The social etiquette of a Covid Christmas

Navigating Christmas doesn’t need to be socially awkward. Photo: John Borren/SunLive.

Navigating Christmas with vaxxed and unvaxxed family members can be concerning for hosts who want to ensure everyone has a fun and enjoyable time whilst avoiding any Covid conflict.

Of all the delicate subjects to broach over the Christmas ham, the topic of immunisation – and whether or not everyone at the table is vaccinated – doesn’t need to be one of them. But that’s only because it can be discussed beforehand.

Weekend Sun reporter Rosalie Liddle Crawford shares some views below on how people can navigate the Covid over Christmas,

Christmas is one of the most significant holiday celebrations in our annual calendars. It’s a time to get together, celebrate and spend time with family and friends – and this year, with it being the first year of widespread availability of the Covid-19 vaccine – cherishing our important relationships can be even more poignant.

Things aren’t quite as straightforward as they once were. Some may be able to relax, whereas others may feel overwhelmed about mixing indoors with large groups. Person opinions can collide, creating anxiety and awkwardness over how to interact with extended family.

Everyone’s comfort zone may be different, so to ensure a safe, fun and enjoyable Christmas, we need to work together to navigate the uncertainties around Covid etiquette.

Planning well in advance, and letting our guests know what will be expected, rather than quizzing them as they arrive, will help minimise tension. Hosts should reassure guests that the intention is to keep everyone safe; guests should be thankful for this consideration.

People who are unvaccinated are at a higher risk of infection. To protect them, wearing masks indoors if it’s a mixed group of children, adults and elderly could be a safe approach for everyone when moving about, preparing food, or in very close proximity to others.

Many may opt for an outdoor relaxed picnic style midday lunch or barbecue, which enables easy and relaxed social distancing while still enjoying each other’s company.

Guests who usually adopt a mask-free approach to life should respect the host’s request. It’s only for a few hours and hosts can have a box of paper masks handy to hand out to guests.

Whether you’re doing the inviting or the non-inviting, whether you are vaccinated or not, the principles of staying calm, having personal boundaries, and showing respect to others applies.

And if you feel uncomfortable attending a get together this year, remember that you don’t have to go.

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