By Halimah Kargbo

Features Editor

Navigating the Holidays During the COVID-19 Pandemic | Cedars-Sinai

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This year’s holiday season is different from any other. Most of the traditions that many families once enjoyed have to be adjusted due to the pandemic.

Autumn Worthington, a junior at Hammond, expressed this same sentiment, saying “This year the plans aren’t really that grand since we can’t be around large sums of people compared to like before. Before [COVID-19], I’d be going to different families’ houses and spending time with lots of people.”

Now, Hammond students and their families are celebrating the holidays either from home or within their immediate family. 

“I am staying home with my mom watching Christmas movies,” senior Talia Parchment comments. “This is different from recent years because I would be spending time with aunts and cousins as well.”

Staying safe is on everyone’s mind this season, and even more so as cases begin to surge. So, here’s a list of COVID-friendly holiday plans to consider as our winter break approaches:

Merriweather Symphony of Lights

As a tradition here in Howard County, drive through Merriweather Post Pavilion and enjoy a holiday-themed lights show. The event is well-suited for families as well as people of all ages. 


Merriweather Post Pavilion 

10475 Little Patuxent Parkway 

Columbia, Maryland 21044


November 25, 2020 – January 2, 2021

Weekdays: 6 pm – 10 pm

Weekends: 5 pm – 10 pm


$20 per vehicle

Zoo Lights

Drive through the Maryland Zoo for an animal-themed lights show. Tickets must be purchased at the Maryland Zoo website.


The Maryland Zoo

1 Safari Pl

Baltimore, Maryland 21217


November 20, 2020 – January 3, 2021

Wednesdays and Thursdays: 5 pm – 7 pm

Fridays and Sundays: 5 pm – 8 pm


$45 per vehicle

Holiday Lights Scavenger Hunt

A creative way to view the holiday lights in your neighborhood is a scavenger hunt! Either print one online or have fun creating your own, but this activity is great for families to do together.

The Chesapeake Shakespeare Company Virtual Programming

The CSC is holding two virtual programs this holiday season. The first is Be Merry! Make Holiday! which will include song, story, and spoken word. The second is the 7th annual retelling of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Each is meant to bring Christmas cheer right to your home!


Streaming live on Facebook, Youtube, or Zoom*


December 18 at 8 pm | December 21 at 8 pm



*Only for A Christmas Carol, registration required

Seeing a Christmas Day Movie

There are still ways of continuing the age-old tradition of watching a new movie even from home. Most notably, Wonder Woman 1984 is coming to HBO on Christmas Day, courtesy of Warner Bros. But, the new Pixar movie Soul is coming to Disney+ also on Christmas Day. If you are subscribed to either of these services, you are in luck this Christmas. If not, many tv channels are playing classic Christmas movies all day!

Virtual Nutcracker Ballet

This season, many ballet companies are offered streamed showings of The Nutcracker. It’s a classic telling of a young girl named Clara whose nutcracker comes to life. They face evil and travel to enchanting lands. A full guide to which companies are streaming and how to watch can be found here.

Completing a Christmas Bucket-List

There is so much room for creativity with this one. You could find bucket lists online or come up with them with your family and friends. It could even be a competition to see who can complete it the fastest. Activities such as baking, finding holiday sweaters, or watching certain Christmas movies can make your list fun to complete!