The 2020 holiday season will be very different for most of us, including our kids. Getting together with the family, especially if you have to travel out of state, comes with a lot of restrictions and advisories (depending on the state).
Home for the Holidays
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued guidelines for holidays and small gatherings. If you’re hosting a holiday get-together, consider the following:
- How many people will be invited to your home, and is your space large enough to allow social distancing inside?
- Where are they coming from? Is COVID-19 spreading faster or slower in that region?
- How will they travel to your home? Will they use public transportation?
- Will you require everyone to get a COVID-19 test before they come to your home?
- How long do you plan to have family/guests inside your home?
Santa Claus on Zoom
In some cases, Santa will be taking a break from his mall and shopping center appearances to get our kids’ holiday lists, while in many other malls across the country adjustments have been made. Santa will be inside a giant snow globe or behind plexiglass or in a giant picture frame, offering a touchless experience. Santa will also be wearing a mask in states with a mask mandate, and guests will be required to do the same.
Other Santas are doing Zoom calls with families making reservations ahead of time to ensure their young kids get to see him. One Santa in particular painted a chair with gold leaf “to look a bit grand” and hung some Christmas curtains around his window. “When I do a Zoom call, as far as the kids are concerned, they’re talking to Santa in the North Pole,” according to an interview he did with Wired.
Virtual Holiday Office Parties
The office holiday party is getting a complete makeover and going virtual this year. Paypal, for example, is hosting a global 24-hour virtual party where employees can drop in whenever they want. The online party will begin with circus performers, cultural art and performance workshops and a surprise headliner.
Other events include a magic show, a singing competition, cooking classes, illusionist performances, and a dance-off. Of course, most virtual parties won’t be this elaborate. Some companies will be playing trivia games with prizes sent later in the mail or electronically while others are participating in a Secret Santa exchange or having an ugly sweater contest. Whatever form the virtual holiday office party takes this year, it’s a great way to keep connected with employees.
Taking a Vacation
Those taking the annual family vacay during the holidays or are off to ring in 2021 are looking for sun and solitude over crowds. Islands in the Caribbean account for half of the top 10 destinations for American travelers, according to Squaremouth, a travel insurance comparison site. Key West, Myrtle Beach, and Sedona are travel destinations that are also expecting more traffic. Luckily, the airlines are accommodating, and refunds or credits are being issued if you need to cancel a flight – whether going on a vacation or traveling to be with family and friends.
A lot has changed since last year’s holiday season, with the most important thing being that we all stay safe while we remain thankful for those we love and look forward to the coming year.