Christmas In The Time of COVID-19: Tips For Staying Connected This Holiday Season

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact millions of people around the world, many have had to reevaluate their Christmas plans for the year 2021. With vaccination rates reaching milestones in recent months, many both in Australia and globally have seen restrictions eased and freedoms returned. However, this should not take away from the thousands of people who are still currently separated from loved ones or stranded overseas. With the festive season quickly approaching, we’ve decided to share with you some of our top tips for staying connected with loved ones this holiday season. Read on to find out more.

Tips For Christmas Gatherings

For those of us who are lucky enough to travel to see our loved ones this festive season, there are still a number of precautions to take to ensure that everyone can have a healthy and happy celebration. The following tips will help you celebrate the season in the safest way possible, especially when kids are involved. 

Check Your Local Regulations

If you are hosting a Christmas celebration, be sure to look into your local state regulations for the maximum number of guests allowed in your home. Where possible, keep your guest list small and do your best to ensure that every attendant has been double vaccinated. Be sure to keep contact details of each and every guest for contact tracing purposes and, if possible, try to entertain outdoors to reduce the chances of spreading COVID-19. 

Wash Your Hands

Although it is not certain how long the virus that causes COVID-19 survives on surfaces, a recent review has found large variability, ranging from 2 hours to 9 days. As such, to be as safe as possible, we highly recommend washing your hands thoroughly before wrapping Christmas gifts for kids and after opening them. Even if the risks are low, it is worth being aware of them and taking steps to mitigate these risks as much as possible. You will also want to ensure that you wash or sanitise your hands prior to tucking into Christmas lunch and after shaking hands or interacting with other guests at the party. 

Keep Your Distance

We all know the 1.5-metre rule very well by now, and as pedantic as it may seem, we always encourage keeping your distance even when socialising with friends and family. Be sure to wash your hands often and avoid hugs and/or kisses with people you don’t live with. To keep children safe, we also suggest encouraging adults to wear a mask when interacting with the little ones. 

Tips For Staying Connected Online

Unfortunately, not everyone will be lucky enough to spend Christmas and the holidays with family or loved ones. With many people still avoiding unnecessary travel and large crowds, many of us will have to resort to connecting with loved ones online. The following tips will help you make the most out of the festive season, even if you’re separated by miles. 

Plan A Virtual Gift Exchange

Just because you’re separated from loved ones doesn’t mean that you have to give up all the wonderful presents that are often associated with the holidays. In fact, ordering gifts online has never been easier, so why not plan a virtual gift exchange with your loved ones this Christmas. Coordinate with loved ones to ensure that gifts arrive before Christmas day and then plan to open them up together during a group video call. 

Share A Christmas Meal

Even if it may not be the same as sitting at a table together, sharing a Christmas meal over a Zoom or Skype call can be just as rewarding. To help things run smoothly, be sure to test your chosen virtual gathering method ahead of time to work out any technical snags. You can also plan the menu ahead of time or even order food delivery on behalf of your family members for the ultimate surprise! 

Don’t Forget The Christmas Cards

Sending a thoughtful homemade card or handwritten letter is another way to express love, gratitude, and care during the holiday season. If possible, try to get everyone involved ahead of time and open them all together during a group video call.

Host A Netflix Party

Last but not least, Christmas isn’t complete without at least a few Christmas movies. Even if you can’t snuggle up on the couch with your loved ones this holiday season, then the next best option is to host a Netflix party. For those who haven’t yet discovered this feature, Netflix Party is a way of watching Netflix together while staying apart, all from the comfort of your respective homes. 

Reaching Out Goes A Long Way

If you have other friends, relatives or loved ones who aren’t part of the online celebrations, be sure to reach out and say hello on Christmas day. Feeling down during the holidays is common in the best of years, let alone in 2021. Reaching out to others, even if it’s to say “I miss you!” or “I hope you are having an amazing day!” can make all the difference in someone’s day.

As the holiday season approaches, you might be faced with new and challenging circumstances during the COVID-19 pandemic, but that doesn’t mean that you have to forgo the festivities and spend Christmas day alone. We hope that this article has given you a few ideas on how you can stay connected with loved ones this holiday season.

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