The Holiday Season During Covid-19

Clara Byrne, Writer

The Holiday Season and Covid-19

Everything has definitely been different lately, and this holiday season won’t be an exception. Many are celebrating with their family and friends through zoom. Others are hosting safely distanced gatherings, mostly outdoors, where people can still get a chance to be in person with one another. No matter what you celebrate, these holidays may not be like anything like we’ve done before. But, that doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be a bad thing! What follows is a list of safe activities you can do at home to get in the festive mood. 

Get Crafty:

This time at home couldn’t be a better time to get your hands busy crafting. Make a flurry of paper snowflakes to hang up! Or making homemade salt dough ornaments is always a fun idea, those you can decorate after. If you have colored construction paper at home, making a garland of festive cut-out shapes and symbols is enough to brighten anyone’s day.

 Sweets and Treats:

In making special sweets for the holidays, there’s something for everyone, even those who aren’t in the kitchen often! Muddy Buddies, (or puppy chow) is a sweet snack mix you can throw together without many ingredients at all, and holiday sprinkles make it even more festive. There are endless varieties of holiday cookies, you could enjoy the classic iced sugar cookies or gingerbread men, or branch out into a whole world of cookie types. Bake with a family member for extra holiday cheer. 

Season of Giving:

Despite the pandemic, there are still ways you can give back to your community. You can give new toys to toys for tots, and conveniently, there are donation boxes right here at Shawnee. Everyone loves to receive holiday cards, so how about mailing some to those who need it most? There are many programs that you can mail cards to, including ones for troops overseas, hospitalized kids, or elderly citizens. When buying gifts for the holidays, there are many online shops that donate to a good cause for every purchase, whether it be for the planet or the less fortunate. Giving back in any way will make you feel special. 

Adapt your old traditions or create new ones:

Making your holiday traditions work this year may not be as hard as you may think. If you get together with all of your extended family every year, try having everyone join in on a zoom! If you get together and make delicious foods every year, try making them while facetime. Or, you and your immediate family can create new traditions. Try driving around at night to see the lights, reading holiday stories together, or try some other fun activity. 

Here’s what some Shawnee students and staff had today when asked about their holiday traditions and how they’ll celebrate them this year. 

Mr. Joubert, who teaches music, said that in most regular years he enjoys concerts and getting dressed up to go see the Nutcracker Ballet. This year he will be spending Christmas with his family at home and creating virtual choir videos to stream with his vocal music classes. 

English teacher, Ms. Schliep, said that she spends her Christmas and Christmas eve with the family that she doesn’t see very often. This year she still hopes to safely attend a Christmas church service. 

Shawnee freshman Corrine noted that her family always went out to eat on Christmas eve at Mikado, but with the changes this year, they are having dinner at home.

Ms. Roth, who teaches science, has a traditional Italian celebration on Christmas eve, The Feast of the Seven Fishes. She also said that most years her family attends a huge family party on the night before Christmas, so this year they are keeping the number of people lower, and celebrating with only her in-laws. 

Ms. Lamorgese, an English teacher, said that in usual years, her entire extended family gets together and they eat good food, have a sing-along, and have a White Elephant gift exchange. This year, things are uncertain, but she hopes to connect with family virtually. 

Madison, a Shawnee student, normally spends her Christmas eve all together with family, where they have a secret Santa exchange and celebrate. She also noted that she always sees her grandma for a holiday brunch, and this year her family will facetime her instead. 

Ms. Johnson in the media center celebrates her heritage during the season, she said she and her family make homemade pierogies to celebrate her Russian/Polish heritage, and pork dumplings (jiaozi) to honor their Chinese heritage. In most years, celebrating with her family is the main part. This year she created an advent calendar of fantastic activities to get her and her family in the holiday spirit, and still make this a memorable year. 

This entire year has been unbelievably hectic for everyone, and not being able to see loved ones this holiday season is hard. But, there are still ways you can safely connect with friends and family. And when you do, you may find that you really aren’t as far apart as it may seem! Please continue to wear a mask, stay distanced, and stay safe this holiday season. Happy Holidays everyone!