No matter what your family is preparing to celebrate next month — Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa — the holidays will no doubt look different this year. But with communication, understanding, consideration and open minds, they can still be celebratory and filled with love.
Most families have already started having conversations about what their holidays will look like this year, and those talks should certainly continue. Talk to those you typically celebrate with and make clear your expectations. Do you have elderly relatives or close friends with weakened immune systems? Would the holidays not be the same without those people present? Make sure your other guests know that masks and social distancing will be required. Is it in your grandparents’ best interest to stay home this year? Make plans in advance with your other family members about alternate ways to include them — set them up for a Christmas day Zoom or plan a specific time to Facetime.
The holidays in a typical year tend to be stressful for many people, and it is likely this year will be even more so. Everyone will be dealing with different circumstances and considerations, and everyone will be trying to make the best choices for their loved ones. Respect people’s decisions, and don’t pressure or judge others.
Keep in mind that no matter what your personal beliefs or opinions may be, COVID-19 is still a very real danger for many people, some of whom you probably love. For that reason, be aware of the considerations put in place by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and adhere to their recommendations when you are around others.
COVID-19 has forced us to adapt and get creative in nearly every aspect of our lives, from work to school, to birthday celebrations and more. The holidays can and should be a safe part of those changes. Just because this year’s holidays may look different, with these reminders they can still feel joyous and filled with love.