5 Tips to Safely Celebrate the Holidays
With the holiday season officially underway, you may be wondering how you can safely celebrate. The CDC recommends limiting indoor holiday gatherings to only those living within your household. So for most, the answer is smaller gatherings and virtual contact with the ones we love.
Even though we may be missing our traditional get-togethers, there are a few ways you can still make this time of year special. Here are five tips to safely make your season bright.
Tip #1: Decorate!
One of the best ways to get into the holiday spirit and combat pandemic craziness is to decorate your home, inside and outside, with cheerful lights and baubles. For many, the beautiful holiday decorations are a welcome distraction from the outside world.
In fact, many Americans have not only taken their decorating to the next level this year, but are also decorating early. According to Christmas Decor, a professional holiday decorating company, by mid-November their business was up 15 to 20% over last year. And they expect this trend to continue through December.
Tip #2: Watch holiday movies together
One of the best parts of the holiday season is all the great movies and shows. And sharing the experience of watching your favorites with others is always fun!
Did you know you can watch movies and shows with friends and family no matter how far apart you are geographically? There are several apps you can download to your TV, computer or phone so you can watch together—and interact via video or audio. Here are a few easy apps to try:
- Gaze enables you to watch anything as a group, even files on your computer or phone, while a video chat remains open.
- MyCircleTV lets you watch videos at the same time while keeping a text and/or audio chat open to communicate while you watch.
- All the major streaming services now have the option to watch their content in groups. Prime Video Watch Party, Hulu Watch Party, Netflix Party and Disney+ GroupWatch allow you to watch and comment on the same show at the same time with several other viewers.
So try a few out and see which app best suits the needs and technological skill level of your group.
Tip #3: Small, special meals
This year the table will have fewer place settings, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy a delicious holiday spread. This year many folks are choosing to go with a pre-made holiday spread from a local grocery store. But if that isn’t your style, we have a few ideas for how to scale down your own home-cooked meal.
- Rather than a large turkey or ham, prepare a smaller entrée like a Cornish hen or duck. You’ll still present an inviting holiday centerpiece without an overwhelming amount of leftovers.
- Buy single-serve sweets rather than a full-size pie or cake. Another benefit to choosing mini versions is that you get to try a few extra flavors!
- While the side dishes are what makes the meal, not all sides are created equal. You probably have a few that are really your favorites. So rather than cook the full holiday meal, just make those sides that you really love.
- Usually you’ll find yourself doing the math to double recipes, but you can also do that math to cut side dish recipes in half. Or pick your sides based on their shelf life and ease of storage after your meal.
Another idea is to forget about reducing all together. Go all out, and cook what makes you happy! Then package leftovers in disposable containers (while wearing gloves) and drop them off with family or friends who may not be able to celebrate.
Tip #4: Drive-through holiday lights
This is one holiday tradition that doesn’t have to change too much this year. Meet up with your family and friends and, while staying in your own vehicles, drive in a caravan to see the beautiful holiday light displays in your community.
Choose a neighborhood well-known for their holiday lights, or find a drive-through light display near you by visiting the Christmas Light Finder. Please note, these types of attractions may charge a fee per car. But the shared experience will be well worth it!
image credit: shutterstock/Clara_Sh