Home for the Holidays :: How We’re Staying Healthy and Safe


2020 can be recorded in history as “a time to remember.” Never did we think back in March of this year that we would still be talking about and navigating through an environment that requires us to “mask up” everywhere we go. And now that the holiday season is upon us, we’re having to figure out how to “celebrate” the most festive time of year.

I recently went into the bank. The teller asked me, “All ready for Thanksgiving?” and immediately an overwhelming feeling of confusion and panic took over me as I realized that Thanksgiving was just over a week away. Not a single plan had been made as to how we would “celebrate” through food and then eventually with gift-giving for Christmas and ringing in the New Year.

Don’t be too quick to count out a virtual holiday.

Yeah, I know! We’re all so sick of logging into Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet. But hey, it’s worth it to be able to see family. Our family dinners typically start at the same time every year; 2:00 p.m. is our magical time of day to gather and eat, so why not just add a camera, cellphone, or tablet to the mix? Plan your family feasting time, create an invite, send it to your family members, and have everyone log in. Family prayer, my uncle’s corny jokes, and time together will still happen. Everyone will be safe inside their homes, enjoying their favorite foods and family time. We’ll even consider playing some fun games, like Head’s Up, charades, and Pictionary. Consider creating a Kahoot account and have everyone join in electronically for some fun holiday trivia. 

Let those creative vibes take over!

We’ve managed to be creative and go with the flow for the last eight months, so let’s just keep those fun juices flowing. Even consider a menu challenge or “food war” among each household. Before your virtual gathering, assign each household a theme or cuisine and share your highlights from food prepping and tasting. And don’t forget to share those family stories. Hearing about how far Grandpa Joe had to walk to school when he was growing up or how Great Aunt Joyce made her sweet potato pies, can’t be forgotten.

Last, be sure to snap a quick picture of everyone’s smiling faces. Having a keepsake from this experience is a must. I’m hoping this will be the first and last year to celebrate in this style.

Incorporating this idea into our holiday schedule will help keep our family healthy and safe, as well as give us the chance to see each other, even if from a distance. In time, life will return as we once knew. Warm hugs and physical time together will make a comeback. But as for now, we’re having fun figuring out how to celebrate the holidays the safe way.