For all you photographers looking to capture the festivities of the season, here’s how a coronavirus Christmas will shape up.
In case you haven’t heard the news, Christmas will be different this year. But despite the pandemic upending the daily rhythm of our lives, there are still reasons to get in the holiday spirit.
Let’s take a look.
Forget Home Alone, It’s Home Again
This Christmas promises to be a quiet, local one. As pandemic restrictions tighten and countries re-enter lockdowns, our ability to travel is once again limited. That means no more images of frenzied airports, stressed-out holiday goers, crowded Christmas markets, or busy plazas where onlookers watch in anticipation for the lighting of the tree. This year, Christmas is all in the home.
No Extended Family Celebrations
One of the hardest elements of this upcoming season will be who we don’t spend it with. For many of us, a physically distanced Christmas is on the horizon as we look to keep each other, and our communities, safe. Images that feature immediate families only serve as a reminder that our short-term sacrifice is in pursuit of one day being able to hug Grandma or Grandpa again.
Baking, Baking, Baking
Remember sourdough fever in March? It seemed as if the world perfected their bread-making skills at the start of the year. Now, here’s where those skills really come in handy. One of the more familiar comforts of the regular holiday season, this year we expect to see no failed experiments. Instead, we anticipate perfectly leavened loaves of bread and all the classic Christmas treats.
The Art of Doing Nothing
Even though the holidays do come with their quiet moments, it’s often bookended by bursts of activity. However, this has been a challenging year. As we wind-down in December, we’ll be turning to even more forms of quiet self-care: holiday movies, knitting, reading by the fire, drinking a cup of tea, and so on.
The Dutch even have a word for this: Niksen, which loosely translates to “the art of doing nothing.” Sounds pretty good to us.
Fruitsliv a.k.a. Embracing the Outdoors
On the topic of Scandinavian concepts, here’s an emerging one: Fruitsliv. It’s an expression that loosely translates to “open-air living” and is used by Scandinavians to celebrate and embrace the outdoors—something we’re craving more of this winter, given how much time we’ve spent indoors this year.
Retail, especially those small to medium-sized businesses, has taken an enormous hit this year. Holiday shopping will be all about supporting local. Expect to see a lot of gift cards, vouchers, art, and handmade crafts (like cloth masks) among the gifts under the tree.
A Green Christmas
One of the more positive, unintended consequences of the pandemic has been climate healing. With travel largely suspended across the world and a more localized approach to life in place, we’ve been reminded of all the ways we can continue to reduce our eco footprint. This Christmas is no different, from sustainable gift wrap to vegan holiday dinners to LED Christmas lights, we’re going green this season.
Remote Work Holiday Parties
Our obsession with Zoom may have died down slightly, but for the office party revelers, it’s where the Christmas party fun will take place. Work-from-home life is still a thing, and you know the office party planning committee will still want to commit to throwing a bash, even if it means testing the limits of the internet bandwidth (and HR teams).
Santa Stays Ho, Ho, Home
Is Santa a superspreader? In theory, he could be. Which is why we expect to see those classic holiday images of mall Santas overlooked in favor of ones that help parents explain why Santa is staying home for the holidays this year. Santa on Zoom? Santa with a mask? This is Christmas in 2020.
Choir Season Goes Virtual
The acoustics may not be as good over Zoom as they are in a storied church hall, but we’ll still appreciate holiday caroling however it’s delivered to us. Churches, community groups, and event organizers have all had to adapt to a new way of doing things this year, and carol season is just another hurdle to overcome.
The Global Holiday Season
If the global pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that we’re more closely connected than ever before. And, while we often default to talking about Christmas, holiday celebrations around the world are wonderful displays of our diverse cultural makeup. From Hannukah to Kwanza to how our friends down under (hi, Australia) celebrate, the holiday season looks different to all.
As we bring more equity into our images, we’ll want to be mindful of all the cultures who celebrate and ring in the holiday season. (Tip: Make sure you’re well-versed in the etiquette of each culture before photographing or uploading those images to Shutterstock.)
Here’s more ways to photograph the holiday season this year:
Cover image via Shyntartanya.