or one of the other popular streaming services and see how many family members would be willing to watch it at the same time. It’s most practical for two to five households max, but the more the merrier.
The holidays without family? Can this year get any worse? Luckily there are several ways to reenact the glad tidings and good cheer. It won’t be quite the same, but it will remind you of what matters most in life, and that’s what counts.