Holiday traditions: the pandemic pivot

Dec 17, 2020, 3:34 PM

December has brought all the usual holiday hustle, but the formula of gifts, goodies, and gathering has been turned upside down. Some solutions have been easy, think online shopping and grocery pickup, but others pose a more lasting question. How are we going to gather with family over the holidays and celebrate traditions? 

KSL NewsRadio host Debbie Dujanovic weighs in with her family’s holiday pandemic pivot.

“My three children are adults with significant others in their lives. Instead of hosting big gatherings to include everyone, we’ve gathered outside, just the 4 of us, with lawn chairs spread across the backyard. We don’t hug, we don’t sing, and have permanently banned birthday candles… I didn’t host Thanksgiving dinner this year because my home is small, there’s not enough space inside to social distance, and we didn’t want to risk one of us being a silent super spreader as cases were surging. As for Christmas, it’ll be much the same,” Dujanovic said. 

Executive producer for Dave & Dujanovic Andrew Hull says his family will be celebrating in their own homes this season, but with a little digital connection. 

“My family normally gathers for a big Christmas day dinner. I’m disappointed that we won’t be able to do that this year. It’ll simply have to be a small dinner with my mom and dad. Fortunately, I believe we’ll be able to have a Facetime call with extended family to make sure that we all can ‘see’ each other in some way,” Hull said. 

Other families, including my own, plan to break tradition entirely and gather in new ways. Instead of a large Christmas brunch, we plan to gather in the evening at an outdoor walk-through light display. Mask wearing and social distancing will be observed as we view the lights and exchange gifts. The party will continue with online games and video chats from our individual homes. 

“It seems so sad. But actually it’s not,” Dujanovic said.  “In exchange, we’re going big next summer! I’m already planning a family bash to make up for 2020… Who knows, maybe the end of this pandemic will give way to a new beginning. Perhaps we will start a tradition of celebrating all birthdays, Thanksgiving, and Christmas by throwing a big family party every summer. I’ve always told my kids having hope can pull us through dark times. With a vaccine, there’s lots of hope on the horizon.”

For guidelines on safe holiday celebrations, please visit the CDC website. 

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Holiday traditions: the pandemic pivot