covid-19 holidays thanksgiving family quarantine

For some, the holidays mean excitement, great food, welcome conversation, and visiting with loved ones. For others, this is the beginning of endless stress and anxiety.

Regardless of where you fall, 2020 has only heightened the stress and anxiety that comes along with the holiday season. All a lot of us really want to do is crawl into bed and stay there until New Year’s (and with current health restrictions, that may be possible). Yet, most of us still want to be with our families over the season of thanks and giving.

How do you get through COVID-19 holidays unscathed? Here are a few quick suggestions.

Be mindful of other people’s views of the pandemic

We all know COVID-19 exists and can be potentially dangerous for certain people, but some believe the risks of spreading or catching the virus to be minimal in relation to being near loved ones over the holidays. Others believe the exact opposite. Respect both viewpoints; let those who want to get together do so without ridicule or anger and allow those who are extra cautious join in on the festivities virtually.

Keep potentially upsetting topics off-limits

Politics is always a hot-button topic. To avoid fistfights, make sure anyone who attends your holiday party, in-person or otherwise, understands that anything having to do with the elections, the pandemic, or government in general is off-limits. This goes for any other topic that may ruin the fun for everyone else. If heated topics do come up, be mindful of what you say and always respect the other person’s opinion.

Keep your alcohol intake low

We know after this year you deserve to have as much alcohol as you want during the holidays. Just remember, inebriation could lead to uninhibited antagonization. You can drink to your heart’s content after everyone goes home, but while family is around, moderation is key.

Plan smaller gatherings

Instead of inviting all fifty brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents and grandkids to your home, try setting up several smaller gatherings and then virtually connect them all together. This way, you can feel safe, your stress level won’t be as high, and when you’re ready to leave, all you have to do is turn off the computer.

Know when to say no

It’s always hard to say no to family. However, you shouldn’t feel obligated to spend time with them. When it comes to your mental health, occasionally you have to be selfish. Luckily, COVID-19 just made saying no that much easier. If you aren’t comfortable traveling, or feel others traveling may be too much of a health risk, ask to attend virtually or let them know you are having a small private gathering with your immediate family.

Regardless of your plans, we at King Law Firm Attorneys at Law wish everyone a safe, healthy and prosperous holiday season. And to give you a head start on the festivities, here’s a recipe for delicious homemade Hot Apple Cider — with and without alcohol!

Ingredients

10 large apples, quartered

1/2 orange, halved

4 cinnamon sticks

1 tsp. cloves

1 tsp. whole allspice

1 whole nutmeg

1/2 c. packed brown sugar

Directions

  1. In a large stockpot over medium heat, add apples, oranges, spices, and brown sugar. Cover with water by at least 2”.
  2. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, 2 hours.
  3. Remove orange halves
  4. Use a potato masher or wooden spoon to mash apples. Return to a simmer and let simmer uncovered for 1 hour.
  5. Strain through a fine mesh strainer, pressing on solids with a wooden spoon to squeeze all juices out. Discard the solids.
  6. For a more festive alternative, add rum, brandy or bourbon and simmer an additional 10 minutes.
    1. If kids are around, separate some of the cider into a separate pot and then add rum, brandy or bourbon and simmer an additional 10 minutes.

Serve apple cider warm.

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