Families change holiday plans due to pandemic


Photo courtesy of Kylan Kono

My family gathered for New Year’s in 2016.

The upcoming holidays are going to be celebrated very differently this year because of this pandemic. How will people celebrate the holidays since big parties aren’t allowed, or will they just not celebrate?  I’m sure most families will still find a way to still celebrate the holidays, but some may not want to go through the stress of it especially since people usually celebrate with big parties in person.

My family usually has a big party to celebrate our holiday traditions, but this year it is up in the air because of COVID restrictions, my family traveling for the holidays, and the passing of my grandma and grandpa. 

“For Thanksgiving I usually work since we have our annual year end party, but with COVID, this will be my first Thanksgiving not working, feels a bit strange,” my Aunty Tammy Yamashita said.

Yamashita said she works with so many employees on a daily basis. Three recently tested positive and are still coping with the side effects, so it is not worth the risk to be with friends and family and then not know if someone will come out okay if they end up in the hospital.

“I could just pass on the holidays since it’s been such a crazy year, but Uncle just told me that I cannot let COVID consume my life.  Everyone can celebrate, but on a smaller scale and with CDC guidelines in mind,” Yamashita said.

There will be no big parties and celebrating with family, no more playing our annual Christmas games, and no hearing my grandpa playing Christmas songs on the piano all night long. It does feel a bit strange and not the same.

For Christmas, we are unsure of what we are going to do because we are not sure what tier our state will be in. Also, my family and I might go up to Las Vegas to spend time with my brother during Christmas, so we all will probably just gather with the people in our household.

For New Year’s, we are planning to have a small gathering and make sure we stay within the limit of 5-10 people, or more depending on which tier our state will be in. Tier 1 and 2 allows gatherings of 5 people, Tier 3 allows 10 people, and Tier 4 allows 25 people. But if we do have any sort of gathering with people out of our household, we will make sure that we prioritize the safety of others and be sure to wear masks and social distance.

It is sad and going to be different, but we all need to do our part and make sure that we keep our loved ones and community safe. Hopefully by next year, COVID will be gone and we will be able to celebrate the holidays normally, have big parties, and be able to give each other hugs.