The end of 2020 is fast approaching with COVID-19 here to stay for the near future. Along with family traditions, workplaces and organizations all around the country are holding virtual holiday parties and even outdoor gatherings for those in warmer climates due to the massive rise in COVID-19 cases. Like many events in 2020, this has become the new norm. In larger companies, people are looking at hiring video production teams and even hiring a host or emcee in an attempt to make these celebrations more enticing to workers. Students are also shifting their holiday traditions, but they are not losing them altogether.
Second year environmental science student Jennifer Cabral is opting for a smaller celebration this time. She’s spending it with her family but missing out on celebrating with family friends. Jennifer understands the circumstances that everyone is in and wants to look out for the health and well-being of those around her. She mentioned that her family is taking into consideration the financial aspects of gift-giving this year. The season of giving will live up to its name as people are choosing to make smarter decisions on their gifts and thus minimizing the stress and financial hardships that many people had to undergo during this year.
Archisha Kanchan, a second year biomedical engineering student, is cancelling her usual holiday travel plans and opting for an at-home celebration as well. Looking forward to her quality time with family, she plans on watching movies, baking and studying for the MCAT. Overall, she’s optimistic for the amount of leisure time the winter break brings but, like many others, is feeling burned out given the circumstances of this past year.
Second year architecture student Nergis Ayaz is planning on keeping her annual New Year’s tradition the same: watching the New Year’s Eve ball drop. Although her tradition will remain constant, the ball drop will definitely look different. In late September, the president of the Time Square Alliance announced that the ball drop and all of its events will be catered to a broadcast and streaming audience. Nergis is relieved that her New Year’s tradition will still be maintained as they were in previous years, even with different circumstances.
All in all, this year’s holiday season will definitely bring about changes to our plans, but the most important thing is spending it with your family and those you love. Even if your loved ones are miles away, let’s be thankful for the many ways technology has helped us connect with each other along the way.