Rachel Chase

There are plenty of COVID-19 friendly activities to do this year, such as going to see Christmas lights.

Deck the halls and hit the stores, it’s officially (almost) Christmas…right? Well, maybe. Unfortunately, COVID-19 will not be taking a Christmas break this year. If you ask me, someone needs to put coal in COVID’s stocking. The typical signs of a happy holiday season, family gatherings, packed stores on Black Friday, and huge Christmas dinners now sound like disaster with a bow on top. 

After months of quarantining and distancing, we all know that eating together, especially indoors, is one of COVID-19’s favorite parties to crash. Gatherings with people from outside of your state, or even your home, could result in sickness. And, wrestling over the last pair of on-sale AirPods during Black Friday could definitely invite COVID-19 into your life. 

Perhaps you’re thinking, “My family would never go anywhere that they could catch COVID-19,” or, “I always maintain my distance when I go to a store!” Great! That means you’re doing everything you can to stay safe this year. Now, imagine this: you walk into a store, let’s say it’s Black Friday, and the store is so crowded that there is nowhere to find six feet to yourself. The woman in aisle three pulls her mask down below her nose and the man in aisle six sneezes. Two people argue over who gets the last latest and greatest toy for their kids and they both touch the same toy. The teenager in the checkout line plans to get a COVID-19 test after he leaves the store. All of this sounds, well, awkward. 

Now you have gone somewhere that you could catch COVID-19, and you haven’t been able to maintain your distance. Yikes. 

Some situations like this are unavoidable. Everyone has to get groceries, people still need to prioritize doctors appointments and nobody can stay in their house forever. Sticking to all of the guidelines is exhausting, I know. 

But this doesn’t mean that Christmas is cancelled this year. Though we may feel worn out, and even like our hearts are a few sizes too small this year, we should instead try to open our hearts as much as we can. Plenty of families will find ways to celebrate together this year even if they need to quarantine first. Black Friday shopping will still happen in many stores, but there will definitely be lots of online shopping too. Some Christmas dinners might be happening over Zoom, and that’s okay. Everyone will learn to adjust this year. 

Now, I know what everyone has been thinking. What Would Chelsea Do? I’m so glad you asked! Chelsea would certainly take advantage of online shopping this year, and she would make plenty of video calls to loved ones. She 

would wear her mask and wash her hands anytime she left her house. Most importantly, she would remember that Christmas spirit isn’t about how many presents we buy or even how many people come to Christmas dinner. It’s about connecting with your loved ones and embracing the spirit of giving. 

Stay safe this year Hillers, and Merry (early) Christmas!