Alexandria, VA – The holiday season is coming soon, and it will be different this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now is a good time to start thinking about how you might plan your celebrations. As we continue to stay safe at home, traveling to visit family and friends may not be an option. What can we do to celebrate and keep safe?
Maybe this year is the time to take the pressure of cooking off and order out. You’ll be supporting local Alexandria restaurants. If you have friends and family that you would like to visit, you could gather on a Zoom or Facetime session while dining. If the weather permits, perhaps take a walk with a loved one or friend, or maybe take a drive to see the fall foliage. To find out more about local eateries and things to do, check out Visit Alexandria’s website at visitalexandriava.com.
It is a good idea to plan different activities and it’s a great time to pursue new interests. Do something good for yourself, such as taking an online course, watching a virtual travel video or tour of an art gallery, or even learning to draw. There are so many resources available, including Encore Learning at encorelearning.net; Smithsonian Associates – smithsonianassociates.org, National Gallery of Art – www.nga.gov , and other Smithsonian museums at https://www.si.edu/museums. Road Scholar (www.roadscholar.org/virtual-campus/) offers online virtual tour talks and the Art League at the Torpedo Factory offers online classes. Their website is www.theartleague.org/. Be sure to check out the city’s Recreation Department for exercise at home and classes at www.alexandriava.gov/Recreation.
Finally, shopping for holiday gifts may be different. Consider shopping locally, either online or in person, at businesses that follow the ALX Promise safety protocols. Check out the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce at www.thechamberalx.com/ for updates on what local businesses have to offer. Shopping online at local museum shops is a great way to support their missions. This might be the year to give the gift of giving by supporting one of Alexandria’s many local charities. The Alexandria Council of Human Service Organization’s webpage lists many great organizations at www.alexandriava.gov/achso. Above all, stay busy, stay connected, and stay safe!
MaryAnne Beatty is Director of Communications, Senior Services of Alexandria.