Even though Calgary is experiencing a "white Christmas," many Calgarians can't help but feel blue this holiday season.
Unfortunately, since Alberta has been one of the most hard-hit provinces for COVID-19, large gatherings cannot happen this holiday season. This disappointing news has affected people who look forward to spending this time with their loved ones and friends and has increased people's sense of loneliness and isolation.
To avoid these feelings and to develop good mental health and resilience, health care experts Dr. Hinshaw and Dr. Tam recommend finding ways to maintain your social supports during the holidays and afterward. We have taken the time to research and develop a list of activities to help you connect with others over the holidays.
Schedule dinner over Zoom
Host a Zoom holiday dinner where everyone either orders or makes the same dish and eats together. If you feel like you're missing out on one of your mom's traditional dishes or a tried-and-true classic, this allows you to still experience the dish with your loved ones (albeit virtually). You can also use this year to create new holiday traditions by introducing non-traditional menu items, like mac'n'cheese, chili, spaghetti, among many others.
Visit Christmas light displays
Most neighbourhoods have several blocks with impressive Christmas light displays that include everything from inflatable snowman that are 10-feet tall to lights wrapped around gigantic fir trees. Pack some hot chocolate in thermos' and either go for a drive or a walk to see the lights with your family or roommates.
Watch movies or theatre productions together
Using streaming services and applications, households can still watch their favourite holiday movies together. From a browser, you can add the "Teleparty" extension which allows you to invite other users to watch a movie together over Netflix, Disney, Hulu, HBO, among others, along with a group chat where people can add their reactions, comments, etc., in real time. You can also attend virtual performances of Vertigo Theatre's It's a Wonderful Life and Theatre Calgary's A Christmas Carol.
Updated COVID-19 Guidelines:
From Dec. 23 to 28, households can host one event with a maximum of two people who live alone (with or without kids).
Effective Dec. 8, masks are mandatory in all indoor public spaces and workplaces.
All indoor and outdoor social gatherings (public and private) are prohibited.
People who live alone can have up to two close contacts.