New Year, Same Pandemic
Holidays During COVID Times
February 1, 2021
Because of COVID, not everyone was lucky enough to get to see their families and friends for the holidays this year, or at least not the same as they used to be able to. However, some immediate families got the chance to create new holiday traditions, and just relax and spend time with each other.
“This year, I have spent a lot less time with my extended family. My favorite part of the holidays is the time I spend with my family, but this year is very different,” said senior Sami Archer.
The holiday season is usually a time for being around, and spending time with, close family and friends, but that has been difficult to do this year.
“Nothing much was different [about the holidays this year], besides changes due to the pandemic. We had to be extra cautious around my grandmother (she’s 92). Instead of having all the extended family over for Christmas, we stuck with a Zoom call, and I didn’t go to my cousin’s for New Years,” said junior Nick Kristoff.
This holiday season was definitely one with many changes and/or adjustments to be able to see family.
“For Thanksgiving this year, I stayed home. Usually, most of my family comes over, and there are over 30 people in my house. This year, everyone stayed home, and it was only my immediate family. The four of us all cooked and spent the entire day together,” said Archer.
The simplicity of family gatherings this year has brought so many families closer together, and allowed them to learn so much more about each other.
“[For Thanksgiving,] I had my uncle, aunt, cousin, and grandmother over to eat a late lunch with my parents and me. Then, we watched football, and that was about it,” said Kristoff.
Moving onto the next major holiday…Christmas!
“For Christmas, I did the same thing as Thanksgiving, though instead of football, I had a zoom call with all of my extended family. For New Years, I just went to my girlfriend’s house to watch TV and play board games with her and her family,” said Kristoff.
Zoom and Google Meet calls have already been so normalized in the past year that I believe this new tradition will be around for a long time, even if it’s just used as a last resort.
“For Christmas, I [went] to see my grandparents. We [planned] on meeting up halfway between where we live and where they live and socially distance visited them,” said Archer.
For many families, it was difficult to decide whether or not to see each other, or making up your own family restrictions to make sure everyone stays safe.
“Every year on Christmas Eve, my family and I make gingerbread houses together. We spend most of the day listening to Christmas music, laughing, and making a village,”said Archer.
A families’ traditions are what bring them together. Without them, what else is there to look forward to?
“Another tradition my family does is a 12 days of Christmas countdown,” said Archer. “This started with my grandma giving each of her grandchildren small g
ifts on the 12 days leading up to Christmas. My mom has now taken over the tradition for my brother and me. All the gifts are small items (like a pack of gum or a pair of fuzzy socks), but the tradition behind it is what means a lot to all of us.”
Receiving a gift on Christmas Eve has always been a tradition in my own family, as well. It gets you excited for Christmas the next day.
“My ideal plans for the holiday season would just be being with family, it doesn’t matter what we’re doing,” said Kristoff.
In the long run, gifts aren’t going to be the things you’ll remember during the holiday season; you’ll remember the people you were with and the memories you made with them. I hope everyone had a great holiday, and stayed safe. Happy 2021!