One would hope that under the circumstances of 2020, loved ones would be understanding of the fact that you're not coming to visit for the holidays. That doesn't make you feel any better having to forgo the festivities. Vice has some tips to discuss this conundrum gently.

  • Be confident. The hardest part of being a pushover is being able to make a decision and stand behind it.
  • Tell them ASAP. Don't inconvenience them by delaying your decision or in telling them.
  • Validate their feelings. As with many things in 2020, opinions differ greatly, even within our own families about how many precautions we actually need to take in regards to the virus. Let them know the decision is just as hard for you as it is for them and don't let an argument ensue.
  • Offer facts. This seems a little tacky, but remind them of the CDC suggestions, even though it likely won't change their mind. If nothing else, just tell them you can't get time off from work.
  • Modify traditions. You can drop off/trade food ("contactless delivery" only more personal than in the restaurant commercials) if you're within driving distance. I won't suggest a "Zoom Christmas" for those who find it impersonal, but it's a long-distance option.
  • Talk about things to look forward to. Remind each other we will hopefully be out of this by next Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Here's hoping you can try to find ways to have the best Christmas you can together, even if it's without the physical togetherness.

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