We only have to do this once. How to celebrate the holidays alone

By Jessica Roy, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Lifestyles

Many of us are about to spend the holidays the same way we spent most of 2020: at home.

If you're one of the people planning to hit the road for Thanksgiving travel, the CDC is asking you to reconsider. L.A. County reported more than 5,000 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, shattering the previous record. The state is imposing a limited curfew. Most of California is back in the purple tier.

In the interest of forgoing this holiday season together in order to ensure many more with our extended families, let's focus on the good news. Though it might be hard to believe right now, as things get so grim, the promising vaccine developments suggest the proverbial tunnel finally has a light at the end of it. We just need to hang in there a little longer.

You'll likely be able to plan a spectacular family feast for Easter 2021, said Paula Cannon, a virologist and professor of molecular microbiology and immunology at the Keck School of Medicine at USC. (For calendar-marking purposes, that's April 4.)

"Come Easter, you can have two turkeys. You can make up for it," she said. For now, "I think there is no greater way to show your gratitude and give thanks for your family than to forgo the usual family get-together this year."

In other words: We only have to do this once.


So let's make the most of it and celebrate everything that makes the holidays special without putting anyone else at risk.


This won't be the first time for Jacy Topps, a freelance writer who's written about why she chooses to celebrate the holidays alone. It started when she moved to New York City and couldn't afford a ticket home, but she discovered she enjoyed making new traditions on her own, like watching all the "Harry Potter" movies on TV while drinking homemade butterbeer.

After she got married she spent the first few holidays with her in-laws, but this year, she said she's opting out. Her wife's family holds different political views, and she said that although a part of her wishes she could see them and gloat, it's more important to her to take this time for herself.


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