Holiday Celebrations


Holiday Celebrations

We look forward to holidays to spend time with family and friends. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, holiday celebrations are different this year. Consider fun alternatives to higher risk activities, celebrate safely and explore our resources below.

The safest way to celebrate holidays is to celebrate at home with people who live with you or are in your social bubble. Gatherings with family and friends outside of your home or bubble can increase the chances of getting and/or spreading COVID-19 or the flu.

Guidance for Upcoming Holidays

Stay Safe - College Students Home For The Holidays
Testing and the Holidays

Celebrate Holidays Safely

The upcoming holidays are a time when families and friends gather to share in traditions like cooking meals, giving gifts, hanging decorations, and more. Because of the pandemic, these holidays will look much different than they have in years past. Discover suggestions below for how to keep yourself and your loved ones safe from COVID-19.

If you may have COVID-19, have tested positive for COVID-19, or have been exposed to someone who has tested positive, it is recommended to not participate in in-person festivities.

General Tips

No matter the nature of your holiday celebrations, it is recommended to follow basic precautions for keeping yourself and others safe. These include:

  • Wear a mask indoors and outdoors. Masks should be worn over your nose and mouth, secured under your chin, and fit snugly to the sides of your face.
  • Stay at least 6 feet away from others who do not live with you.
  • Avoid crowded, poorly ventilated indoor spaces.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If these are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Get your flu shot to help protect you and your family, friends, and community from getting and spreading flu.

Ideas for Lower Risk Activities

These lower risk activities can be safe alternatives:

  • Having a small dinner with only people who live in your household or social bubble
  • Preparing traditional family recipes for family and neighbors, especially those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, and delivering them in a way that does not involve contact with others
  • Having a virtual dinner and sharing recipes with friends and family
  • Shopping online rather than in person when gift shopping for holidays
  • Watching sports events, parades, religious services, and movies from home

Moderate Risk Activities

Below are suggestions for activities that are moderate risk with an emphasis on maintaining social distance:

  • Having a small outdoor dinner with family and friends who live in your community
    • Lower your risk by following CDC’s recommendations on hosting gatherings or cook-outs
  • Attending small outdoor events with safety precautions in place

Avoid Higher Risk Activities

Avoid these higher risk activities to help prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19:

  • Going shopping in crowded stores, especially during times when it may be more difficult to social distance
  • Participating in or being a spectator at a crowded race
  • Attending crowded parades
  • Using alcohol or drugs, which can cloud judgement and increase risky behaviors
  • Attending large indoor gatherings with people from outside of your household or social bubble

For more information about activities that are moderate or high risk for potential exposure to COVID-19, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) website.


Many holidays involve traveling long distances to visit family and friends and celebrate with one another.  Because travel increases the chance of getting and spreading COVID-19, it is recommended to stay home to protect yourself and others. While staying home, there are many ways you and your loved ones can celebrate the holiday that are low risk and fun! 

If you are considering traveling, it is recommended to review guides provided by HCPH below as well as the CDC's Travel Tips.

Holiday Travel During COVID-19

Tips for Parents: Staying Safe During the Holidays

Video: COVID-19 Safety During the Holidays for Parents

Resources and Support

Quick Link - COVID-19 Testing Locations

Get Tested for COVID-19 for FREE

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Tile - General Public Guidance

How To Stay Safe During The Pandemic

Public Guidance

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Mental Health, Testing, and Support Lines

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Download Social Media Toolkits

In an effort to share awareness of COVID-19 within our community, social media toolkits for holidays are available for download and can be shared on your own social media platforms. Find them here.