Virtual Holiday Guide!

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Gov. Inslee recently announced new COVID-19 restrictions in Washington state prohibiting indoor gatherings and limiting outdoor activities to no more than five people. These new guidelines have increased concern about how to safely spend time with family and friends this holiday season. 

The COVID-19 pandemic is greatly impacting holiday traditions this year, but there are still several ways to celebrate safely this holiday season.  

Virtual Party

Hosting a virtual event is a safe alternative for an indoor gathering. There are many different holiday games and activities to modify for an online setting. 

Classic gift exchange games such as Secret Santa can be played online by using a name generator and having each person mail their gift. Other activities to do include a costume party, holiday bingo, and craft projects. 

These activities can all be done on programs such as Zoom so everyone can participate while staying at home. 

Holiday Recipes

Cooking holiday meals is a well-known tradition. It is not ideal to invite family and friends from other households over for dinner, unless everyone takes the appropriate measures for COVID-19. However, it is still safe to make and enjoy traditional holiday meals. 

There are various possibilities for making holiday food, whether it is a family recipe or a recipe from the Internet. It is also common to bake cookies, including sugar and gingerbread, to experience the holiday spirit. 

Terra Bella

One safe way to buy gifts this holiday season is to buy locally. Terra Bella is a local business near Downtown Mercer Island with a variety of gifts to buy for friends and family. 

Terra Bella sells home decor and kitchen accessories, but it also carries various items such as toys for kids and small works of art. During the holidays it provides seasonal decorations including ornaments and small nutcrackers. 

The store is open to anyone as long as there are only a few people inside and everyone wears a mask. 

Watch a Movie 

Watching a holiday movie is another fun family tradition. Inviting friends over for a movie is not recommended this year, but it is safe to watch a movie alone or with family members in the same household. 

There are many new holiday movies to watch this year, including Holidate and Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey, and Happiest Season. There is also a new holiday movie musical, Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square, which showcases Dolly Parton’s first holiday album in 30 years. 

All of these new holiday movies can be streamed at home through programs such as Netflix and Apple TV. 

Food Lifeline 

Another way to celebrate this holiday season is to give back. Donating to Food Lifeline is a simple way to help people who are struggling to put food on the table. 

Food Lifeline is an organization in Seattle that reaches out to give food to people who are being affected by COVID-19. It also works to help end world hunger. 

The organization offers in-person volunteer sessions for anyone over the age of 14. However, the safest way to contribute to the program is to donate online, since the new guidelines prohibit in-person gatherings. 

Food Lifeline provides ways to donate money through their website, as well as other ways to advocate including creating a holiday food drive. 

Despite the new challenges from the recent COVID-19 guidelines, there are many virtual and local activities to celebrate the holidays this year.