How To Keep Celebrating Birthdays and Holidays with Physical Distancing

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social distancing

The coronavirus pandemic may be a public health challenge, but physical distancing needed to combat spread of the virus can be a challenge too. Now, more than ever, it is important to stay connected with friends and family.

Birthdays and holidays are the time for families and friends to gather to observe traditions, enjoy favorite recipes and share stories. 

While it is easy to feel isolated during this time, there are many ways to help remain connected and bring joy to these various holidays and celebrations within your circle.  People are finding new ways to stay connected during this time of social distancing and restricted gatherings.

Here are some tips on staying connected from Julia Caschera, APRN-CNP, Chardon Pediatrics, Tiffany Rybak, APRN-CNP, Health Kids Pediatrics and Dawn Bowen, APRN-CNP, Ashtabula Pediatrics.

Sidewalk Art and Other Greetings

Invite neighbors and loved ones to write a message on your sidewalk or driveway to recognize the holiday or the birthday child! To be safe, ask them to bring their own chalk.  Engage out-of-town family members to participate by mailing hand-written notes or cards. These can become part of a child’s scrapbook commemorating the pandemic.

Video Chats 

Schedule as many ZOOM or video call dates as you can – with classmates, family and friends. Using online video chats including facetime, skype, google hangouts and facebook are helpful in avoiding feelings of isolation. You can ask friends and family to participate in an activity of your child’s choice, whether that’s a specific costume theme, reading a story, playing a game, etc.  This is a low-budget way to rekindle connections in a fun, creative way.

Drive-By Car Parade 

Ask friends and family to drive by your house at a certain time.  If the visiting kids have pom-poms, streamers or poster board messages, have them wave them outside the car to make it fun and memorable! 

Birthday Surprises

While the children are sleeping, decorate the door with balloons or streamers so the kids wake up to a fun surprise on their birthday!

Cooking and Baking

Continue with holiday traditions by making familiar family favorites.  Engage with the wider family by posting photos of the holiday table before the meal on social media.  Make it a contest and have members vote on their favorites!

Acts of Service

Perform a good deed for a neighbor, someone in need or local first responders. Assemble small care packages, send cards, offer to pick up groceries, or prepare baked goods to spread some cheer.

Connect Online

Many churches are recording masses or services that can be accessed on demand in the comfort of your own home.  Some are offering services using Zoom and other video platforms that allow for two-way interactions.

While 2020 and social distancing may keep you from your traditional celebrations, perhaps these new ideas will become your family’s holiday playbook for years to come.

Related links

University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital has the region’s largest coordinated network of pediatric primary care providers, committed to delivering the very best care to children of all ages. Find a pediatric practice near you.

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