The Changing Holiday Season


Sam Orroth, Journalist

The holiday season is drastically changing this year, but it doesn’t have to be for the worse. Although COVID is restricting traditions for families, new traditions are also being created. Families are adapting and finding the best ways to spend the holiday season with the ones they love.

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) released guidelines prior to the holiday season that they encourage people to follow. They asked that people check infection rates where they live, limit people at their gatherings, host outdoors if possible, avoid crowded spaces where ventilation is not, require guests to wear masks, and encourage guests to avoid singing or shouting, especially indoors. There are many more suggestions, but those are the main few. COVID has caused families to rethink their holiday plans and try new ideas this year. 

A study done by the Morning Consult in November said, “Seventy-one percent of Americans said their holiday traditions will change, already up 10 points from early August.” Most families are avoiding a big gathering to keep their loved ones safe, especially those who are very susceptible to COVID. One way families are keeping in touch with each other during the holidays is via zoom or FaceTime. The Morning Consult found that there will be “a near 50-50 split in the share that said some or all of their family’s holiday gatherings will shift from being in-person to being virtual this year versus those who don’t anticipate that to happen.” 

Although seeing family through a screen may not be what everyone pictured for the holidays, most families are making the best of it. Mrs. Barclay, an IHS teacher, is making the most out of these circumstances. When asked how she would be spending time with her family, she responded saying, “My family is all going to be doing a zoom cocktail hour before dinner.” Mrs. Barclay spent Thanksgiving with her close family but will not be able to see her mother or brothers this year. She is still very cheerful for the holidays, but she says, “I will miss mom’s stuffing.” 

In addition, some traditions are getting cut short due to COVID. Student Lydia Comprosky’s family usually travels to Europe as she has in years past. She said, “I think I will be just staying at home, but for the last two years we have gone to Italy and Barcelona, so unfortunately due to COVID we will not be able to travel.” Although some families do not get to spend the holidays as they usually do, some families are finding new methods to enjoy the holidays. Mrs. Barclay plans on starting new traditions this year. When asked what her holiday plans were, Mrs. Barclay responded saying, “I will be going hiking with my daughters Thanksgiving morning, which is a new tradition for us.” 

People will be spending the holiday season in many different ways this year. Some will be able to continue their typical traditions, and some will start new ones. Whatever way people choose to spend the holidays, most people are looking forward to the break after a hectic year.