As celebrations abound and loved ones gather from both far and near, the holiday season is a joyous time many people look forward to all year long. And just like everything else in 2020, the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic will alter the way we celebrate the holidays. With everyone’s safety in mind, holiday dinners with extended family, large religious congregations, and festivities with friends will likely look a little different this year. But don’t stop spreading Christmas cheer just yet! With a little creativity and determination, we can keep that magic feeling in the air by staying connected to loved ones despite the physical distance needed to remain safe. If there was ever a time to start new traditions, it’s now!
It’s times like these that we are particularly grateful for our close-knit community at Spring Harbor—we may not but be blood, but the way we care for one another makes us family. We’re here to help you connect with your kin and carry out your to-do list all the time, but the holiday season is a particularly special time. At Spring Harbor, we make it our mission to keep holiday spirits high. Here are a few ideas (that we’re happy to help you execute!) to stay connected and spread that familiar holiday warmth from heart to heart, too:
Pass the time writing cards to your nearest and dearest and send them out via good old-fashioned snail mail. Though we’ve come a long way in digital advancements, emails and texts can’t compete with the touch and feel of a tangible card—plus, it can be stashed away to be read over and over as time goes on. It may not seem like much, but many times, handwritten words of endearment and gratitude are the best gifts anyone could hope to receive.
Keep the momentum going and ask those in your address book to write back! With your new pen pal, you can share stories of holidays past, pass on your favorite traditions, or ask for seasonal recipes. Extra points if that pen pal is school aged (a grandchild, perhaps?) and can benefit from practicing his or her penmanship!
Tech savvy? Set up a video call with friends and family. The next best thing to warm holiday hugs and kisses is seeing your favorite people while catching up together. You can arrange for one-on-one calls or invite the whole crew—it’s entirely up to you! With technology like Zoom, Google Meet, Skype, FaceTime, Facebook Messenger, or WhatsApp, the possibilities are endless.
If you’re feeling extra festive, create a jolly holiday-themed background for your call. Hang a string of lights or a decorative wreath behind your computer or wherever you prefer to sit with your tablet or smartphone. Or, just let the holiday spirit takeover and dress your whole home up with seasonal décor—a great reason to take your beloved callers for a little tour while you talk!
In many families, traditions begin with food. Carefully cooked feasts are often the focus of our holiday celebrations. With no one to share in the consumption of favorite holiday dishes or desserts this year, it may not seem worth the effort to spend hours in the kitchen. Rather than denying your taste buds altogether, try picking one or two family favorites to whip up and enjoy on your own. If you’re fortunate enough to have family living nearby, make a larger batch like you usually do and divide it into to-go containers. Notify local family members and arrange for a socially distant pick-up.
Although there are many reasons we look forward to the holidays, the season would not be complete without the joy of giving. Nothing can replace the excitement on a child’s face on Christmas morning. If spoiling some grandchildren or participating in any type of gift exchange is on your to-do list, there’s a good chance you’ll have to ship your gifts this year. Ask your recipients to open their presents during a video call or send a video of the event so you can experience their wondrous expressions as they peel back the gift wrap.
Shine on, merrymakers! The holidays will certainly be different this year, but this holiday season is still looking bright. Just like any other challenge life throws at us, we can come out ahead by showing we care and knowing we’re loved.
Schedule a time to tour our stunning community, meet our vibrant residents, and let us answer your important questions. Once you step into our world, you’ll understand why so many seniors happily call Spring Harbor home.