In any other year, families would be planning their usual gatherings and traditions to celebrate the winter holidays. Just like 2020 proved, however, the holiday season is still complicated. Not only does the pandemic make travel and gathering a challenge for seniors, but many budgets are stretched thin, as well. Zemplee wants to help you figure out safe holiday tips to celebrate the season with your loved ones! Here are some ideas for how to embrace the spirit in a challenging year:
If your favorite part of the holidays is picking out special presents for all your loved ones, the good news is that’s still perfectly possible.
Safe Holiday Tip:
You can order gifts to be delivered online or, if you prefer, play Santa and drop items off on your loved one’s porch. You can even organize a virtual gift exchange where everyone gets onto a video call and opens the gifts they’ve received from one another altogether!
Keep your gift bill within budget by looking for coupons and discounts online. Many retailers also offer additional discounts for seniors, so don’t hesitate to ask about any extra savings that might be available to you. If you belong to a discount club like Sam’s or Costco, these are also great places to save on gifts (and food!). Take a look at your budget and set a specific maximum price for every gift on your list. This way you’ll know you can’t go too overboard and wind up in a difficult spot.
Families who all live in the same town can more easily gather together in person this year, although you should follow safety guidelines in order to make any gathering as low-risk as possible. Even if everyone is vaccinated. Meet up outside — if a family member has a good outdoor space, you can meet there, or you can find space at a local park. If you’re in a warm area, it might be wise to reserve a park shelter, but in cooler climates, it’s a safer bet you can save your money and find something available.
Safe Holiday Tip:
Although the risk is lower, you can still spread and catch COVID-19 outdoors. That’s why it’s still important to wear masks and keep a distance of at least six feet between any non-family groups, as well as children younger than 5. These steps might seem like overkill, but they’re a small price to pay to ensure everyone stays safe and healthy this holiday.
If your family lives all over, skip the travel this year and host a virtual holiday party instead! Have everyone join a Zoom call and enjoy some virtual time together. Although you can just stay in the large Zoom chat, you should also consider making use of the program’s breakout room feature. This allows you to make smaller groups so that people who might not be able to chat one-on-one in the larger group can catch up. Consider doing several small groups throughout your planned time to give everyone the chance to talk.
Safe Holiday Tip:
If no one has a paid Zoom account, you can save money and keep the conversation going longer by having two separate hosts. When you hit the limit for one chat, have everyone migrate to the second one. It’s also possible Zoom will waive its time limit again for future major holidays — they did so for Thanksgiving 2020 — but they haven’t officially announced whether or not they will this year.
Final Safe Holiday Tip
You’ll have to take a different approach to the holidays again this year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a wonderful, affordable time with your friends and family. Focus on finding ways to meet virtually, or use proper precautions to have a low-risk in-person gathering. Give yourself grace when you get frustrated about another year of upended traditions, but remember: next year you’ll get to celebrate the holidays — and being together — with a whole new appreciation!
From, The Zemplee Team featuring:
Writer: Bob Shannon