How to bring holiday cheer to those you can't be near
The holidays are just around the corner, and odds are, your plans are looking a little different this year… And that’s okay. There’s still a way to celebrate with your friends and family—and still keep everyone safe. Here are eight tips for bringing the holiday cheer this year when your loved ones—especially those who are immunocompromised—can’t be near.
What’s the best way to celebrate holidays during the COVID-19 pandemic?
1. Host a virtual holiday party
Who says your holiday traditions can’t continue? Host the same holiday party you would’ve had—with a virtual twist.
So how do you celebrate virtually?
Send out beautiful virtual holiday party invitations with the link to a free conference tool like Zoom, Google Meets, or Facebook. Organize your gift exchange. Set a theme. Plan your menu. While you may not be able to personally deliver a plate of honey ham or turkey to your loved ones, you can rely on services like DoorDash or UberEats or even a local caterer to deliver it for you.
The best part? There’s no limit to how many people you invite—including immunocompromised or overseas loved ones—and cleanup is a snap.
2. Send out personalized holiday cards
Take the energy you’d spend cleaning and decorating for your guests and put it into creating your holiday cards. Coordinate a photoshoot with your household, break out the craft supplies, or take your graphic design skills for a spin. Make sure to add a personalized message to each card to add that extra spark of holiday cheer.
3. Start a gift exchange via mail
Whether it’s a secret gift exchange or a white elephant gift exchange, a little bit of extra coordination can make a gift exchange via mail a breeze—and keep you all safe. Use an online name-drawing service, like DrawNames, with all of your participants, set the ground rules, and patiently wait for your package to arrive.
4. Play virtual games
There are plenty of games to choose from for your virtual holiday party. Either use a platform like Jackbox TV or Quiz Up, play Family Feud or Jeopardy, take a stab at virtual charades, or give everyone prompts to respond to. There’s endless opportunities for a game night.
5. Host virtual contests
For those with a taste for competition, this is perfect for you. Host a cookie decorating competition, or holiday bake off. Have your family strut their stuff in an ugly holiday sweater contest, or compete in a scavenger hunt around your homes. Getting in the competitive spirit with your loved ones can make you feel that much closer.
6. Create new traditions and celebrate family
Holidays are a time of reflecting on the past and looking to the future. They are also often a time for collective grieving, shared stories and memories of lost loved ones. Take the time to memorialize a lost loved one with a special ornament or candle lighting, or participate as a group in an activity they enjoyed. This could also mean all of the cousins try cooking or baking an old family recipe, or elders share their favorite holiday memories from years past. Group healing is a great way to bring the spirit of giving to your loved ones.
7. Attend a virtual event together
There are sure to be virtual holiday events all season—an online cooking class for your foodie friends, a virtual wine tasting for your parents, a holiday film screening with extended family, or a group meditation for those who need some stress relief and grounding. No matter what you and your loved ones enjoy doing together, there are sure to be options for you.
This year’s celebrations are sure to look different, but that doesn’t mean the holiday cheer needs to be stifled. With a little bit of creativity and holiday spirit, you can still celebrate with the ones you love this season.
Note: If you do choose to attend in-person gatherings this season, ensure you’re strictly following CDC guidelines and local and state restrictions for in-person gatherings—such as number of attendees, quarantining protocols, location—and be sure to always wear a mask and maintain six feet of social distance.
If you’re experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, Virtuwell can help you get a personalized treatment plan, free follow up care, and assistance booking a drive-up test if you meet testing criteria.