• Karen McPhail, RN, MSN

Holiday Tips and Guidelines during covid! Ways to Embrace Joy and Things to Perhaps Avoid!


The holiday season is upon us! Generally many of us would generally be planning holiday gatherings with family and friends near and far, perhaps venturing out and about to find the perfect gift for a loved one, taking in the sights and smells at local markets and festivals, volunteering or arranging to deliver baskets or much needed items to those in need - overall embracing the season and personal traditions. Many of these annual activities have been put on hold due to Covid -19. These challenges in addition to seasonal anxiety and depression which many individuals also suffer from can make the holidays a little less jolly. Along the way we are here to help in guiding, supporting, and advocating when needed. Please reach out to us as we are here to help! These challenges WILL pass, but in the mean time we have to support each other and help those who are struggling to have the lift that they truly need.


Below is a list of activities to perhaps embrace and also some areas to avoid during these times of covid!


Make your holidays more merry by trying the following:

  • Try having a virtual caroling session with family and friends, as music always raises the spirits!

  • Try branching out and making some of your holiday gifts as nothing is enjoyed or generally appreciated more than a personal creation - whether it is a baked good, a painting or drawing, an ornament, a framed photograph, a crocheted or knitted item, etc. Be creative and enjoy the process!

  • Try a virtual cookie exchange and exchange seasonal recipes with friends and family. Everyone can even talk about a favorite family recipe and share an associated story.

  • Have a small themed dinner with people who live within your home. Prepare items together or do a fun competition. You will be surprised how much fun to can be to create in the "Chopped Kitchen" or using a "Nailed It" theme ... home edition!

  • Form an email, FaceTime, Zoom, or Facebook joke, games, art, book club, or Karaoke group! Share funny seasonal jokes, online games, songs, artistic works, or stories! Be creative!

  • Do a virtual secret Santa or ornament exchange. Have one person coordinate assignments and then have each person send a wrapped ornament, gift card, or gift ahead of time ... then everyone can open together online.

  • Prepare some favorite recipes for friends, family, and neighbors who perhaps cannot get out as often. Leave a fun note and do fun and festive contact free delivery!

  • Do an onsite with members of your home or virtual game night! Bring out the board games! These make great holiday gifts! Virtually there are also some great games through a variety of online platforms!

  • Do social distancing caroling with your family throughout the community and with permission distanced / outside of senior living communities.

  • Do your shopping online for winter holidays! Listen to festive music while doing and perhaps light a winter scented candle to make things more festive!

  • Do a virtual Screening Parties with family and friends who are far away or you cannot see due to covid- Enjoy the holiday parades, sports events, broadways shows, and movies from home.

  • Try creating a fun and easy festive- HOT CHOCOLATE DESSERT CHARCUTERIE BOARD. https://www.number-2-pencil.com/hot-chocolate-dessert-charcuterie-board/

  • Enjoy outdoor dining and parks for as long as possible! Many restaurants have outdoor heated patios and more! And you all know holiday lights and decor will be coming to lighten the mood and to maximize the fun!

  • Volunteer your time and efforts in a safe way. Covid has hit many families not only health wise, but financially. If you are able to give to an adopt a family program, shelter, etc reach out and impact happiness for another.

  • Do a seasonal walk in the holiday lights! Places like Meadowlark Gardens have safe, social distanced holiday light events to try and that can be enjoyed in a safe way! Or do some social distanced walks around your neighborhood or virtually online throughout the world - to take in all that is good around you on your terms!


For safety during covid please try to avoid the following this holiday season:

  • Attending crowded restaurants and indoor dining.

  • Going shopping in crowded stores especially right before, or immediately after the Thanksgiving or Christmas holidays.

  • Attending crowded outdoor events such as festivals and parades. Keep social distancing intact for all!

  • Attending larger indoor gatherings and parties with people from outside of your household.

Reach out if you have any questions or needs! Or creative ideas!!!!


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