The holidays are a time to gather with family and friends, but this year might look a little different. Instead of seeing your loved ones across a dining table, the conversations might be flowing through your favorite video-conferencing platform. COVID-19 might have changed the holiday season this year, but you can still make it one to remember.
Share a Home-Cooked Meal
Some people love spending the holidays whipping up pie dough and mashed potatoes. If you’re among them, you don’t have to scale down your feast just because not everyone can make the trip to your house this year. Instead, package up the turkey, ham, and fixings, and make deliveries to your local family and friends. Have them snap a picture of themselves enjoying the meal and you’ll feel the same sense of warmth and pride as if everyone were gathered around your table.
Give Back to the Community
Many families spend time volunteering over the holiday season at their local food bank or homeless shelter. This year, social distancing guidelines in some states have put those plans on hold. You might not be able to volunteer in person this year, but you and your family can still help those in need. Organize a neighborhood food drive for your local food bank; participate in a virtual marathon, walking laps around the high school’s track to raise money for your favorite cause; or donate blood—and there might be no better time to do so as the American Red Cross is expecting a severe blood shortage due to the pandemic. A few minutes of your time could save a life.
Send Handwritten Letters or Cards
Communication between family and friends has largely moved online since the start of the pandemic. While it is a convenient way to keep in touch with loved ones, video conferencing can feel impersonal. If “Zoom fatigue” is getting you down, pull out a pen and paper and start writing letters to your family. The act of writing a letter can feel more personal than talking to a computer screen, allowing those physically distanced connections to flourish.
Support Those Around You
Social distancing can lead to feelings of stress and isolation for a lot of people. That’s why it’s never been more important to build connections in your community. Assemble care packages to send to seniors living in care homes to let them know you’re thinking about them. Have your children write thank-you letters to health care workers and first responders. Check in with neighbors who are out of work due to the pandemic and ask if there’s anything they need. A strong sense of community will help alleviate those feelings of loneliness for everyone.