How the Holidays are Being Celebrated Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

Written by Lainey Lynch, Rachel Schneeberg, and Ainsleigh Shipp

The holidays are a time for families to come together, however, with COVID-19 cases rising many are worried about the safety and health of their loved ones as they gather during this season. People everywhere are missing out on their yearly traditions such as traveling to their Grandma’s house on Christmas Eve or preparing the turkey on Thanksgiving. The nine-month pandemic is leading many to abandon their regular family get-togethers and sacrifice their holiday seasons to stay home and keep people safe.

Regarding Thanksgiving and Christmas, health officials are concerned about the rise in COVID with these superspreader events. The public have been warned to take precautions such as wearing masks and making sure everyone is six feet apart. Another way communities are avoiding the spread of the disease is simply staying home.  

Other countries have also seen a rise in COVID-19 over recent months; students and families who had vacations planned for visiting outside of the country have had to determine whether to go on holiday trips. Many people have family outside of the country they would usually visit, and some just like to travel for the holidays. “Europe is still not letting us back in, and just went into second lockdowns, so we decided it would be best to cancel this year,” says Junior Molly McPhillips, who would have been traveling to England and Germany for the holiday season. 

With multiple precautions required, countless people have resorted to making new traditions this holiday season. Some families have hosted virtual meetings or kept their gatherings smaller than they usually would to keep their loved ones safe. Senior David Rivera-Lopez says, “The main change was having less people over for Thanksgiving. It was just the immediate family, plus one other family (family friends), when usually more of our extended family comes over.”

Another common activity for friends to do is what others call a “friendsgiving,” and with social distancing, many people made it possible to continue with this trend. Junior Carlie Jackson says, “My Friendsgiving was a lot of fun, but very different compared to normal Thanksgiving. The families we did it with normally spend Thanksgiving with their families as well, but because of COVID, we were not able to. It was still lots of fun!”

Even though COVID has certainly altered the way the holidays are being celebrated this year, families and friends are still finding ways to come together to bask in the holiday spirit.

Photo of the appetizers served at “friendsgiving” hosted by the Jackson family. (Photo provided by Carlie Jackson)
Photo of Senior David Rivera-Lopez and his siblings celebrating Thanksgiving. (Photo provided by David Rivera-Lopez)