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Keep the Season Merry and Safe

Keep the Season Merry and Safe

 

Keep the Season Merry and Safe with Innovative Takes on Holiday Gatherings

Keep the Season Merry and Safe.  The 2020 holiday season poses new challenges for parents trying to balance family life and health concerns.  However, with caution and creativity, it is still possible to enjoy some seasonal socializing. Families who have already experienced stress or loss over the past year may especially benefit from the opportunity to laugh, interact, and even celebrate. Whether you plan an online meet-up or small in-person party, a little innovation can go a long way.  This goes towards keeping the spirit of the holidays alive during difficult times. Barefoot Faith Journey invites you to consider the following ways to celebrate safely.

When health concerns are paramount, online might be best.

The easiest way to keep a gathering safe is to host it remotely. By now, most of us are familiar with many of the technologies for online interaction. With applications such as Zoom, Skype, and Facebook Messenger readily available, families can choose which best suits their personal preferences and tech capacities. Communication and planning are key to hosting a good remote party, so everyone knows when and how to join.

Families that are used to online meet-ups for work or school responsibilities might consider making their virtual gatherings more festive by adding costume themes. For smaller children, think about themes from superhero movies or their favorite animated series. Older children and adults might find period dress a fun way to step out of the everyday. If everyone prepares snacks and beverages in advance, you can chat.  Also, maybe even play games and enjoy some holiday treats.

Online Activity

As always, when engaged in online activity, make sure you protect yourself and your devices against cyberattacks. Use a secure network, set up strong passwords, and avoid clicking on any dubious links.  Also, be aware of downloading any applications that you haven’t carefully vetted. And never give away private personal information online unless you know you are dealing with a secure and trusted source.

If it is safe to do so, consider hosting a small in-person event.

Depending on weather and public health regulations in your area, you may be able to host a holiday event.  Even if it is just for a few close friends and family. Always check the recommendations for your state and county.  Do this before making plans.  Invite people you can trust who will abide by precautions as well as communicate clearly with you about potential risks. In general, outdoor gatherings are safer than indoor ones. Ask that your guests bring masks, and set up a small hand-sanitizing station near a point of exit and entry. As much as possible, everyone should provide their own food and drink, and avoid sharing utensils.

Colder Climate Ideas

For colder climates, firepits and outdoor heaters might be a good option for creating a comfortable outdoor space. Just be sure to follow your area’s rules and recommendations for fire safety. Add fairy lights and tiki torches for ambiance, and plan games or entertainment that don’t involve interpersonal contact.

Indoor parties might still be possible, but remember to take precautions.

For those in areas with reduced risk, indoor gatherings are still possible. When meeting up inside, it is preferable if all guests have already been sharing a quarantine bubble.  Also, minimizing outside contact. Travel over long distances for social events is generally discouraged, but those who feel it is safe or necessary should heed these travel safety tips suggested by experts. Even when gathering with others in your quarantine bubble, avoid unnecessary physical contact.  Also, check temperatures beforehand, and remember to wash hands frequently.

It has been a difficult year for many of us. You can still celebrate the holidays with friends and family, this year just requires a little more creativity. Even if you have to arrange your events a little differently this time around, remember, some things haven’t changed.  The holidays are still a time for celebrating the relationships that make our lives richer.

Image via Pixabay

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