Celebrating doesn’t have to stop while in quarantine! This new series shares the positives of celebrating virtually, tips on keeping your traditions alive, and creative decorating ideas from professional designers. Get ready to make this the best holiday season yet!

The holiday season is in full swing, and it’s only natural that friends and family want to get together to celebrate. Though this year’s festivities are going to be a bit different, that doesn’t mean you can’t make the most of this special season. Below, we’ve rounded up six ways you can keep your traditions alive while staying safe.

Be prepared to adapt

Holiday gathering with masks
Make sure you account for each guest’s safety and comfort level.

In today’s environment, make sure you’re prepared to adapt and shift your plans as needed pending changing guidelines.

Additionally, you should know how your family feels about celebrating this year. The pandemic has produced a wide variety of conflicting thoughts and opinions around the virus, so if you’re planning a small holiday gathering, make sure you account for each guest’s safety and comfort level.

Remember the basics

Social distance sign

Perhaps the best way to celebrate the holidays this year is by remembering COVID-19 basics. After all, we’ve been practicing airtight sanitation and social distancing for over half the year now (hard to believe, right?).

Opt for a hand sanitizer that’s at least 60% alcohol.

Remember, COVID-19 protection is a global effort. All hands on deck. Speaking of said hands, make sure you wash them for at least 20 seconds with soap. If soap isn’t available, opt for a hand sanitizer that’s at least 60% alcohol.

Masks do make a difference! Make sure to wear one, and especially one that:

  • Has two or more layers of breathable fabric (and can be washed)
  • Completely covers your nose and mouth
  • Doesn’t allow for any gaps on the side

We’re in this together, and the easiest way to stay safe is to protect ourselves and each other. For more of the basics, see the CDC guidelines.

Understand the “red zones” of public traveling spaces

According to AAA, in a typical year, about 50 million Americans travel at least 50 miles from home for Thanksgiving. This season, the number of flyers during Thanksgiving and Christmas is expected to decrease by 50%. 

If you do find yourself traveling, it helps to understand the “red zones.” That is, those areas that provide more opportunities for spreading the virus than others.

Couple shopping while wearing masks

Interestingly enough, airplanes are not marquee red zones. “Airplanes have ventilation systems that help to recycle clean air, so the only risk that people have is if those sitting directly in the seats around them have tested positive for the coronavirus,” said Dr. Michael Barnish, an infectious diseases and travel medicine expert.

According to Dr. Barnish, there are a few areas where people should use more trepidation. These areas include the TSA, boarding areas, public restrooms, and public transportation. The CDC also offers a few tips for traveling safely:

  • Wear a mask (covering your mouth and nose) in public areas
  • Social distance, staying at least 6 feet apart from others whenever possible
  • Wash hands often
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and/or mouth
  • Avoid anyone who appears sick

The added challenge of this time of year is that our “normal” flu bug is bound to start showing up in droves. It’s best to play it safe and avoid any interaction with someone who is feeling under the weather.

Exercise due diligence

There’s nothing wrong with being a little bit more cautious this year.

There’s nothing wrong with being a little cautious this year. This is important no matter what, but especially so if you are hosting a family holiday gathering. While there’s bound to be a level of trust and comfort among family members, make sure you know where people are traveling from and who they’ve interacted with prior to attendance.

If you feel sick, don’t shrug it off.

There’s nothing wrong with being a little bit more cautious this year to help everyone stay safe. Similarly, if you feel sick, don’t shrug it off. Exercise your due diligence toward others and yourself. It’s better to be safe than risk spreading the virus to others.

Get creative when it comes to celebrating

If you’re staying home this season or reducing your typical holiday extravaganza to immediate family only, think about what you can do to still include everyone. With today’s tech, it’s more than feasible to arrange a virtual celebration.

Eating Christmas dinner

Be it watching Thanksgiving football together on more screens than just the television, or that age-old family tradition of eggnog and cookies on Christmas Eve, there’s plenty of technology at our disposal to help us all stay connected. Even if we can’t connect in a more traditional sense right now.

Christmas Shoppe Banner

Despite the year that has been 2020, celebrating the holidays doesn’t need to be a drag. Exercise caution, follow appropriate guidelines, and focus on keeping yourself and others safe. Happy holidays!

Give gifts to spread holiday cheer

Don’t forget to check out our best holiday gifts to spread some cheer! Make this season merry and bright with flowers, plants, centerpieces, wreaths, gift baskets, collectibles, and more.


Joe Wolff is a novelist and blogger focusing on education, employment, and the service industry. His first book, "Temporium," released in 2019.

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