2832 celebrate
Photo: Hackensackmeridianhealth

You can still have meaningful celebrations this year, even if you modify your usual plans. During Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa, honor precaution over tradition to keep your loved ones safe, especially if some of your usual guests are older or have underlying health conditions.

1. Limit the guest list

If you still plan to get together with loved ones, keep the Hanukkah gatherings outdoors and brief. Rather than rotate in a different group of friends and loved ones each night, it’s better to stick with the same crew throughout the holiday. (Of course, if you’re going all-virtual with your holidays this year, the more, the merrier!)

Inviting guests from other households to an indoor meal is a higher-risk activity. To lower the risk of spreading COVID-19 at a gathering with people from different households:

  • keep the guest list short
  • skip hugs, kisses and handshakes
  • have everyone wear masks when they aren’t eating
  • keep people from separate households 6 feet apart
  • keep your windows open to increase air circulation
  • have everyone wash hands often
  • put paper towels near your sinks, so people don’t dry their hands on a shared towel
  • stagger seating to keep separate households 6 feet apart during dinner
  • appoint one person to place food on everyone’s plate, so people don’t touch shared utensils
  • consider using disposable plates, flatware, napkins and tablecloths
  • consider an alcohol-free event, since drinking lowers inhibitions

2. How to enjoy the holidays together when you can’t be together

Deciding to stay home to slow the spread of COVID-19 doesn’t mean that you can’t see your loved ones; schedule a video call for the holiday. Try these ideas to make it festive, suggested by Hackensackmeridianhealth.

5129 holiday greeting
Photo: WTOP.com

- Have everyone place their laptops on the table, so that you can talk while eating a holiday meal

- Share recipes ahead of time, so everyone can eat the same food in different places

- Honor your usual traditions if you can, like having each person say what they’re thankful for

- Connect your laptop to the TV and dine on the couch to get a larger view of everyone

3. Share goodies with friends

You can still enjoy the same treats and Hanukkah recipes together. Drop over to share a sweet treat, like rugelach, sufganiyot (jelly doughnuts), or a little gelt to make their Hanukkah celebration a little brighter.

4. Declare it pajamakah

Wardrobes have gotten a lot more casual in quarantine, so go ahead and break out the PJs every night. (This T-shirt may be the perfect gift to kick off this year’s celebration on the first night.)

5. Light up the night

If you’re planning an outdoor Hanukkah celebration, you’ll need a menorah that won’t blow out in a gust of wind. Look for modern LED versions that will help keep the “flames” lit throughout the celebration, according to realsimple.

6. Mix it up a little

You’ll probably still want to serve all the classic Hanukkah dishes like latkes, brisket, kugel, and matzo ball soup (a great way to help keep off the chill when you’re gathering outdoors!). But go ahead and create a theme for each night—whether you do breakfast-for-dinner for one night (with PJ gifts and challah French toast on the menu) or an all-sweets day, with a sweet noodle kugel and melted-gelt hot chocolate to enjoy.

7. Be kind to yourself

The pandemic has been so hard on everyone this year, so give yourself room to simply enjoy the season. Look for little shortcuts (like our super-fast rugelach or our trick for speedy-yet-delicious latkes) that make it easier for you to relax and spend time with the people you love—whether they’re across the table or across the country from you.

How to celebrate a surprise birthday party at home! How to celebrate a surprise birthday party at home!

If you plan to celebrate a birthday party for your family member but don't know how to make it surprise, let's follow this piece of ...

What day is What day is 'National Saxophone Day': History and Celebration

National Saxophone Day commemorates the birth of the woodwind’s inventor, Adolphe Sax, on November 6th. The saxophone is one of the main instruments in jazz ...

How to celebrate a safe Thanksgiving during COVID-19 How to celebrate a safe Thanksgiving during COVID-19

Got plans for a big Thanksgiving Day celebration but not consider the situation of COVID-19? There there. Before you send out those feast invitations, keep ...