Tips for healthy holidays
We all know the rules about staying safe already: wash our hands, wear a mask, carry hand sanitizer and stay physically distanced. But even during a pandemic, celebrating holidays like Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa are an important part of Albertans’ lives, so consider ways to keep holiday traditions intact while still staying safe.
Shop wiselyConsider staying away from shopping crowds as you prepare for the season. You can try:
- Shopping off-peak hours
- Getting curbside pick up from a local business
- Buying gifts online
- Donating to charity – such as one of Alberta’s food banks – in someone’s name
- Writing a thoughtful card or letter in place of a gift
Get outsideThere are both mental and physical benefits to being outside, and it can be a great way to celebrate the season.
- Take your household or cohort to see some holiday decorations. Walk around your community and look at your neighbours’ displays, or visit a professional display such as Calgary’s Zoolights, Banff’s In Search of Christmas Spirit or Airdrie Festival of Lights
- Warm up with an outdoor fire, such as those at City of Calgary parks
- Enjoy the winter air by going for a physically distanced walk, head out tobogganing or try a new activity by renting skates or snowshoes
Don’t forget the food!Food is a central part of many holiday traditions. Some COVID-safe food sharing ideas could include:
- Scheduling a virtual meal and preparing the same menu or ordering the same take out and eating it together virtually. Decorating your house or table, and dressing up for the meal, can help make it feel more festive and traditional
- Organizing a virtual cookie decorating or gingerbread house building contest – may the most icing win!
Be creativeCelebrating during a pandemic means staying away from indoor gatherings in large groups, but there are ways to feel close to friends and family if even you are not in the same room.
- Consider opening gifts together using an online platform such as Zoom
- Gather your friends in their own cars to visit holiday lights. Look for online suggestions of places to visit, like Spruce Meadows drive thru lights or the map of Calgary’s residential Christmas lights online
- Make a video of your family singing a favourite song, doing a dance or just sharing holiday wishes
- Find out what holiday tradition your community may be doing, but more safely, this year. For example, visiting with Santa by appointment only in High River or visiting the Festival of Trees in Canmore
Look online for more tips and suggestions, such as:
- How to celebrate the holidays in pandemic times
- Be Social Wise - Guidance for Social Gatherings During COVID-19
No matter what you choose to do, familiarize yourself with Alberta's public health restrictions before making plans.