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Still Home for the Holidays


Six Tips for Connecting Despite COVID

How are you doing this December?

In a year where families are learning how to be together in new and different ways, the Netflix film, The Social Dilemma, created quite the stir. Here are some solutions for the COVID-related dilemmas many of our families and friends are facing during this holiday season. 

1. "The Shut-In Dilemma"
Many people during COVID have been restricted to stay at home for work, school, church, and other significant places of social interaction. The walls are beginning to feel like they are closing in. During holiday time, load the entire family or group you are spending time with into cars and go somewhere. The park, a beach, a field, a schoolyard, and play. Have an intergenerational game of baseball, a snowball fight, play frisbee, or just plain tag.

2. "The Movie Dilemma"
A common activity for the holidays is going to the movies. This year it looks like all the major blockbusters will be coming out online. Plan time together to watch the movie. Before the show begins, go to your local store or get online and have each person in the family or group choose a shareable snack. Get all the goodies prepared and sit down to share the movie and the food together.

3. "The Social Dilemma"
We are learning how our social devices shape the way we think and act. Even though your group will be smaller, still make a point to decorate a festive cell phone basket and plan to put everyone's cell phone in the basket for the most important holiday meals. Enjoy holiday meals without fact-checking or interruptions. Then, find a time to watch the documentary The Social Dilemma together. Discuss what you like and don't like about the documentary. Warning: Family discussions on this topic can get heated, so work together to listen to each other and be open to other family members who think differently.

4. "The Catch-Up Dilemma"
Some families or groups of roommates have been with each other nonstop for several months, others have been separated by distance without much activity or adventures to share. Get those computers and cell phones out and share your favorite YouTube videos, photos, or posts by other friends and families. Use your devices to reach out to family members and friends through google chat or zoom that won't be home this holiday season. If you prefer paper, this is a great year to participate in the Christmas card tradition. Be sure to include a letter to share your 2020 family updates.

5. "The In-Law Dilemma"
Because travel is more restricted than usual, younger family members may not be able to travel between families at holiday time. If an in-law member is spending more time with your family this year than ever before, ask them what holiday traditions they enjoy and focus on doing something new in your family or group in their tradition. New can be fun.

6. "The Tired of Cooking Dilemma"
Americans have spent more time eating at home during COVID than they have in years. Somebody had to do all that cooking! Over the holidays, give the main cook in the family a rest, and ask everyone else to step up to the plate (metaphorically, the dinner plate) and help fix the holiday meals. Note that holiday meals don't have to perfectly be planned. If macaroni and cheese and spaghetti both show up, embrace the pasta meal with wonderful french bread.
Bon appetit! 

May you bring light to others in your life this Christmas.



- The Boone Center for the Family

Download a printable copy of these tips for a great holiday here.