Cheer Yourself Up
If you won’t be seeing family this year because of the pandemic, here are some ways to enjoy the holidays solo
Last year at this time no one thought we’d be celebrating in the midst of a pandemic, but here we are. And there we aren’t because a lot of us are staying put and making do with virtual visits with family and friends.
But, what about when the virtual visits are over, and the virtual guests have left your home? Pour yourself some eggnog, coffee, or tea and go back to your computer screen or TV, because the world awaits you. And you can leave your mask off.
credit: Lifetime Television/Courtesy E
HOLIDAY MOVIES ALWAYS MAKE THINGS BETTER
Here’s a challenge – watch as many versions of A Christmas Carol as you can find, including Scrooged. There’s the 1951 film with Alastair Sim, (a personal favorite); a Muppet version; A Diva’s Christmas Carol; various animated adaptations, of varying watchability—but, hey—no judging. Watch whatever you want.
When you are all Scrooged out, have a look at some lighter, entertaining holiday fare, a bit closer to Christmas present, but B.C.—Before Covid.
Home by Christmas, is a genuinely touching and entertaining film with Linda Hamilton and Rob Stewart. The title refers to the main character who gradually becomes homeless and really does need a home by Christmas.
The Road to Christmas (2006) – features Jennifer Gray and tells the story of a woman who is very eager and determined to get to Aspen to have the wedding of her dreams but finds herself thwarted very amusingly (not to her) at every turn and ends up finding out a lot about herself on the journey.
Or watch Lifetime’s latest release Christmas Ever After featuring Tony-award winning actress Ali Stroker, a romance novelist who finds love while looking to overcome her writer’s block. A wheelchair user in real life, Ali is the network’s first lead actor with a disability.
EXPLORE THE WORLD NEAR AND FAR
Take a tour of Japan. You’ll need a smartphone for this and there’s a choice of a movie or an interactive version, but either way (or both ways!) you’ll find yourself immersed in a beautiful location and culture. Minus the jet lag.
Thrillist offers lots of other locations to visit—from Chile to China to Canadian Ski Slopes, from Norway to Niagara Falls; from beaches to parks to mountains and a helicopter tour of Mount Rushmore.
How about a trip to Greenland, taken from your living room sofa? Or Switzerland or Austria, or Sicily, or Lesotho, or India, or Poland or . . . exhausted yet? These are just some of the destinations the New York Times offers for those with cyber-wanderlust. If you need a break, you can pause mid-tour because, why not?
Have a hankering for some sunny beach life? Forbes gives you twenty virtual travel destinations of a wide variety. Maui beckons, along with Miami, the Palm Beaches, the Hamptons, and more. The weather will always be perfect, and you can skip the sunscreen. After you’re done with the beach, take a step in a different direction, and you can go as you are. No need to change. There’s the Seattle Symphony, the Metropolitan Opera, even Formula 1 racing. You might need to need to rest after this.
Speaking of artists, how about visiting some museums? Museums, anywhere in the world. You’ve got your virtual plane ticket and your entrance card, so, what’s stopping you?
How about visiting a museum that is not so much about art, as it is about the natural world—the National Museum of Natural History? Virtual exhibits include Nature’s Best Photography and you can visit exhibits that have closed, because you are visiting virtually and in the virtual world, life has no end.
Still not enough choices? True to the title of this feature, Good Housekeeping presents a “ . . . Massive List of Museums, Zoos and Theme Parks, Offering Virtual Tours.” The Vatican Museum, The Van Gogh Museum, the Detroit Institute of Arts, Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and lots more just waiting for you.
Try not to fret about not being able to travel IRL. After all, no matter where you go, there you are. So, you might as well stay home and get to know yourself better. For now, at least.
DECK THE HALLS WITH HELP
There are real-life resources for seniors to help take some of the pressure off the holidays—tree deliveries, for example. This year, quite a few retailers will deliver a tree right to your door, including Lowe’s, Home Depot, and Williams Sonoma. Walmart will even hang your lights.
Trees and decorations are festive and set the holiday spirit, but you’ve got to eat, right? We found a lot of tasty options and there is nothing virtual about them.
credit: What a Crock
DELICIOUS MEALS TO ORDER IN
Senior meal programs are the main focus of the Magic Kitchen every time of year. As they say on their site, “Often as children of seniors, we see our parents not taking care of their own nutritional needs. If we are not in the same city, there seems to be little we can do. With MagicKitchen.com, meals can be sent, and your parents can enjoy quality, healthy meals with little prep or cleanup.”
Magic Kitchen offers a wide variety of meals for many nutritional needs and special diets. You can order a la carte or complete meals; from hospital discharge meals to portion-controlled meals to dairy free, vegetarian, dialysis friendly, and more—even shelf-stable meals.
How about a tender, slow-cooked dinner? What a Crock will deliver a meal to put in your slow cooker in the morning so you’ll have a delicious meal by dinner, with no prep and no mess. No slow cooker? They’ll deliver that, too, throughout the continental US.
There are even more meal delivery services on Care.com, including Silver Cuisine, and Top Chef Meals. Most of these services offer gift certificates or gift cards so drop some heavy hints to your friends and family. And maybe send them these tips to help them get some ideas of their own.