The holiday season … in 2020


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Junior, Hillary Harstaad, enjoys making a ginger bread house during quarantine

Janessa Moore, Writer

The holidays can be seen as the most wonderful time of the year. This year, it looks quite different than previous years. With this year being full of ups and downs, it is time to bring in the holiday spirit with new and safe traditions. The main whirlwind of 2020 has mostly been COVID-19. For safety purposes, there have been many new restrictions that may cause Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa and other winter holidays to adjust to the new norm. Despite all of the new things this year has brought, there can be a few positives. 

Although the CDC recommends celebrating with only immediate family for the lowest risk, there are many indoor activities that you can engage in. Baking cookies or making a gingerbread house are two of them. These are very traditional ways to celebrate the upcoming holiday of Christmas. It can also be a nice gesture to mail cookies to friends and family that you may not get to see. There is also the option to decorate a Christmas tree or cuddle up and watch a Christmas movie. Elf, How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Home alone are a few of the classics that can be found on Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Prime and other streaming services. New Christmas movies to watch out for on Netflix are Jingle Jangle and Christmas Chronicles 2.

By this time of  the year, people may be sick of being outside. There are also ways to celebrate the holiday season outside. You could go drive through a light show. This is usually a cost friendly and interesting way to see how Christmas lights can be brought to life. This year, Valleyfair is running a drive-thru light show in Shakopee for $7, open now until January 3. Another covid safe way to be outside could be taking a trip to your nearest tree farm. Whether actually buying a tree or not, it gives an ambiance of the holiday spirit. 

The holidays have also been out of the norm for regular people in Owatonna. With many restaurants, activity areas and school activities being shut down, students feel a huge difference in this year than previous years. Junior Landen Johson said, “The biggest change is that I can’t wrestle this year so I just sit inside and watch movies.” Many kids this year whose time was filled with sports, is now being filled with movies and video games. 

Winter sports have been a huge part of the holiday season for many of the students at OHS. This can feel like a major change to many of them. With all this time alone with family, few may feel that they can appreciate their family more. Hillary Harstaad said, “The holidays have changed because if I go see family, I have to wear a mask. It makes me realize I still have my health.”This year has looked different than in the years before and has made an impact on many. 

The holiday season may have a different feel than before COVID-19, but it is the season nonetheless. There are many traditions that can be still done with close family that can bring on the holiday spirit. Many are unable to see the family that they would usually see around this time of year. This year is full of surprises and one can only try to make the best of it.