The changing landscape of holiday celebration


Kupunoli Sumi

Illustration by Kupunoli Sumi

Ingrid Halverson, Assistant Feature Editor

While Thanksgiving passes and we look towards more holidays, the CDC has implemented precautionary measures by which people should abide to keep families safe. According to the CDC, more than one million COVID-19 cases were reported in the United States over the last seven days, as of Dec. 2. Although the vaccine has been approved, families still must follow the precautions set for the time being to ensure the health of everyone and keep positivity rates low. 

“As cases continue to increase rapidly across the United States, the safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving is to celebrate at home with the people you live with. Gatherings with family and friends who do not live with you can increase the chances of getting or spreading COVID-19 or the flu” explains CDC officials. 

While acknowledging that fall and winter break can be a time for students to see family and friends that they would otherwise not see during the rest of the year, COVID-19 numbers have spiked and lockdowns are on the horizon, and holidays must look different in 2020.

“For me, a typical Thanksgiving for us is waking up to watch the Macy’s parade, lounging around, typically we go for a walk, and then we start cooking,” senior Connie Harwood says. “The past few years, we have rotated between going to a friend’s house or staying home just us. Back in middle and elementary school, we used to drive out east to see my dad’s family for Thanksgiving, but when I got to high school, it became too hard to miss school or drive out there in time. This year, we didn’t end up going to a friend’s house, so it was just us, but the rest of the day was a hectic day of cooking and getting ready for dinner.”

 Though COVID-19 has changed the way families and loved ones can share their holiday spirits, students have kept in mind that the safe approach is the best. 

“COVID affected my Thanksgiving, because I was unable to see all my cousins,” junior Maddie Powell says. “I was still able to see my grandpa and uncle on my dad’s side though, which was nice, but we had to make sure we were keeping our distance.”

As cases continue to rise, students feel a responsibility to stay distanced and keep in mind the health of others.

“For winter break this year, my family and I are planning on staying home,” junior Serena Brown says. “We are going to use Zoom to talk to our relatives as they live in another state. We have also been sure to order our gifts online to prevent going in-store.”

Students understand the severity of COVID-19 and realize that, although holidays are a time of many fun activities, this year is sure to be different. 

“Winter break is definitely going to be different this year,” junior Justin Tharyil says. “ I’m probably going to spend a lot of time at home with my family, and we won’t be able to go out for dinner or do all the activities we usually do.”