As the 2020 Christmas season fast approaches, many people are wondering just how this holiday season will go. With social distancing and isolation the norm these days, will families gather in person to celebrate the first COVID-19 Christmas?
For many people, staying safe and healthy trumps in-person gatherings, so the short answer is “no.” Most people will be staying home this holiday season, with many opting for a virtual gathering instead.
For those planning an in-person gathering, however, it’s likely that there will have to be restrictions on the event. With this in mind, let’s look at some of the ways people can prepare for the first COVID-19 pandemic holiday season.
1. Shop Online
With the approaching holiday season, online shopping will likely be the go-to option for buying Christmas gifts for loved ones. Some nice gift ideas to consider this season include Christmas hampers filled with holiday goodies, toys for the good boys and girls, and wine or coffee samplers for their parents. All of these can be shipped directly to the recipients if an in-person gathering isn’t on the agenda this year.
2. Stay Within Your Budget
Thanks to the coronavirus, the world’s economy has taken a nosedive. This downturn has caused many people to tighten their belts and cut spending. Even if the pandemic hasn’t affected you or your family directly, it’s a good idea to shop as if it has this holiday season.
No-one knows exactly how long the pandemic will last, so erring on the side of caution and being frugal this Christmas might be what carries you financially through this financially stressful time.
3. Shop Early
Speaking of shopping, it’s also a good idea to begin now if you want to be sure the recipients receive their gifts on time. The pandemic has slowed shipping times considerably as fewer people are working and more people are shopping online. As Christmas draws nearer, these shipping times may become even more delayed.
It’s hard to anticipate just how the pandemic will affect supply and shipping times, but it’s best to expect shortages and delays the closer we get to the holiday season.
4. Plan a Virtual Gathering
If getting together in person this year is something that sends shivers up your spine, plan for a virtual gathering instead. There are many options online for large groups to gather virtually. Think Zoom or Discord, both of which allow large numbers of people to connect, talk, and interact with each other from wherever they happen to be.
If you are planning a virtual Christmas, be sure to do a test run beforehand, so everyone knows how to use the platform and can connect without any issues on the day of the gathering.
5. Do a Mental Check
As stressful as the holidays can be, you may discover it’s just as mentally draining to be away from your loved ones at this time of year. Isolation can cause depression in some people, so be sure you’re taking time out of all the planning to connect one-on-one with those you love. Even if you can’t be together in person, you must stay in touch with the people who mean the most to you, especially during the holiday season.
The COVID-19 pandemic may be continuing, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make Christmas every bit as special as it normally is. Use the tips above to prepare for your first pandemic holiday season.