The holiday season is a favorite time of year for many people, with festive lights, the excitement and joy of Christmastime, and reflecting on the past year’s blessings as we ring in the new year. While this December will look different this year during the pandemic, it doesn’t mean that the holiday season can’t still bring enjoyment and peace.

HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital is encouraging community members to make memories this holiday season, but to act responsibly and celebrate safely.

“While you may be used to gathering with family and friends at holiday celebrations, we strongly encourage everyone to use alternative ways to ‘gather’ with family members who don’t live in your household,” said Dr. Vinay Bhooma, chief medical officer of St. Elizabeth’s Hospital. “This pandemic has shown that there were spikes in cases following other holidays and gatherings during the spring, summer and fall seasons. We want everyone to keep themselves and their loved ones safe by celebrating this season in socially distant ways to limit the spread of COVID.” 

St. Elizabeth’s Hospital offers the following suggestions on sharing the spirit of the holiday season “together while apart”:

  • Host a virtual movie night and watch your favorite Christmas movies together. 
  • Share in your holiday traditions together via video like decorating a tree, opening presents or ringing in the new year. 
  • Have a video celebration. Instead of gathering for dinner in person, gather virtually using a video chat app. Then you can safely eat together and enjoy each other’s company.
  • Enjoy a special family meal item together, but separately. Share the family recipe for that special item ahead of time so everyone can make it and enjoy it together virtually.

For more tips on celebrating safely this holiday season, visit

Media Contact

Kelly Barbeau

Manager, Marketing & Communications
HSHS Illinois
Office: (618) 234-2120, Ext. 41270

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