Staying Happy (and busy) while Home for the Holidays
Tuesday, December 8, 2020
By Kerianne Lawson, Chief Programs Officer, Beach Cities Health District

There seems to be something special about waking up on celebration day in your own bed. This year, many will celebrate the holidays in their own homes because you truly are safer at home. And though the holidays are going to be a bit different this year, that doesn’t mean they aren’t going to be fun. In fact, oftentimes what we really enjoy about the holidays is the precious time spent with friends and family — something that can still be achieved safely this year.

As we work to avoid the risks of gathering in-person with people outside of our household, here are some safer alternatives to help you celebrate:

Virtual Gatherings

How about a virtual meeting with the entire extended family and friends? Something fun to try could be hosting a virtual cook off! Have participants discuss and show their dish, then everyone can vote on their favorite. What about a virtual gift opening party? Challenge yourself to accept a virtual meeting invitation, or how about initiating one?

Shopping Safely

Online shopping and curbside pick-up are safe and easy ways to mark everything off your list without stepping foot in a store, whether it’s a big retailer or a local business here in the Beach Cities. When deciding how to deliver gifts, consider mailing them.

Purchase Gift Cards or Take-out Food to Support Local Businesses

Shop local by purchasing gift cards or take-out food from local restaurants and other businesses. They’ll appreciate your business during this difficult time. For a list of local businesses who are part of BCHD’s Safe in the South Bay Program and have pledged to carry out business safely, visit

Keep an Eye out for Virtual Events

Many places of worship and other organizations are offering events virtually. Check out BCHD’s virtual event offerings at

Holiday Movies

Have a holiday movie marathon. Remember all those classics it feels like you never have time to watch? This is the year to sit back, relax and enjoy!

Involve the Kids

Have the kids color or decorate a fun holiday card for a family member or friend. Color our reindeer holiday card here, or make your own! Encourage them to get even more creative and make a fun holiday drawing. Let them put up their work of art somewhere special in the house or in a window for your neighbors to enjoy. How about sharing a virtual gift-opening party with family members in other places?

Share a Holiday Playlist

Everyone loves a good holiday jingle! Make a playlist of your favorites and share it with your friends and family to spread cheer from far away. Schedule a virtual sing-along and find out who can hit the notes!

Host a Virtual Scavenger Hunt

Have friends and family login to a virtual meeting where each participant takes turns finding items around their home! Find something red, something shiny, something festive and more – maybe even an Elf on a Shelf. See what fun things everyone can find.

Hunt for Candy Canes

Hide candy canes around your home or backyard and let the kids (or adults) see who can find the most!

Bake, Bake, Bake!

Bake your favorite holiday recipes to share with friends and family. Safer at home this year means more time in the kitchen! Safely leave items on friends’ and neighbors’ doorsteps by following these guidelines. You can also check out some healthy recipe ideas here:

Buy a Tree Online

There are a variety of services that will deliver a tree right to your doorstep this year! Order online and safely await the arrival of your holiday centerpiece.


While home for the holidays this year, stay positive and embrace the slower pace — savoring the extra time with those closest to you might just be the rejuvenating boost you need for the new year.