Unfortunately, 2020’s festive celebrations will look very different to those we’ve had before. Our favorite holidays aren’t cancelled, but life will likely be a lot more toned down over the next few months.
What’s most important is the family we share these occasions with. Between your imagination and our tips, we’ll create some special holiday moments to remember. Let’s make planning for the holidays this year about keeping our loved ones safe.
Thanksgiving is a time when many families travel long distances to celebrate together. This pandemic has even made Grandma who’s just a couple of blocks away feel like she’s across the Atlantic.
It might mean that dinner needs to be a little smaller this year. Here are some tips to make sure your turkey time can be enjoyed.
- Instead of potluck-style gatherings, encourage guests to bring food and drinks for themselves and for members of their own household only. Make sure to follow CDC’s recommendations on hosting gatherings or cook-outs.
- Consider having one person serve all the food so that multiple people are not handling the serving utensils.
- For you sports fanatics, consider watching the big games at home. Plus, you don’t even have to wait until halftime to get a drink, the kids can just bring you refills.
- We know the day after Thanksgiving has some super deals, for the shopaholics amongst us - you’re in luck. A lot of retailers are replicating their discounts and savings online so you can still shop to your heart’s content.
Prepare some traditional recipes for family and neighbors, especially those at higher risk of COVID-19, and deliver them in a safe way that doesn’t involve contact. Everybody appreciates a delicious plate of turkey, greens and pumpkin pie.
Thanksgiving is often making do with what you have so what about a virtual dinner? Set up the laptop, phone or tablet in that spare chair you pull from the garage every year and you’re good to go. We know it’s not quite the same but you’d be surprised at how much fun it can be. This year, we’re just thankful we have our loved ones close.
Black Friday is pretty much an official American holiday in itself. Could you imagine anything worse than fighting through crowds right now? We love a deal too, but it’s just not worth the risk.
Fortunately, over the last few years, more people have flocked online for Black Friday rather than typical brick-and-mortar stores. Since lockdown, we’ve all shopped online more than ever before. Instead of stores being crowded this Black Friday, we’re going to see error codes and slow websites as we all try and bag a bargain.
Macy’s CEO Jeff Gennette has also commented that he expects the department store's Black Friday business to be geared more toward online this year. So keep your mouse, trackpad and scrolling fingers poised.
For those celebrating the Jewish Festival of Lights, the eight-day celebration can still go ahead - but we’ll need to pay extra attention to safety. Hanukkah is a time to celebrate with family and friends, so much like other holidays, you may have to go digital. It’s important to keep traditions to bring us all together and virtual options open new doors.
We’ve rounded up some of our favorite Hanukkah crafts, recipes, activities, videos and other ideas to keep you and your family occupied during days spent indoors – all while learning about and embracing Judaism together.
- Make items for your Shabbat table. Decorating glass candle holders prompts discussions regarding gratitude, reflection and ritual.
- Have an at-home dance party to your favorite Jewish music.
- Learn and celebrate Israel. There’s no time like the present to start exploring the rich culture and diverse communities. After the lesson, celebrate your love of the Jewish State by making paper flags to display in your windows at home.
- Choose a favorite family recipe to make together. Cooking with a young child creates lasting memories for both of you. Try your hand at baking challah together!
Most importantly, say a special prayer of gratitude for your loved ones.
Have yourself a very merry COVID Christmas… I’m pretty sure this year Old Saint Nick has been spreading festive cheer since the beginning of August - but that doesn’t mean we’re any less excited for it. With many shopping earlier this year to avoid big crowds, it feels like the 25th is just around the corner.
Non-essential travel should be avoided, meaning our family may stretch far and wide across the states. Here are some activities to help you plan your festivities and be merry.
- Bring back Christmas cards! We can’t embrace most of our family right now but we can get the kids to create them a heartfelt card. For those who we can’t see right now, it’ll mean the world.
- Ditch the pristine baubles and ribbons this year, decorate your tree with solely artwork from the kids. Cut out templates and get creative - at least nobody can come over and see how experimental it is. It’ll keep the kids happy at least.
- Make your own Christmas movie bucket list. Sprinkle some classics, a dash of animated kids movies and even some guilty pleasure Hallmark gems.
- Have you or your partner dress up as Santa himself and have all the kids in the family video chat with him. Imagine the tales they’ll have when they go back to school and they can tell their friends they Skyped with Kris Kringle.
- Amp up your Elf on the Shelf game, these badly behaved Santa’s helpers can cause mischief overnight. If you’ve not seen it before, there are some absolutely brilliant ideas to get you started here.
One thing is for sure, this year Christmas will be about family more than ever. Forget the gifts, the dinner and the eggnog - it’s all about what’s most important to us. You might be facing a Christmas celebration without someone you love for the first time.
As always, if you develop COVID-19 symptoms stay home and isolate to protect yourself and your family. We might not have holidays this year but we’ll sure make up for it next, here’s to a happy new year. How are you planning for the holidays this year? If you’re doing something different and want to share how you’re bringing the whole family together, we’d love to hear! Get in touch with us below.