By Jessica King
Graphics by Molly Swisher
As the semester comes to a close, Tyler Junior College students are looking forward to the holiday season, and of course, no classes. Unfortunately, the holidays may look different for due to COVID-19. Here are some of TJC students’ favorite COVID-19 friendly holiday traditions.
Santaland is a drive-thru Christmas light park in Tyler. It is a fantastic option for a COVID-19 family friendly outing.
The park will remain open through Jan. 4, 2021. The hours of operation are 6 to 10 p.m. for November. For December, the park will be open from 6 to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 6 to 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Due to COVID-19, Santaland asks everyone stay inside their cars while inside the park.
Secret Santa is a wonderful socially distant holiday tradition. If you find yourself locked in the house for cautionary measures most of the holiday break, pass the Santa hat with a few friends and buy some gifts. You can make it fun by playing by certain rules like everyone gets a gag gift, or everyone gets a pair of fuzzy socks that fit their personality. No matter how you decide to do your secret Santa, playing Santa is fun for anyone!
Eggnog and “Star Wars”
This tradition is unique and so spot on for a COVID-19 friendly holiday. Who doesn’t love eggnog? Who doesn’t love curling up in front of their TV when it’s cold outside?
The “Star Wars” trilogy isn’t the first movie that comes to mind when you think of the holidays, but it is a classic that could be enjoyed any time of year.
No matter what your taste in movies is, 2020 has provided us with a lot of extra time this winter to binge all the movies… take advantage of it. Also, don’t forget to grab your eggnog because what’s a movie marathon without it?
Hot Cocoa and Hallmark Movies
Similar to eggnog and “Star Wars,” hot cocoa and Hallmark are a great combination for this COVID-19 holiday season. Although Hallmark often sparks a love/hate relationship with a lot of people because of its cheesy love stories and reoccurring plotlines, a holiday romance or two (or three, or four, or five), could be just the movie to get you into the holiday spirit. So, grab your cocoa with your marshmallows and get to watching that Hallmark Christmas Countdown!
Graphic by Michael Bald
Gathering with Family
Family is such a gift and brings so much meaning to the holiday season for the majority of us. It is probably the most cherished tradition of the holidays.
With COVID-19 affecting the holidays this year, the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention said “the size of a holiday gathering should be determined based on the ability of attendees from different households to stay 6 feet apart, wear masks, wash hands, and follow state, local, territorial, or tribal health and safety laws, rules, and regulations.”
The CDC also explains that although they do not have a limit or specific number of attendees for family gatherings, be cautious that “gatherings with more people pose more risk than gatherings with fewer people.”
This season may look different from the past, but don’t forget, especially this Thanksgiving, as you’re gathered around the table, the TV, or the fireplace, or in my family’s case, a board game, do not forget to tell your family how much you love and appreciate them. After all, love is what the holidays are all about. Stay safe and happy holidays, TJC!