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7 Festive (and Safe!) Ways to Celebrate the Holidays This Year

safe ways to celebrate holidays

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This year, spend the holidays safer at home without sacrificing any of the cheer. Get inspired and adapt old traditions (and start some new ones!) with these ideas that celebrate the season.

1. Visit with Santa virtually.

Instead of lining up at the mall to see them, invite Mr. and Mrs. Claus over to your home for a virtual visit. Retailers like Sam’s Club, Nordstrom and Macy’s as well as platforms such as Kringle Mingle and JingleRing are organizing virtual Santa sessions this year. The online options go the extra mile by offering interactive games, “Official Nice List” certificates and story times. You can even request the right Santa for your family, like a “Sensitive Santa” for children with special needs or a Kris Kringle fluent in American Sign Language.

2. Shop safely online.

Have gifts shipped directly to loved ones or take advantage of new options, like buying online and using contactless curbside pickup. Stumped on where to shop locally? Check out these past Best of Philly winners for presents that’ll both impress and support small Philly-area businesses.

3. Order holiday meal kits and gift cards from your favorite local restaurants.

Take some stress out of the holiday season by having a neighborhood eatery provide a meal—or give one to friends and family in the form of a gift card. Get some suggestions on the top takeout and delivery options in the city here.

4. Organize a socially distant cookie swap.

Show off your crisp pizzelle and spicy gingerbread by planning a contactless treat exchange. Coordinate with a few friends to drop sweets off on each other’s porches or doorsteps. You can even conduct a taste test over Zoom complete with Christmas music.

5. Drive around and look at the best Christmas lights in your neighborhood.

The Philly area has no shortage of festive holiday lights. There’s The Miracle on South 13th Street, Deer Road in Cherry Hill and the West Chester Griswolds in Chester County, just to name a few popular places to pop by. Several drive-through light shows will also illuminate the night this year, including the Festival of Lights in Media, Lights in the Parkway in Allentown and Shady Brook Farm in Yardley.

6. Recreate a family tradition over Zoom.

See your extended family without piling in the car or booking a flight. Whether it’s watching everyone unwrap their White Elephant gifts or having a relative read “The Night Before Christmas” to the kids, some holiday traditions can easily adapt to a virtual setting. Just circulate a link beforehand (and maybe do a test run with the family members less familiar with the platform).

7. Plan a special holiday movie night.

Start a new tradition with your immediate family this year by dimming the lights, popping some popcorn, and even putting on some holiday pajamas for the showing. And if you’re stuck deciding between Elf and A Christmas Story, why not spring for a double feature? There’s no beating staying cozy (and safe!) at home this season.

Get more information on how Independence Blue Cross can be a part of your plan for health and wellness this season.