Holiday planning during the pandemic

Each year, we look forward to spending time with family and friends over the holidays. Normally, being together can help us through tough times — but the COVID-19 pandemic has even changed that this year. Since a positive outlook is what we could all use right now, we have some tips to help you make the most of the coming holiday season, which will be like no other.

Being social, staying safe, and making good financial decisions throughout the holidays

Over the holidays — normal ones — we generally fall into the traveling or hosting category. The pandemic has put the brakes on all that this year, as we stay home to avoid spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. But traditions and celebrating with family and friends are important and having that time together to look forward to — and then look back on — can help us make it through the long winter. The good news is that it’s possible to plan a memorable holiday season without putting yourself or others at risk.

Here are some ideas to help keep the holidays meaningful this year while creating some new traditions along the way.

Prepare to be social but safe

  • Have a virtual family cook-off where everyone starts with the same ingredients and compares the results. Be sure to include the older generation and choose a leader who’s good at hosting video chats.
  • Dress up your table with fun decorations or even hold a centrepiece competition with a prize for the winners.
  • If you have family members or friends in assisted living, have some decorations delivered to them to help the holidays feel more festive.
  • Bake cookies for your neighbours or volunteer to prepare food for vulnerable families in your area.
  • Take your dinner virtual with family members near and far — and remember to snap some photos.
  • Downsize your feast, sticking to one or two family favourite recipes, to reduce stress (and cost).
  • Ask everyone to wear fun holiday masks (and their ugliest holiday sweaters).
  • Support a local business by having a holiday takeout dinner.
  • Get outside! Go for a pre- or post-dinner walk with your household. If there’s snow on the ground, get the sled, snowshoes, or skates out.

Finally, don’t forget it’s also the giving season! Undoubtedly, this year has put significant financial hardships on people and charitable organizations. Consider making a donation to your favourite charity, and don’t forget to get a receipt – you may be able to claim a tax credit. Beyond donating to a charity, there are other ways that high-net-worth individuals can give back. Discuss the benefits of donor-advised funds and private foundations with your advisor, which can provide flexibility and be beneficial for the donors and recipients.

A widespread health crisis such as a global pandemic could cause substantial market volatility, exchange-trading suspensions and closures, and affect portfolio performance. For example, the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has resulted in significant disruptions to global business activity. The impact of a health crisis and other epidemics and pandemics that may arise in the future could affect the global economy in ways that cannot necessarily be foreseen at the present time. A health crisis may exacerbate other preexisting political, social, and economic risks. Any such impact could adversely affect the portfolio’s performance, resulting in losses to your investment.

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Manulife Private Wealth

Manulife Private Wealth

Manulife Private Wealth

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