How 14 WW members are celebrating the holidays in 2020
As of late 2020, the coronavirus pandemic has affected pretty much every aspect of life—including how we celebrate. With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advising the public to limit travel, avoid large indoor gatherings, and maintain social distancing practices to help curb the spread of COVID-19, you might be rethinking your usual holiday plans this year.
To that end, WW turned to users on Connect, our members-only digital community, for some seasonal inspiration. Here’s what they shared about holiday celebrations that kindle joy—and keep them feeling safe.
No question: Socially distanced backyard gatherings are a popular plan this year.
“We will be dining al fresco with a smaller group of people—a maximum of 10, masked up, and outdoors,” writes member Ann Sava of Tampa, Florida. “Fingers crossed for good weather!”
And lest you think Florida’s subtropical climate is a requirement, Betsy Rodenbush of Coos Bay, Oregon, will be celebrating with a group of six “outdoors around a bonfire, with some side dishes from a local pub working to keep their business afloat,” she writes. “Only one person will be serving food. We will each clean our own plates, disinfecting the sink fixtures between each person.”
Many WW members are finding ways to cook for loved ones even if in-person gatherings aren’t possible this season.
“Last year, my husband and I hosted a buffet with 15 family members. Unfortunately, this Thanksgiving will only be the two of us,” says Lesa Hamrick of Shinnston, West Virginia. “We’ll still prepare a nice meal and fix plates for him to deliver to his parents. Will definitely miss having our family here, but we felt this was best for us this year.”
Juliann Thavis hopes to feed a larger group while social distancing. Her plan is to pack “drive-through” holiday meals for friends and family who live in her area of Mendota Heights, Minnesota. “They will back up to our garage,” Thavis explains of her curbside delivery plan. “We will load in their feast to go, and once they get home, we will Zoom together over the meal. I bought some decorative paper plates and napkins to give to each of our ‘guests.’ I’m excited for that.”
Fun at home
Sue Ritchie in Monmouth, Oregon, reports that she and her husband are looking forward to many of their favorite holiday traditions despite having zero in-person plans. “Got a turkey and all the stuff for making a nice Thanksgiving dinner,” she writes. “We’re going to Zoom with family, play games, and maybe set up the Christmas tree. Might be only two of us, but we will celebrate and be thankful!”
Plenty of WW members are welcoming the chance to scale back on holiday kitchen duties. Kristen Urbaniak of Riverside, California, plans to catch up with family over Zoom during dessert. Beforehand, she’ll be “making a smaller meal so there won’t be any leftovers.”
For a Thanksgiving feast with just her husband this year, WW member Monica Fleming plans to halve the couple’s favorite recipes to yield fewer servings. Some holiday customs feel especially important to maintain right now, notes the Summerville, South Carolina, resident: “We have a tradition of pie in our pajamas on Thanksgiving morning. It is a big splurge but puts a bit of levity on the start of the day,” she explains. “Missing family, but I’m determined not to be melancholy.”
Pamela Leonard of Oxford, Kansas, reports that her family’s Thanksgiving plans were scrapped due to safety concerns, and she isn’t sure if she’ll be able to see her parents in person for Christmas. Leonard’s solo holiday agenda is a string of relaxing activities. “I’ll be making myself a delicious dinner of a couple of favorites, then watching movies and knitting all day,” she writes.
Member Constance Poulin of Glenburn, Maine, is focusing on creating a festive home environment for the holidays. “We are putting up more lights than usual,” she writes—the perfect cheery backdrop for planned Zoom meetings with family.
A merry atmosphere is key for Jeanette Adamson, too. “It's just me and my cat,” explains the Montgomery, Illinois, resident. “I’m putting up the Christmas decorations and playing holiday music. Plus cooking a WW-friendly dinner.”
Also excited for a scrumptious, nutritious feast is Jana Hyde of Mesquite, Texas. “I’m making my own Thanksgiving dinner and FaceTiming with family after,” she writes. “It’s going to be a healthier meal than normal!”
Another healthy trend this year? Getting active. Members of Jill Canfield’s household in Phoenix decided to hit the great outdoors after their Thanksgiving and Christmas events with extended family were called off. “We're on our own for both holidays and will probably go camping,” she writes.
Also soaking in nature will be Judy Wright of Franklin, Indiana, who intends to enjoy the holidays just “walking on the beach.”
Like millions across the country, Shelley Ducatt of Tallahassee, Florida, plans to hunker down with her immediate family and practice gratitude this season. “Counting our blessings,” she writes.
Note: Public health recommendations concerning COVID-19 continue to evolve as researchers learn more about the virus and its effects. The information in this article might not reflect the latest guidelines. For up-to-date information on COVID-19, visit the CDC website.
Erin Quinlan is a freelance journalist in New York City.