Hosting Safe Holidays in a Pandemic: Money-Saving Tips for Parents
By guest contributor: Charlene Roth
It should come as no surprise that the holidays are going to be pretty different this year. After nearly a year of the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve all become accustomed to wearing masks, social distancing, and hopping on Zoom calls when we need to catch up with our loved ones. But the holidays will bring a few new challenges, especially for parents. Is it possible to host the holidays and keep your kids happy without putting anyone at risk?
SA Social Calendar knows that the holidays are an incredibly important time for making memories with our loved ones. While you may anticipate a few changes to your traditional holiday events and activities, it is absolutely possible to celebrate with friends and family this year. Here’s how to make this year special and — since we’re all feeling the effects of the recession — budget-friendly!
While you may not be able to hand out gifts to all your friends in person, you can still drop presents on doorsteps or order online and have your gifts delivered. If you’re looking to cut costs this year, talk to your friends and family about setting a gifting budget. You could keep things even more affordable by turning gift-giving into a secret Santa game. That way, every adult only needs to purchase one gift. This will reduce the holiday strain on your budget so you can spoil your kids with all the gifts they want.
Another way to save on holiday shopping is to stay at home and shop online. When you shop online, it’s much easier to compare prices from different stores so you can get the best deal. Plus, you can almost always find online coupon codes to stretch your money even further! For example, if you plan on buying some clothes and accessories this year, use online promotions to save money at retailers like Belk.
Virtual Holiday Parties
If you typically host holiday parties at your home, consider moving your traditional gatherings online this year. Get everyone to join a Zoom call and sing carols, open gifts from each other, play fun games, or enjoy home-cooked meals. You can find all kinds of engaging holiday-themed games to play over Zoom, whether you’re celebrating with friends, family, or coworkers. When you host a party online, your options are virtually endless. The best part? You won’t have to spend any money on fancy finger foods, drinks, or decorations.
Hosting Guests at Home
Depending on where you live, you may feel okay about hosting one or two family members at your home over the holidays. Taking certain safety precautions will ensure everyone stays healthy. Schlage recommends keeping yourguest list short, setting some ground rules to discourage close contact, providing disinfectants and hand sanitizer, and keeping your plans flexible. Even with these safety precautions in mind, you may want to avoid having high-risk individuals over for the holidays this year.
Focus on Your Kids
Kids look forward to the holiday season all year long, so it’s safe to say that our children are going to have the hardest time coping with disappointment this year. Do what you can to keep the holidays magical for your little ones. This could be a great year to create some new family traditions, like baking cookies together, driving around to view light displays, writing letters to Santa, or playing Elf on the Shelf. You could even volunteer as a family to help others in need. When you find ways to spend quality time together, you don’t have to spend much money to make the holidays memorable for your kids.
Due to the pandemic, parents everywhere are facing all kinds of unprecedented challenges as they plan for the holidays. Keep it simple and affordable this year by scaling back and enjoying time with your household. There are just so many ways to celebrate, even if you’re stuck at home. Whether COVID-19 restrictions are tightening or lifting in your area, check out the SA Social Calendar to find social events you can attend in-person or on Zoom!