How to Celebrate Christmas During Covid-19

More+Events ♦ Published: December 22, 2020; 22:30 ♦ (Vindobona)

This year's Christmas festivities are likely to be very different than the ones of previous years. In order to celebrate a save, but nevertheless festive, Christmas this year, the following hints might help.

This year's Christmas time is definitely different from festivities in recent years. / Picture: © Flickr / Otto Rapp (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

These procedures and measures can help to celebrate Christmas in a difficult year with Covid-19 still dominating every aspect of life:

Testing before Christmas

Many federal states offer the possibility to be tested for Covid-19 free of charge in the days before Christmas. In order to minimize the risk of unknowingly infecting loved ones, this is a good opportunity.

In any case, selected pharmacies still offer the possibility of rapid tests. These are chargeable but besides a result you also get a good conscience not to endanger your loved ones when you visit them over Christmas.

Celebrating Christmas only with closest friends and family

On December 24 as well as 25, gatherings of a maximum of 10 people - regardless of the number of different households - are possible.

Even if this sounds inviting, a Christmas party should not incorporate more than a necessary number of people.

Especially when visiting grandparents or meeting with members of high-risk groups, special attention should be paid this year to make it as reasonable as possible.

Defining a "Christmas group" and celebrating only with this group

In order to avoid switching between different groups, one group of people could be predetermined.

This may help to avoid passing on any infection to a large number of people. Likewise, refraining from gathering multiple groups together, indoors as well as outdoors, will help prevent the spreading.

Taking advantage of technology

Long trips to family members and physical contact should be avoided as much as possible.

Taking advantage of technological advances and connecting to other Christmas parties via telephone or video conferencing is not the same as physical contact, but might be better in the long run.

Keeping gatherings short

Even though curfew restrictions do not apply on December 24 as well as 25, trying to keep celebrations as brief as possible reduces the risk of infection.

The longer many people from different households stay in close enclosed spaces, the higher the likelihood of passing on any infection. Mouth-to-nose protection also provides additional safety at Christmas.

Regularly airing premises during Christmas festivities

To avoid the likelihood of infection with Covid-19 during gatherings at Christmas, airing premises regularly during the Christmas festivities will help.

Especially if there are a large number of people from different households in a confined space, this should be taken into consideration.

Keeping distance and being careful even at Christmas

Christmas is the festival of love, appreciation and sensuality. Even if it is difficult, it is important, especially in the case of gatherings of several people, to always observe the recommended safety measures.

Keeping distance from each other, wearing tight-fitting mouth and nose protection whenever possible, and disinfect hands regularly prevents the spread of infections.

Using own tableware

At family celebrations, people also like to taste each other's drinks or food. In any case, this harbors the possibility of passing on any infection. Therefore, only using own silverware and glassware is recommended.

Other ways of showing appreciation

As a sign of affection and thanks, people are accustomed to hugging fellow human beings.

Especially when giving out Christmas gifts, hugs are often used to express gratitude.

In times of the current pandemic, this year thanks should be presented in a different way.

Protecting loved ones in the nursing home

Even though it is especially hard at Christmas, it is better to have as little contact as possible during this challenging time.

Therefore, picking up loved ones from the nursing home to spend Christmas together at home is unfortunately not a good idea.

An infection brought into a nursing or retirement home can have devastating effects on all the residents, as well as the staff.

Using electronic aids, or visiting relatives in the nursing home - under regulated conditions for the protection of all residents - is a better option during these times.

In the period from December 24 to December 25 inclusive, visits to the nursing home are permitted to a limited extent: on these days, two people from one household may visit a resident a total of two times.

When doing so, free testing in the federal states in advance, paying attention to keeping distance during the visit, wearing an FFP2 mask and acting with special caution are recommended.