Scenes from a Covid-Conscious Christmas

This year, in an effort to keep ourselves and those around us safe from the spread of covid-19, my family made some sacrifices, primarily in that we were not able to all be together.  Although nothing really takes the place of an in person gathering, my family managed to make the holiday enjoyable and we are hopeful that we can resume normal holiday festivities next year.

Presents, some of them sent in from around the country, sit waiting to be opened on Christmas day.

A Christmas selfie before our socially distanced/Zoom gathering.

My mom sets on Zoom on my grandmother's iPad so she can join in the festivities from in her house while other family members sit on the porch.

My grandmother waves to me through her porch door.

Even though I use Zoom every day at school with my students, I apparently do not know how to take a Zoom screenshot on an iPad so I found myself in this position a lot of the day.

Our fun little set up:  my grandmother opening presents indoors while some family members sit on her porch and others attend via Zoom.  It was actually a lot of fun and it was unseasonably warm on Christmas, making the temperature totally bearable with the help of a space heater.

A little brag moment:  I made the above collage of photos for my parents of photos I have taken at Disneyland and Walt Disney World over the years to hang in their dining room.  I found the idea on Google, and I just made it myself with my own photos.

Above is a closer look.

Fran wanted to partake in the puzzle that Santa brought.

Thankful that most folks keep their Christmas decorations up through New Year's, I snapped this photo of a festively decorated lamp pos on a post-Christmas walk around my hometown of Saratoga, Springs, NY.

Every year I give my mom a desktop calendar featuring photos I took in the previous year.  This year the photos were all local, since we didn't do much traveling!  The January photo is one I took at Saratoga Spa State Park.  Being a photographer lends itself to a lot of great gift options for friends and family!

Yet another photo gift I gave this year was a custom page a day calendar for my grandmother, which I created at a nifty site called Social Print Studio.

The calendar features my own photos (above from left, Hathorn Spring in Saratoga Springs, Nauset Beach in Eastham, MA, and my grandmother with my cat), as well as family photos dating back to even before she was born!

Santa Paws brought Fran this gorgeous wire name sign to hang over her food and water.  I heard he got it from this Etsy shop!

Cards on my fridge from friends, family, and even some from my middle school students serve as a great reminder that we are all still connected even though we may not be seeing as much of each other these days!

In closing, here is a gratuitous post-Christmas photo of Fran curled up in front of the Christmas tree, because cats!

To see more of my photography, be sure to follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

All photos in this post © Samantha Decker and may not be reused without permission.

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