A Few Tips for Safely Celebrating the Holidays This Year

Cassie DeVera - The Upside Blog | Vitacost.com/blog

by | Read time: 3 minutes

Large holiday gatherings with extended family members may be a thing of the past, at least this year. It seems that even hosting immediate family may be questionable. Dr. Anthony Fauci said that his own adult daughters will not be visiting him and his wife for Thanksgiving in fear of spreading the virus to their elderly father.

People have felt the effects of the pandemic worldwide in many different ways, and one of its most significant impacts has been preventing people from seeing their loved ones for the past seven months.

The holidays may be especially difficult for those who are unable to visit their families in person. But there are still ways to make the season enjoyable! Here’s how you can entertain smaller crowds while keeping the spirit of the season alive.

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Thanksgiving safety 

If you’re hosting a small gathering, setting it up outdoors is best. If weather doesn’t permit, be extra cautious about keeping your group size small (ideally, just immediate family) and socially distance while indoors.

If food will be served, consider eliminating potluck dishes and having everyone’s plates filled in advance. This eliminates the need for multiple people having to touch the same serving utensils. Keep extras in a separate room, and you can grab them for anyone who wants seconds.

To celebrate with extended family and friends, you might plan a virtual Thanksgiving dinner. Coordinate meal times, or you could even cook some dishes “together” on Zoom. This will help simulate the communal feeling of a ‘regular’ Thanksgiving, and will give you time to catch up while you wait for the turkey to cook.


Take advantage of the cold weather and gather outside by the fire! This is a perfect way to spend some time with others in a safe, cozy fashion. You can also decorate a Christmas tree together outside; try to designate an area of the tree to each person and set aside the ornaments for them to hang.

You could also join together with distant family members for a holiday decorating, holiday crafting or holiday cookie baking/decorating video call. If family members have young children, send craft supplies in advance so everyone can create something fun together.

Finally, coordinate a time for everyone to open gifts together on a video call. This way, you’ll still be able to see the joy on everyone’s faces, even if you’re many miles away.

General Safety Tips

The CDC has recommended limiting non-essential interactions, but if you want to see other people, try to get a sense of the precautions they’ve been taking. If proper measures such as mask wearing and social distancing have been taken, you’re probably safe to meet up with them outdoors.

When dropping off sweet treats and gifts, create pre-prepared gift bags for each person. This way, one person can unpack and distribute goodies. Even better – set up a gift pickup table so everyone can retrieve their gift bags (and stay socially distant) one at a time.

When possible, arrange to see each other outdoors or over Zoom. Grab a cup of hot chocolate and sit on park benches or opt to stay indoors and FaceTime family or friends on your couch. It’s important to remind everyone that you’re thankful for their presence in your life during this difficult time. Even though you might not be able to see everyone in person, it’s good to check in and let them know you’re thinking of them.

Happy holidays!

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