Dear Kim,

Holiday get-togethers are a tradition in our family.  Our Christmas day celebration is always hosted at my mother’s house.  She is now 90 years old.  Of course, the family has continued to multiply over the years.  I don’t think it’s wise for her to host 23+ people at her home for hours on end.  I would like to think the whole family is living safely, but who knows?  There are school-aged children and young adults who have much more exposure than the rest of us.  Mom could care less, but I don’t think it a good idea.  How do I cancel Christmas at grandma’s house?



Dear Jenny,

Reminds me of Dr. Seuss’s, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!  COVID-19 is definitely the Grinch!  That mean little bug has turned everyone’s life upside down.  It’s not just Christmas!  Halloween, Thanksgiving and many other celebrations have been put on pause because of this virus.  I know we’re all tired and ready to move forward.

Seriously though, let’s reflect on the situation.  First, how wonderful that you have a 90-year old mother who still wants to host Christmas.  I know how special this time of year is for families across the globe.  The unfortunate reality is that having sizeable gatherings isn’t advisable for anyone. 

The CDC says that anyone with the following conditions are at an increased risk of severe illness from this virus:  people with Cancer, Chronic Kidney Disease, COPD, Heart Conditions, Weakened Immune Systems, Obesity, Sickle Cell Disease, Smoking and Type 2 Diabetes.  They go on to say there might be an increased risk for severe illness for people with these conditions:  Asthma, Cerebrovascular Disease, Cystic Fibrosis, High Blood Pressure, Neurologic conditions such as Dementia, Liver Disease, Overweight, Pregnancy, Pulmonary Fibrosis, Thalassemia or Type 1 Diabetes.

It’s also clear this virus effects elderly populations.  That’s why nursing homes have implemented “no visitor” policies until this is under control.  It’s sad, but I don’t think you have a choice.  You should talk with the entire family and share your concerns.  By doing so, you might be giving a loved one an opportunity to see another Christmas.  In the immortal words of Dr. Seuss, “maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more than just presents and feasting.”  Find another way to celebrate safely.

Stay well.

Have a question?  Ask Kim!