With summer officially over, the leaves changing color, and the slight chill in the air, many families are starting to plan for this upcoming holiday season. With Covid-19 leaving no place untouched around the world, this year’s planning might take a little more effort than usual. How exactly has Covid changed the holiday season though? Depending on where you are in the world, different rules on group gatherings will apply. Places like the UK, for example, where the rule of six is now in place, restricts gatherings to a maximum of six people in England. In Scotland, there are bans on households getting together. And with many not feeling comfortable about traveling just yet, the holiday season will most likely have a very different feel.
‘Christmas 2020 will look a little different for us. Rather than our usual family get together and our post-Christmas ski trip, we’ll be staying close to home. We’re looking forward to long walks and lots of yummy food!’ (Charlotte Rawstorne)
So what is this holiday season going to look like?
Large indoor gatherings for a long period of time are what everyone will be worried about this year, with the virus potentially spreading at a much faster rate because of the global scale of the events. The fear of mass exodus as well will probably give a grimmer outlook to the whole affair. Planning will be a big part of the festivities, trying to figure out a way to travel with the least amount of risk to yourself and others, road trips will probably overtake flying, with many still not comfortable sitting on a plane or going through an airport.
Family and friends’ gatherings will most likely be smaller, with families having to make the hard decisions on who to invite and who will be safe to see. Gone are the days of big celebrations where everyone would get together to partake in festive activities, like going to see the lights or to listen to carol singing. London and Edinburgh have already canceled the New Year’s Eve fireworks, and the Hogmanay Street Party, respectively. New York City is preparing for a virtual Ball Drop this year. Christmas markets, if not canceled, will probably be based on limited capacity, mask-wearing, and social distancing measures.
This year’s holidays will be more intimate, maybe spent with just the immediate family, or with a few close friends if going back home is not an option. Malls won’t probably be crowded, church services will be a little quieter and there will probably be no singing.
For people like me, going home, will most likely not be an option. With quarantine in many places, and school and work commitments to return to, it will be difficult to see friends and family back home. So, just like many other times this year, staycations will be the sweeping trend for the holiday season in 2020. Houses will be decorated to the nines with extra effort being made on food, wine, trees, and anything else to add that little extra Christmas magic.
‘We will be missing our big family Christmas at the family home in France. With the children at school, we won’t be able to quarantine on return for two weeks, or indeed for two weeks upon arrival! We will be staying home, going for walks, making lots of Christmas crafts, and hopefully seeing our immediate family.’ (Rebecca Redfern)
For the lucky ones able to travel this holiday season, remote work and learning will offer an unprecedented possibility to stay away for longer, allowing for more family time and not be tied to a specific schedule. The flexibility given by our new way of working and many schools offering remote learning options is not to be taken for granted. The ability to go away and rent a place to quarantine yourself for two weeks before sitting at the table with the rest of the family gives amazing peace of mind of knowing you will not pass anything to anyone.
‘For Christmas, we did get tickets/hotel resy’s for Cabo (all are refundable), but the appeal for us is talking to someone who just got back. The measures at the airport are top-notch and the hotels can only book at max 30% mandated by the city. We will be watching the numbers and hospital rates. If those are high we will cancel as we don’t want to overload a system that is already vulnerable.’ (Natty Hunter)
At the end of the day, every family will have to make their own decision. Making the impossible choice between the risks of the virus or the chance to see loved ones.
How has Covid changed the holiday season for you and your family? Leave us a comment below and let us know how you plan to celebrate.
You may also like these articles from the Bébé Voyage blog: