Stuck at Home for the Holidays

At West County mall, this family snaps a pic with Santa while still wearing masks and staying social distant

Jeff Bernthal

At West County mall, this family snaps a pic with Santa while still wearing masks and staying social distant

Kalea Reeves, Staff Writer

2020 has been quite different from any other year, and as the year comes to an end, the Christmas season has changed as well. During this pandemic, lockdown and quarantine restrictions have separated us from our families and our communities. However, there are still ways to celebrate this merry time while staying safe.

As coronavirus cases continue to rise, the risk of traveling home for the holidays and perpetuating its spread is becoming too dangerous. While we won’t be able to travel to Grandma’s house for Christmas dinner, we can still spend time with our loved ones over Zoom!

Although visiting Santa is going to be a part of Christmas 2020, it’ll look much different. At Mid Rivers Mall, they are still having Santa visits, but it’ll be contactless through a glass partition. Parents must reserve a specific time to meet Santa, and all children over the age of two must wear a mask. If a child is not able to physically go to the mall, Mid Rivers is adding several online options including Story Time with Santa, Photos with Santa and a live zoom call.

If kids are wondering why Santa can travel all over the world during this time, Dr. Fauci made an official statement saying that Santa was immune to the coronavirus, so all the good little girls and boys will still get their presents on Christmas morning.

As Santa makes his rounds, parents still have to find those perfect gifts. Instead of turning to big companies like Amazon, many who are able have made the choice to support small and local businesses who have really taken a financial hit during the pandemic. Even though it’s not as convenient, spending a couple extra dollars will help build back your community—right when we need it most.

Besides material possessions, Jesus is the reason for the season. Even though most churches in our Archdiocese are open, there are more restrictions recently. The pews won’t be overflowing and people won’t be all packed together; many churches are requiring their laity to sign-up for a specific mass and are offering more mass times to encourage greater social distancing.

Even though COVID-19 has changed so much about the most wonderful time of the year, by working together with our community, it can’t dampen our holiday spirit.