Leaves in shades of gold and russet are falling and crunching underfoot, the smell of bonfires is in the air, pumpkin spice lattes have made their annual return and snowmen are starting to creep onto store shelves; it’s the holidays.
The typical Halloween parties full of friends and witches sipping apple cider, “friendsgiving” with your favorite people, eating as much pumpkin pie as you can manage and Christmas day filled with laughter around a glowing tree will look a little different this year. COVID-19 has changed the way everyone goes about their daily lives and safely navigating the holidays will be no exception.
What your spooky season usually consists of might have to change a bit. Going to haunted houses and dancing the night away at a party dressed as someone else is what makes Halloween so special, but stopping the spread of the virus and keeping people healthy is what is most important.
You can still live your best spooky life and preserve the atmosphere that October brings. Exploring a pumpkin patch with friends is a great way to get in the spirit and remain safe because the outdoors provide enough room for social distancing. Roaming through corn mazes and posing for your next Instagram under the color-changing trees isn’t something you have to miss out on. Picking up some pumpkins and gourds to add an extra touch to your porch or carving them outside while jamming to “The Monster Mash” is sure to produce fun memories this fall.
Watching scary movies with a small group of friends is also a great option. If you are gathering with people you don’t live with, be sure to wear a mask or face covering, ensuring safety while you marathon the Harry Potter series and binge on candy corn. Creating an atmosphere that seems like you’re at a Halloween party could make the night more festive, whether you’re in a dorm room or house. A few cobwebs, a string of orange fairy lights and themed snacks can go a long way. Making treats together could be part of the fun; check out our “Take a Bite… If You Dare!” article for easy recipes. If you are looking for movies for your fright night, a few honorable mentions include The Blair Witch Project, The Conjuring and Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. If you’re looking for a flick with less jump scares and more humor, the classic Hocus Pocus or The Addams Family could be right up your alley.
Friendsgiving or Thanksgiving can also be altered to fit safety guidelines while carrying on with holiday traditions. A big family bash in the kitchen whipping up turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie, or ordering pizza with your best friends may be your ideal day, but but a Zoom or FaceTime call can still bring you and your loved ones together.
Swapping recipes on the call while you cook and being intentional about still spending time with people, even if it’s virtual, will help you make the most of this holiday at home. Another option, if you’re not so tech-savvy, is having a bonfire with lawn chairs or blankets spread out six feet apart. Roasting s’mores, drinking hot chocolate, spending quality time with friends or family and talking about what you are thankful for could be your perfect answer. Carry this tradition into the Christmas seasons!
The most wonderful time of the year can still be just that. Christmas puts everyone in a great mood; the lights, the trees, the music, the snow, watching cheesy Hallmark movies — COVID-19 shouldn’t stop that. If you’re looking for a safe way to get out of the house and experience the Christmas atmosphere, try driving around at night to look at the Christmas lights up on houses. Go with someone you live with or you are regularly around, bring a thermos of hot chocolate and bump Christmas tunes to get you in the spirit. Be safe and thoughtful this holiday season!