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Winter Holidays During COVID

We continue to monitor COVID activity data published by Public Health - Seattle & King County, you can view the latest data on our website which is updated regularly. Due to the current levels of COVID-19 activity in our community, while the traditional feast, end-of-year parties, and crowded tables are on hold, there are still fulfilling ways to enjoy the holidays with family and friends.

Giving thanks | In a year filled with challenges, it can feel good to pause and consider the things for which we are grateful, whether that be a person, pet, place, or thing. Highlight these bright spots by writing them down or sending notes, texts, or emails to people in your life to express why you are grateful for them.

On-screen get-togethers | Sure, it won’t be quite the same, but scheduling a few virtual holiday gatherings can take the sting out of being separated. Getting together online to cook, open gifts, decorate desserts, do a craft project, listen to a playlist, or read stories can create a bit of the togetherness we crave. Consider time zones when scheduling, and make sure that any people who are not tech-savvy get help beforehand so they can be included.

Secret gift exchange | Assign each family or friend a name and ask them to mail or do a no-contact delivery of a small gift they make or buy to their assigned person. Open gifts on a group video chat and try to guess who gave what to whom.

Play dress-up | If you have a willing crowd, create a theme for your virtual party. Themed masks, silly hats, or ugly sweaters can give everyone something to laugh and talk about.

Remote potluck | Rather than getting together, you can assign dishes to friends and family and deliver them to one another’s homes. Or deliver just the ingredients for a dish or meal. Then, log in to your favorite video chat app to cook or dig in.

Learn a recipe together | Haven’t you always thought Nonna deserves a cooking show? Pick a favorite family recipe, share an ingredient list ahead of time with friends or family, and then get together virtually to try cooking or baking. Good times are guaranteed, whether you end up with delicious dumplings or poorly decorated cookies.

Game night | If you thrive on competition, make your virtual gatherings about more than just conversation. Trivia, charades, and even board games can all work great online. Or try out a virtual bake-off, talent show, or a scavenger hunt where teams race to find common and not-so-common items around their house. This is also a fun one to set up for kids so they can connect virtually with friends.

If you choose to celebrate with friends or family (outside your household) in person, you are increasing the risk of COVID-19 infection. Help to lessen the risk by keeping the group small, gathering outside if possible, and wear masks. Make sure you have room for guests to spread out and avoid sharing food and beverages. Follow our safer gatherings checklist.

Low, moderate, and high-risk holiday activities (CDC)