Safe ways to celebrate the holidays in 2020

Senior couple celebrating Christmas safely


The holidays will be a different experience this year for most of us, which doesn't really come as a surprise. 

With over one million new reported coronavirus cases in the last 7 days, health officials are urging Americans not to travel over the holidays.

The CDC outlines that the safest way to celebrate the holidays is with people you live with, whether that’s roommates, friends or family. 

But not to worry! You can still have a safe holiday celebration without missing out on all the usual festivities. Here are some ways to get festive in the Seattle area, whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanza. 

Listen in, virtually  

Sometimes it’s just nice to feel like you're a part of a shared experience, even if you can’t see others having the experience. Here are some ways to feel part of a crowd without being in it: 

The ACT is hosting A Christmas Carol, you know, the classic one about Ebenezer Scrooge and three ghosts. This time it will be performed the old fashioned way in radio show format instead of at the 5th Avenue Theatre.  

You can listen in and stream it here for the show that goes through December 27th. The cost of admission is based on what you can pay and starts at $25 a show. 

If you’re looking for some traditional music, the Gothard Sisters are streaming their Celtic Christmas for free through December 25th. You can also still sign up for their 12 Days of Christmas, which includes a daily suprise of music and stories delivered to your inbox. 

Check out the lights in person 

As a local favorite activity, Bellevue’s Snowflake Lane is still happening this year through December 24th, just in a slightly different format. There will be lights and music, but no parades or performances this year due to COVID-19

You can walk down Bellevue Way, or even take in the lights from your car if that feels safer. If your timing is right, you might catch the “surprise” snowfall that will occur throughout the evenings from 5-9 pm.

The Woodland Park Zoo in Phinney Ridge is hosting WildLanterns, a festive addition to their zoo exhibits. Artists have rendered large scale lanterns depicting all sorts of wild animals to gaze at along with the living ones that call the zoo home.  

The exhibit is sold out through December, but you can still buy tickets here for the month of January. And not to worry about crowds- the zoo is staggering entrance times so you won’t end up in a throng of people. 

Bake together, virtually 

Like many people, you might have spent a lot of time on Zoom or FaceTime this year as the only way to stay in touch with your loved ones. If you are tired of staring at a screen, there’s still a way to connect virtually without your eyes going cross-eyed. 

Setting up times with your loved ones to bake a family recipe can help the holidays feel a little more festive. If you have a family recipe you usually make around the holidays- mine is Kringla that my mom would always make this time of year- then that’s a perfect excuse to have a bunch of cookies or other sweets laying around! You can put Zoom on in the background and bake away while you catch up. 


Menorah candles

For those celebrating the Jewish tradition, potato latkes are a go-to and usually topped with applesauce or sour cream. My Jewish Learning- an online source for all things Judaism- has recipes for all sorts of latkes, including ones with sweet potato and parsnip.  

The online recipe source Epicurious has a Kwanzaa menu that includes ideas for Karamu, the feast that happens on the last of the 7-day celebration. Check out recipes from African, Caribbean and class Southern dishes here

Sit back and watch

There are so many great holiday movies out there to put you in the spirit and take your mind off things. 

A family favorite movie growing up was always Christmas Vacation with Chevy Chase. It’s still hilarious (in my opinion) to watch him and his wife take their reluctant kids trekking through snow to chop down a Christmas tree, and almost getting crushed by a semi truck on the way there. 

You can check out Rotten Tomatoes list of the best Christmas movies of all time to give you other ideas of what to watch. Of course, Home Alone and Miracle of 34th Street make the list, along with newer releases. 

For some classier entertainment, you can watch the Nutcracker virtually and stream George Balanchine’s version performed by Pacific Northwest Ballet. Early access tickets cost $55, and you can start streaming now

Get crafty 


One of the seven principles of Kwanzaa is creativity, which is traditionally honored on the six of the seven day global celebration. You could use your crafting skills to make homemade gifts, thereby saving money and doing something thoughtful at the same time. 

If you don’t get that excited about arts and crafts, you can check out Reader’s Digest list of the 15 best gifts to give for Kwanzaa. 


Gifts under the tree


Setting the scene for a holiday celebration, even if it’s just for two people can give you reason to deck the halls. It’s not too late to put up a wreath on the front door, or buy a mini Christmas tree to set on the table. Even just a plate of cookies can bring cheer into your home.  

Decorating for whatever holiday you’re celebrating can be a festive activity for you and your loved ones.





If you or a loved one you know are looking for additional support during this time and are interested in scheduling a free in-home assessment, please contact SeaCare In-Home Care Services today! A SeaCare family member is standing by. 425-559-4339.