The holiday season is fast approaching, with Thanksgiving occurring on November 26th and Christmas taking place around a month later. With the COVID-19 pandemic, however, plans for many holiday traditions have come to an abrupt end, at least according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Many once-common holiday traditions, such as attending large family dinners and shopping in busy stores have been labeled as ‘high risk’ by the CDC. While some students do not feel like they have to deviate from their traditional plans, others are changing their plans to stay safe during the pandemic.
In 2019, the American Automobile Association (AAA) predicted that 55 million people traveled more than 50 miles for Thanksgiving. In 2020, that number is expected to decrease, as the CDC advises against traveling for the holiday season. Some students say that they aren’t traveling this year.
“I am staying home this year so I won’t get COVID,” sophomore Mira Rausch said.
Others, however, say that they will be going places this year.
“For Thanksgiving, I’m going to Nebraska to visit my grandparents, and last year we just stayed home,” sophomore Isabelle Campbell said.
In addition to family gatherings, many people also spend time with friends. Since 2013, the term ‘Friendsgiving’ has exploded in popularity as an alternative to traditional Thanksgiving. Usually, Friendsgiving consists of a large meal that slightly differs from the traditional Thanksgiving meal with a wide variety of appetizers, entrees and beverages. In addition to Friendsgiving, there are also many other events that groups of friends do during the holidays, including gift exchanges and gingerbread houses. With the pandemic however, some students feel uncomfortable hanging out with their friends.
“ Last holiday season, I was with my friends and we did something every holiday” Rausch said. “This year, I haven’t seen my friends since school started.”
While some students are not entirely changing plans for the holiday season this year, the COVID-19 pandemic has certainly made an impact on the normal holiday season.