As a year like no other in memory wraps up, associations offer some great and COVID-safe ways to celebrate the holidays, with fun, health—and pets!—top of mind.
The holidays are upon us and now it’s time to figure out how to enjoy them safely, responsibly, and festively. Associations are communities of problem solvers, and so it’s no surprise that many associations have come up with some excellent tips for navigating this extraordinary holiday season safely, while also making the most of it. Here are some wide-ranging ideas from four associations.
Celebrate the Season—Safely
It’s still possible to celebrate the season with close family members and friends by following some easy guidelines. The National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest these safety-focused entertaining tips:
- Arrange tables and chairs for social distancing so guests can remain six feet apart.
- Provide hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.
- Avoid buffets or drink stations.
- Have one masked person serve all food.
And the festivities wouldn’t be complete without treats, so NFRA suggests single-serve goodies like Mini White Chocolate Mousse Cups. Watch NFRA’s video with other holiday recipe ideas like Individual Mac ‘n Cheese and Mexican Dippers.
Make Room for Creativity
The National Confectioners Association has a Winter Holiday Central website offering lots of ideas for celebrating safely. For example, how about a virtual gingerbread house bake-off?
Here’s how it works: Recruit friends for a gingerbread house decorating competition. Set the ground rules (e.g., does everyone have to bake their own gingerbread, or can they start with a kit?) and get to work. Post photos of the finished creations on Facebook or Instagram and let friends choose the winner. Send a small gift to the winner or let them bask in their bragging rights.
Don’t Forget Pets
A study from the American Pet Products Association reveals that pet owners plan to show their companions extra love this holiday season. Pet owners are expected to spend an average of $41 on gifts for their pets, with demographic groups such as Gen Z, millennials, those with young children, and those who live in urban communities planning to spend $50 or more.
“Holiday travel and large family gatherings may be put on hold for many this year, but the companionship of pets and the comfort they bring us is a consistent and uplifting part of our daily lives,” said Steve King, CAE, APPA president and CEO, in a press release.
Keep It Real—and Achievable
The American Heart Association has some health-focused recommendations with realistic and sustainable parameters for the holidays:
Stay active. If you miss a workout, don’t stress out about it. Build in some healthy activities into your daily routine. Bike around your neighborhood during a lunch break. If dinner is going to be a feast, opt for a light lunch, then take a vigorous walk. And keep the family moving. When the kids are home from school, squeeze in some active chores and socially distanced trips to the park.
But not too active. Give yourself the gift of peace. If you need some downtime to recharge, do something that relaxes you like yoga, meditation, or spending time in nature.
Plan for the new year. Lay out realistic, sustainable steps for the months ahead. For example, start—or amp up—a daily walking routine.
The holidays might not be like they’ve been in the past, but there’s still a lot of room for creativity, spontaneity, fun, and reflection—with a little help from associations.