In 2020, COVID-19 has made a lot of changes. So as the holidays are rolling around, it’s not surprising that it would change how they are celebrated.

Oftentimes, nurses would have potlucks during various shifts at work, hold present exchanges, and play games. But life has changed.

We reached out to get some tips on how nurses can hold safe holiday celebrations while at work.

From Jenna Liphart Rhoads, PhD, RN:

  • Have a toy drive for children in need: in exchange for bringing in a brand-new toy for a child in need, nurses could be given a raffle ticket to win something like a massage, an extra 8 hours of PTO, or a gift certificate for a new set of scrubs.
  • Staff nurses could bring in an ornament to help decorate the unit Christmas tree
  • A snowman decorating contest: nurses could anonymously color or decorate a snowman (or snowwoman). Staff could then vote on their favorites, and a winner gets a prize.

From Alaina Ross, BSN, RN:

  • On the floor of the hospital where she works, the nurses are having a catered lunch from a local restaurant. “[This] reduces the risk you’d get with a potluck of 20+ different dishes being cooked in 20+ households. The lunch comes from a clean and safe kitchen at a restaurant—and has the double bonus of supporting a local business,” says Ross.
  • Secret Santa Gift Exchange: “The Secret Santa style gift exchange reduces exposure and interpersonal contact, as there isn’t a large group get-together like you’d have with a white elephant exchange or party. It’s just one person secretly delivering a small gift to another by leaving it in their locker.”

From Thomas Uzuegbunem, BSN, RN:

  • He also suggests that instead of having a potluck to order from a restaurant that does individual servings (for example, Chinese food, etc.). “One person can take responsibility for ordering, and everyone can reimburse that person through PayPal or Venmo,” Uzuegbunem says.
  • Play Fantasy Sports or a unit game on smartphones: “These are good options to get a group of people involved while still social distancing.”
  • Digital Secret Santa: This is like regular Secret Santa—except for the large gathering. “You’ll pair people up and then the purchases will be either digital or mailed to their homes.”

Have a wonderful holiday season!

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