What Will the Holidays Look Like With COVID-19?

What Will the Holidays Look Like With COVID-19?

As the pandemic looms on, many families are starting to wonder what the holidays might look like this year. For some individuals, big family events seem out the question. For others, traditional travel plans may be up in the air.

CDC Recommendations

The CDC recently released safety guidelines for holiday celebrations.1 While they do not recommend being indoors or hosting large gatherings they do provide ways in which you and your family and friends can stay as safe as possible during the holiday season.

Also, the CDC notes that its considerations should not replace any local/state safety laws.

Consider the Risk Before Planning Festivities

If you're living in a state or area with high-levels of COVID cases, it's important to consider your risk of getting and spreading the virus before you decided to host or attend a gathering.

Celebrate Outdoors If Possible

The CDC recommends that people celebrate outdoors if they can as it is safer to do so than being in an indoor space.


You might be considering traveling to see some of your loved ones and friends. While the CDC recommends that it is better to stay home, if you decide to travel you should still follow typical guidelines (e.g., washing your hands, wearing a mask, and social distancing yourself when you can).

Most Families Will Likely Celebrate Somehow

In a year filled with uncertainty and canceled events, it seems that most parents aren’t OK with letting Halloween get canceled.

But, many of those parents acknowledge that they may need to celebrate Halloween in a less traditional manner. 

Traditional Thanksgiving Alternatives

It’s too soon to know what Thanksgiving may look like this year. But for many people, a traditional big family gathering may be out of the question.

This may be especially true if certain family members are especially vulnerable to COVID-19, like those with compromised immune systems.

Other families may try to do outdoor gatherings—or they may host meals in their garages so everyone can be six feet apart.

Of course, in some areas, the weather will be a little too cold for most people to eat outdoors (or in an unheated garage) so this may not be an option for everyone.

For those who live alone and normally travel to see family, they might opt to eat Thanksgiving dinner with close friends or co-workers that they’ve already been spending time with.

Will Families Travel for Holidays?

Many families might not be traveling to their usual destinations for winter break this year either.  This may be in part due to fears about flying. It may also involve the desire to avoid large family gatherings.

Will some take road trips? Perhaps they’ll drive to Grandma’s house or they’ll drive to a hotel for a quiet get-away with just immediate family.

It’s unclear at this point what the COVID situation might be then (some are hopeful vaccines will be available by then). Other people are concerned that colder weather, combined with potential spread in re-opened schools, will lead to another spike in cases in the fall or winter.

While there are still many uncertainties surrounding the holiday season this year, it’s not too early to start thinking about how you might celebrate this year. Thinking ahead might help ensure you’re still able to create a fun, memorable experience for the whole family.

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