It has been 8 months since President Trump has declared COVID-19 a national emergency, and the number of cases and deaths have also increased. Just this week, Governor Gavin Newsom decided to move Orange County into the purple tier, the most restrictive category of California’s reopening system. This comes after reports concluding that weekly infections are almost 150% worse than a month ago. Last Monday, California found 13,412 new cases, a new record.
Due to the Newsom’s order, many businesses, including gyms and restaurants, will have to suspend or restrict their indoor operations. State recommendations include brief, small gatherings of no more than three households if taken place outdoors with participants wearing masks. Larger gatherings are banned.
But what does this mean for the holiday season? Widely celebrated holidays like Christmas, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Chinese New Year, and more are rapidly approaching.
Here are several tips to celebrate a festive holiday with your family.
1. Go to the beach
This one may seem obvious to most Californians, but there are a couple ways to put a twist on this popular activity. Instead of heading to the beach in the morning or at noon, go in the late afternoon to watch the sun set and enjoy a dinner picnic. If you and your family count themselves as the athletic type, take a hike along the beach or even head to Crystal Cove for some of the most beautiful hiking trails in California.
2. Try kayaking, canoeing, or paddle boarding
Quarantine is the perfect time to start a new sport. Kayaking, canoeing, or paddle boarding is a great way to bond with the family, stay active, and socially distance. Some top spots in Orange County include the Newport Aquatics Center, La Vida Laguna, or the Sunset Kayak Rentals.
3. Play family games
Board games like “Monopoly,” “Life,” “Clue,” or “Scrabble” may seem like the obvious family games to play. However, some of the best family games include ones where you learn something new about one another. Try the family version of the Newlywed Game or “Think you know me?”
4. Make a holiday spending plan
Costs during the holiday season can certainly add up, but even this turbulent time should not prevent you and your family from having a celebratory holiday season. Make a budget that includes items like wrapping paper, shipping, stamps, food, and even tape. Try to avoid debt, and prioritize spending by purchasing gifts only for the people who you are closest to.
5. Shop earlier
Buying last minute gifts often causes people to overspend. In addition, shopping earlier means being able to take advantage of the various deals or discounts that arise– Black Friday and Cyber Monday are rapidly approaching.
That being said, investing in joint-gifts may be financially smart. Have other family members or friends pitch in to give a nice gift to a boss or a parent. Most of everyone is going through some level of economic difficulty because of COVID-19, so you should not be afraid to reach out.
Finally, remember what is most important– family. Even if circumstances may be different from last year or if the holidays only bring more stress, remember to treasure your loved ones and to celebrate what is important. And, as always, make sure to comply with CDC guidelines.