People everywhere begin to think of holiday celebrations when the weather shifts and the end of the year seems closer than ever. Cooler temperatures seem to signal it’s time for warm, festive, joy-filled parties and gathering with friends and family to celebrate the best of the year.
From large holiday dinners to intimate evenings spent with loved ones, there’s nothing like a festive get-together to invigorate the soul and get in the spirit of the season.
The events of 2020 have largely changed the way this holiday season will be celebrated, however. The COVID-19 pandemic and resultant guidelines for mitigating its spread might have made it seem impossible for many people to travel home to or have traditional holiday gatherings; especially those with vulnerable relatives.
There are ways to celebrate the season and ring in the new year in style while still following health and safety protocols, however. Here are some tips from to help you safely enjoy all the holiday season has to offer.
How 2020 Holiday Celebrations Will Be Different from Most
The COVID-19 pandemic started sweeping the globe in the spring of 2020. Health and safety officials called upon the public to start implementing some strict measures to help slow the spread of the virus and protect those who are most vulnerable, like the elderly and those with underlying health conditions.
Some of those measures include practicing social distancing by maintaining a six-foot distance between people, wearing a mask or face covering when in public, and frequently washing and sanitizing your hands.
These health measures cannot guarantee that someone won’t catch COVID-19, but the spread of the virus can be slowed by following those guidelines as we move into the winter months — and hopefully, COVID-19 will be a distant memory in the near future. With those principles in mind, here are some ways to celebrate the holidays and festivals this winter while staying safe.
7 Ways to (Safely) Celebrate the Holidays
Everyone wants to be able to enjoy the festive holiday season and do so without causing an outbreak amid their family and friends. By including some of these recommended tips in your plans, you can enjoy all the season has to offer while feeling good about your choices — and keep your guests safe in the process.
1. Keep gatherings small.
The Centers for Disease Control and Infection (CDC) recommends small groups for holiday celebrations to minimize any potential COVID-19 spread (visit the CDC website for more detailed information). When planning yours, try to restrict it to just immediate family or close friends and save the larger get-togethers for another time. Additionally, decide in advance if you want to speak to your guests about possibly getting tested for COVID prior to the event — especially if you plan to host vulnerable people. Be sure to encourage your guests to partake in hand washing, sanitizing, and wearing face coverings as added precautions during your holiday activities.
2. Have outdoor gatherings.
Health officials have stated that the risk of transmission is lower when gatherings are held outdoors, where there is greater airflow. If the weather in your area allows for it, you could set up the dining table (or several smaller tables for each family in attendance) on a patio or deck and use fun lights and other décor for a festive atmosphere. This way, you can enjoy some crisp, cool air while doing your part to be a responsible host for your guests.
3. Consider hosting a virtual party.
It might not be feasible to have a gathering in your home or at a family member’s this year, but there are still ways to celebrate. More events are going virtual than ever before! By hosting a virtual event, you can visit with your friends, loved ones, and other guests all from the comfort of your home — you don’t even have to change out of your pajamas! Consider activities like having holiday drinks or playing a game on your video call to encourage the holiday spirit.
4. Get tested before and after traveling.
If you do decide to travel for the holidays, you will likely enjoy less crowded airports and a pretty seamless flight experience. Still, whether you are flying or driving to a celebration, it is a good idea to get a COVID-19 test beforehand. Not only could it make your family (or other hosts) feel more comfortable, but some states might actually require a negative COVID-19 test before allowing you on a plane.
5. Try out a virtual gift swap.
Everyone loves unwrapping a gift, especially during the holidays. With a virtual gift swap, you and your family and friends can enjoy an old-fashioned gift exchange, but over Zoom or Skype. Try out a virtual gift exchange early in the morning for a true, festive experience.
6. Ensure good ventilation.
If it is too cold in your area to take your holiday gathering outdoors, there are still ways to keep your party health-aware. Ensure your home has good ventilation, and keep the air conditioner running (or some small, strategically placed fans) to keep air flowing. You could also open some doors or windows, depending on the weather — just make sure you don’t make the party so cold your guests start to become part of the winter décor!
7. Do your gift shopping online.
Finally, consider doing your gift shopping online to minimize the time spent in crowded shopping centers or stores while still finding the perfect gifts for your family and loved ones. Many retailers have transitioned to very user-friendly online models, and some even offer perks like free shipping, coupon codes, and free gifts. It is entirely possible to do all of your shopping this year without leaving the comfort of your home, and to do so from both large and small vendors, too!
*We are not providing these tips as medical advice or recommendations. These are simply ideas to consider to keep you and your guests, family, or other loved ones safe and healthy during the holidays.
How We are Doing Our Part During the Winter Holiday Months and Beyond
We are committed to keeping everyone in our communities safe during the COVID pandemic and beyond. We have implemented some strict safety measures, including:
- Keeping our apartment buildings clean
- Enforcing social distancing guidelines in all community spaces
- Requiring masks in community areas
- Following up with our staff to make sure that everyone is adhering to all COVID-19 safety protocols
- Using the Active Bio-Protect program to disinfect our common areas with electrostatic disinfection once every 30 days, keeping those spaces free from bacteria, virus, fungus, and mold
- Keeping up with the latest disinfection technology, with Nano technology to self-disinfect elevator buttons on the way soon
Many of our rental services can also be handled digitally to reduce instances of in-person contact, and we also offers the Mobile Doorman app, which allows residents to get packages and essentials delivered contact-free. If you have any questions about the leasing process, contact our team today to speak with one of our experts. From our entire staff, we’re wishing you and your loved ones a safe and healthy holiday gathering!