As the pandemic unfolds, many families are beginning to wonder what the holidays will be like this year. For some people, big family events seem out of the question. For others, traditional travel plans may be in the air.
Of course, each community may be a little different. An outdoor Halloween party may be completely acceptable in some communities, while other cities and states may not allow social gatherings. For now, no one really knows what the holiday will be like, but it’s certainly not too early to start planning.
The CDC recently published safety guidelines for the Christmas holidays. Although they do not recommend being indoors or hosting large gatherings, they provide ways for you, your family, and your friends to stay safe during the Christmas season.
In addition, the CDC notes that your considerations should not replace any state / local safety laws.
Consider the risk before planning the holidays
If you live in a state or area with high levels of COVID, it is important to consider the risk of contracting and spreading the virus before you decide to host or attend a meeting.
Not only should you consider where you live, but you should also consider where your potential guests are coming from and assess what your risk might be.
Also, if you decide to have a date, it is a good idea to keep it shorter, as longer events present a higher risk.
Celebrate outdoors, if possible
The CDC recommends people celebrate outdoors if they can, because it is safer than indoors.
However, if you can’t help but celebrate indoors (depending on where you live, it may be too cold to be outside), we suggest that you have adequate ventilation, limit the number of participants, and try to celebrate with the people in your area.
You may want to consider traveling to see some of your loved ones and friends. While the CDC best recommends staying home, if you decide to travel, you should follow typical instructions (for example, wash your hands, wear a mask, and socially distance yourself when you can).
Get your flu shot
The CDC suggests that September and October are good times for vaccination against the flu . To keep your children and other family members safe during a gathering, it’s a good idea to make sure your immunizations are up to date.
Halloween masks and costumes
Many children’s costumes have masks. Maybe your child dresses like one of his favorite superheroes? If so, the CDC recommends that these masks not be used in place of surgical masks.
However, if the suit mask is made of «two or more layers of breathable material that covers the mouth and nose and leaves no gaps around the face», it can be worn. .
If this is not possible, consider purchasing a Halloween-themed cloth mask for your child.
Most families will probably celebrate in some way
In a year full of uncertainty and canceled events, it seems that most parents do not agree to allow the cancellation of Halloween. An August poll conducted by The Harris Poll showed that 74% of millennial mothers and fathers say Halloween is more important than ever at this time.
But many of these parents acknowledge that they may need to celebrate Halloween in a less traditional way. In an August survey conducted on behalf of the National Confectionery Association, 63% of adults said they believe people will find creative, fun and safe ways to celebrate Halloween this year.
Traditional alternatives to treat or treat
It is not yet clear whether the trick or treatment will be canceled. Can children collect candy from door to door safely?
Many children will wear masks with their costumes, so does this stop the spread of COVID-19 or contribute to it? There are so many unknowns right now.
There is a good chance that some communities will discourage or ban deception or treatment altogether. Other families may simply choose not to attend this year, even if it is allowed.
Fortunately, it is not necessary to cancel every holiday. There can be some fun ways for families to celebrate without compromising safety. Here are some examples:
Virtual Halloween Parties: Of course, kids want to show off their costumes, of course, so a virtual Halloween party might be the safest way to go. They can connect with friends and family via video chat while in a suit.
Meetings of trunk or candy : In some places, the trunk or pampering can still be an option if everyone can distance themselves socially. This could involve cars decorating their trunks and lining up in parking lots to allow children to gather candy in an outdoor setting.
Deceived or treated to drive: There may be certain ways in which families can cheat or deal with the safety of their vehicles. It could involve lifting candy from the car to avoid face-to-face contact at home.
Collecting sweets by the street: Families can also leave candy in a container on the street so that families can pick them up when they walk.
Virtual Halloween Costume Contests: You could develop a community Halloween costume contest where friends, family and community members can vote for the «best costume». Prizes can be awarded in different categories.
Many communities can host other special events to help families celebrate, such as home decorating contests, haunted houses, and horror movie-ins.
Parents will have to decide what they think is safe for their families this year. Some may be interested in tricks or treatments in some homes, while others may decide to celebrate without leaving home.
Traditional Thanksgiving alternatives
It is too early to know what Thanksgiving will be like this year. But for many people, a large traditional family gathering can be ruled out.
This may be especially true if certain family members are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19, such as those with compromised immune systems.
Some families may decide to join the extended family through video chat. And while it’s clearly not the same as eating at the same meal, it can be a safer way to spend time together this year.
Other families can try outdoor gatherings or organize meals in their garages so that everyone is six meters away.
Of course, in some areas, the weather will be a little too cold for most people to eat outside (or in an unheated garage), so it may not be an option for everyone.
For those who live alone and travel normally to see family, they can choose to have Thanksgiving with close friends or co-workers they have already spent time with.
Will families travel on vacation?
Many families may not be traveling to regular winter holiday destinations this year. According to CNN reports, Zeta Global surveys found that 58% of consumers do not intend to travel during the holiday season this year. This is 49% more than last year and is equivalent to 31 million fewer passengers.
This may be due in part to the fear of flying. It may also involve a desire to avoid large family gatherings.
Will some make trips on the road? Maybe they’ll drive to grandma’s house or go to a hotel for a quiet getaway with their immediate family.
It is unclear at this time what the COVID situation might be at the moment (some hope that vaccines will be available by then). Others worry that colder weather, combined with a possible spread to reopened schools, will lead to another increase in the fall or winter.
How to talk to children about «different» holidays
Your kids may be quite disappointed to learn that they can’t do tricks or that you won’t have the annual Thanksgiving family basketball game all summer long. But a change of plans can also be a good opportunity to help them adapt, learn and grow.
Make it clear that the holidays are not canceled, just do things differently this year.
Acknowledge any sadness, disappointment, or anger you feel. Avoid minimizing your emotions by saying things like «It’s no big deal.» For them, it is a big problem!
Acknowledge that it was important to them and make it clear that you will do everything you can to make the best vacation possible in these conditions.
Showing them a certain empathy could encourage them to get involved in planning a less traditional holiday alternative.
A word from Verywell
Although there are still a lot of uncertainties about this year’s holiday season, it’s not too early to start thinking about how you could celebrate this year. Thinking about the future can help ensure that you can continue to create a fun and memorable experience for the whole family.
You can contact the neighbors to organize a Halloween house decoration contest. Or you can contact family members to discuss everyone’s comfort with Thanksgiving this year. Bringing her now gives everyone a chance to have their say on how they would like to spend their vacation.