Senior woman sitting on couch, video chatting with loved ones during the holidays

Safely Celebrating the Holidays During COVID-19

The holidays are often a time for family and friends to gather and celebrate. This year, however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the holidays may look a bit different.


According to the CDC-issued guidelines around holiday gatherings, celebrating with members of your own household (who are taking COVID-19 prevention measures) is a low-risk activity. Gathering with those outside of your household, though, increases your risk of contracting the virus. Many of us will miss our annual holiday traditions this year, but there are ways to make the season feel festive, even while distancing.


  1. FaceTime or set up a Zoom call for dinner: It’s not the same as an in-person meal, but it’s a good alternative. Set a time that works for everyone and send a calendar reminder. Have everyone log-on once the table is set, and enjoy your company from afar.
  2. Share recipes: If there’s a dish you or your family look forward to each year, share the recipe with everyone who normally gathers. Each household can make it on their own and feel a little closer to you when they eat it.
  3. Contact-free porch drop-off: For those who live close enough or want to cook a dish for a loved one, consider preparing food in advance and dropping it off on their porch. It’s a great way to share loved dishes with your family and a way to show care for those who live alone or may not be able to cook a meal on their own.
  4. Start a “thankful” email chain: If your family takes time each year to reflect on what they’re thankful for, take a moment to write it down and send it in an email. Ask the rest of your family to “reply all” with their thoughts. Read the responses on your own or share them all when you’re seated for your family meal.
  5. Create a “family challenge”: Normally watch football together? Ask everyone to predict the winner and final score. Take a post-meal walk? Have everyone track their steps/distance on their smartwatch or smartphone. A little healthy competition keeps activities exciting and will earn the winners bragging rights to tout for the next year.

However you plan to celebrate, have a happy, safe and healthy holiday season!

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