Health Advocate Blog

Finding joy in the holidays

Holiday celebrations that normally involve gathering together with family and friends may not look the same this year, given the current situation with the COVID-19 pandemic and social restrictions. However, with some modifications, you can still honor holiday traditions, find joy, and experience a sense of connectedness. Try these suggestions to help make the holidays positive and meaningful.

Let everyone know ASAP how your celebrations will be different this year. Remind them that you are making certain changes out of love and support for everyone’s well-being and that you will be thinking of them and staying connected virtually or by phone or text.

Focus on activities that make you feel festive. You can still make your favorite family pies, build gingerbread houses, put up decorations, make or send gifts and cards, create snowmen with the kids, play charades, have a karaoke contest, make a dance video—all activities that can lift everyone’s spirits and create a sense of togetherness.

Consider scheduling a video call to share a holiday dinner. Give out recipes for the meal. At dinner, have everyone place their laptops on the table, enabling you to talk while you’re eating.

Check out free virtual or televised broadcasts and local events. Look for live or prerecorded concerts and faith services. Find community listings for drive-through holiday displays, guided walks through the park system, and other free activities.

Do something for someone else. Volunteering to drive donations to a local charity, or making monetary contributions, reminds us that we are “all in this together” and helps combat loneliness.

Allow yourself hope for the future. As effective vaccines and treatments become tools to help control the pandemic, it will interfere less with our normal life. Start to plan for future celebrations, trips and goals you want to reach.

Have questions about having a safe holiday? Talk to your healthcare practitioner about your situation. For current CDC guidelines, go to: