Tag: celebrate

How Can I Celebrate the Holidays Without Travel?

For months, the question has loomed: Should we travel for the holidays? Like almost every question this year, the answer has been a resounding “it depends,” but every day the prospect of safe and responsible holiday travel seems to dim. Should we really cram into crowded airports while case numbers continue to climb?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently chimed in, strongly encouraging would-be Thanksgiving travelers to nix their plans. “Postponing travel and staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others this year,” the CDC’s website reads, and it seems like the pandemic will only worsen through December. In short, the answer is getting clearer: We probably shouldn’t travel for the holidays or host big family gatherings.

So what should we do? Eat the whole pie ourselves? Wrap presents for our cats? Spend even more time with our insufferable …. errr, beloved … household?


Celebrate not traveling

How many years have you dithered about buying a plane ticket home for the holidays, then purchased a too-expensive fare at the last minute because your family guilt-tripped you? Well, guess what? You have an ironclad excuse this year.

In other words, it’s important to focus on the positives. The CDC, bless it, has attempted to offer encouraging alternatives to standard holiday get-togethers, and even released a colorful cartoon PDF, presumably in an attempt to buoy our collective spirits. Check out the uplifting “hard choices” panel.

The problem with the CDC’s guidance, other than the father’s unrealistic hip flexibility, is its focus on how challenging it will be to isolate for the holidays, rather than focusing on the opportunities it opens and the stresses it reduces.

Seriously: Traveling during the holidays is horrible. Coordinating plans with extended family is stressful. We’ve all dreamed of skipping the holiday hullabaloo altogether and keeping it simple. The pandemic has handed us the opportunity to take a break this year without feeling guilty. No matter what our plans entail this year, at least they don’t have to involve flight delays and icy roads.

Go with the flow

Many sources online suggest planning a video chat feast with your extended family. “Host a virtual Thanksgiving meal with friends and family who don’t live with you,” recommends the CDC.

Are you kidding me?

No, seriously, has anyone thought about this even a little bit? The only thing worse than yet another video call with our families is one in which everybody is loudly eating the entire time. This sounds less like a festive treat than a Dantean circle of the underworld.

There’s no use trying to keep things “normal” during abnormal times. Rather, we should try to make the most of the reality in which we find ourselves. Here are some ideas:

  • Themed walks: Taking walks together can be a great way to socially connect. Elevate your walking game: Invite friends and neighbors to themed walks, replete with costumes, gift sharing, hot cocoa, etc. Walking is pretty much all we’ve got, so we better
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Celebrate The Holidays With These Hotel Suite Experiences

While the holidays may need to be more intimate in the year of COVID-19, they don’t have to be less festive. Hotels all over the globe are curating inspired in-suite offerings for Thanksgiving, Christmas and other special occasions. These experiences go beyond anything you could find in ordinary room service — they include having a chef prepare an extraordinary seven-course dinner and having a philharmonic performance just for you, all within the confines of your own suite.

Whether you travel or take a staycation, avoid the crowds all while still having a one-of-a-kind celebration —without any of the work or cleanup — at these Forbes Travel Guide-approved hotels:

Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London

The skyscraper is closed through December 2 for London’s lockdown. But before the shutdown, it introduced Dining in the Sky, dinner and dazzling city views from a specially reconfigured guest room with floor-to-ceiling windows. It includes glasses of champagne upon arrival, three courses from British-Asian TÎNG Restaurant and beverages.

The Ritz-Carlton, Denver

Take over the 12th floor of the elegant Denver hotel with family and friends during the holidays. You’ll get a Luxury Suite, a One Bedroom Suite and 12 Deluxe Guest Rooms along with the 2,700-square-foot Club Lounge, which boasts three big-screen TVs, a powder room and lounge spaces. Gather in the Club Lounge for Thanksgiving dinner, partake in the open bar and receive breakfast the next day.

Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok

A stay in the Chao Phraya Suite grants exclusive access to one of the city’s top French restaurants. Le Normandie will set up a seven-course meal, including caviar and sea urchin floating in potato foam, in your river-facing accommodations. Fans of Lord Jim’s grill can get a similar experience in the one-bedroom suite, or partake in the Bangkok hotel’s famed afternoon tea in the Royal or Ambassador suites.

The Milestone Hotel & Residences, London

Despite London’s second quarantine, this boutique hotel remains open. And you will want to visit for a unique in-suite experience: a live (and socially distanced) private recital from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. RPO’s solo harpists or string trio will come to your accommodations and play your favorite songs.

The Venetian Resort Las Vegas

The all-suite hotel debuted family-style room service meals for four. Order Party Time for Caesar salad, pizza, buffalo wings, vegetables, potato chips and dip, or the Rotisserie Chicken with baba ghanoush and Italian sausage crumble spreads, grilled bread, roasted vegetables, buttery mashed potatoes and bibb lettuce salad. Both options come with a decadent 16-layer chocolate fudge cake for dessert.

The William Vale, Brooklyn

The Vale Garden Residence — the hotel’s

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Bowser defends trip to Delaware to celebrate Biden win, despite travel advisories

D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser on Tuesday defended her decision to travel Saturday to Delaware, a state with significantly higher coronavirus risk than the District, to celebrate president-elect Joe Biden’s victory and meet with his staff.

The trip, which comes as the mayor attempts to discourage interstate travel because of the pandemic, prompted questions from reporters, and derision on social media from some residents and Bowser critics.

The mayor said she was “very proud” to attend the celebration in Wilmington, and that the trip “absolutely” qualified as “essential travel” — which is exempted from Bowser’s quarantine order — because she was conducting government business on the road.

“I do a lot of things to advance the interests of the District of Columbia. Some of them are formal and some of them are informal, but all of them are necessary,” she said.

It remained unclear Tuesday whether the mayor was tested for coronavirus after returning from her trip and before appearing in public, which her office advises for people who have come into the city from a high risk state.

[In Maryland, local officials ask governor to reimpose restrictions as cases spike]

Bowser and members of her staff, including deputy mayor John Falcicchio, conversed in Wilmington with Biden strategist Symone Sanders, along with watching the outdoor speeches by Biden and vice president-elect Kamala Harris. Bowser posted a photo of herself celebrating while wearing a mask — like everyone around her — and a “We are D.C.” scarf.

“We congratulated [Biden] team members that we saw,” Bowser said on Tuesday when reporters asked about the purpose and nature of the government business she conducted on the trip. “I congratulated the people that I saw. I had, recently, conversations with the transition team itself.”

She said that the District government will need to coordinate upcoming events with Biden’s staff. “Building a relationship with the new team is going to be important for all of us.”

The trip triggered immediate criticism from conservative media: Fox News’s headline, for example, was “DC mayor disregarded own COVID restrictions to attend Biden victory speech, defends ‘essential travel.’”

After NBC4 reporter Mark Segraves tweeted Bowser’s photograph at the celebration, a flood of residents and others responded, most of them accusing the mayor of following different coronavirus safety protocols than what she preaches for residents.

“I cancelled Passover seders and haven’t seen my friends and family in months,” reporter Jon Steingart responded.

WAMU reporter Martin Austermuhle posted that Bowser’s description of her trip “might be stretching the definition of ‘essential’ just a touch/whole lot.”

[D.C. eases travel restrictions ahead of Thanksgiving holiday]

Until last week, Bowser’s mayoral order on interstate travel would have required anyone who visited Delaware (and other states with more than 10 new daily coronavirus cases on average per 100,000 residents) to quarantine at home for two weeks upon returning to the District, except those whose travel was for essential purposes.

Last week, however, Bowser replaced that order with a new one, getting rid

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The Humane Society Invites Supporters To Travel Virtually To Its Gala To Celebrate Animal Rescuers

It’s a terrific week for rescued animals. Not only did the news break that President-Elect Joe Biden will be bringing the first rescued dog into the White House in January, but there is also a special virtual gala to celebrate those who dedicate themselves to the important work of rescuing animals. The Humane Society of the United States is holding its annual “To The Rescue!” gala to celebrate the brave people who devote themselves to saving animals in a new way this year. It will be held virtually on Saturday, November 14, 2020. Kitty Block, the president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, spoke to us about this special event that’s dear to her heart.

What inspired the HSUS to start the annual gala?

We started our annual gala in 2010 to celebrate and share with our supporters our victories — saving, rehabilitating, and caring for tens of thousands of animals each year. We couldn’t do the work without the generosity of our supporters and the gala was born out of that idea.

I love everything about coming together to share an inspiring, emotional and entertaining evening with them. That first gala ten years ago exceeded our expectations and continued to grow into an annual signature event featuring and attracting talented artists through the years like Ricky Gervais, Rob Thomas, Sutton Foster and countless others.

Who will be your guests this year?

This year we are celebrating everyday heroes who work tirelessly to help animals in need, without wavering even during a pandemic. These heroes take action in their daily lives by recusing animals in crisis and promoting cruelty-free lifestyles to make collective transformational change for all animals. Videos of these heroes will be featured during the show and acknowledged by our celebrity participants, including the Emmy-nominated, Saturday Night Live cast member Cecily Strong, who is hosting the evening. Tony, Grammy and Emmy award-winning performer Audra McDonald will host the pre-show and perform. These two talented women will be a major highlight of the night. Other stars will make surprise appearances during the evening.

Were there any particular challenges to transitioning to an online gala? 

We started pivoting our events in April with a livestream concert featuring Rob Thomas, Jason Mraz and Chris Daughtry. We jumped into the virtual world quickly, and we embraced innovative technology and ways of keeping our donors engaged in our work. That event was a great success. Not only did we have three great performers, but we also had other celebrities coming on board to participate like Courtney Cox,

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College Station Parks & Recreation handing out free arts and crafts packets to celebrate Day of the Dead

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) – The College Station Parks & Recreation Department is handing out free arts and crafts packets all week to celebrate the Mexican holiday Day of the Dead.

The packets are the beginning of a cultural series the department is starting by promoting different traditions in an effort to better understand our friends’ and neighbors’ cultures.

City of College Station Recreation Manager Ana Romero says her own family experiences inspired her to come up with the idea to put the packets together.

“I come from a Mexican background where my family has built alters every year for Day of the Dead, starting with my great-grandma,” Romero said. “It’s just been a tradition that we continue to do in remembrance of everyone who’s not with us anymore.”

Each packet includes a fact sheet about Day of the Dead, coloring sheets, and crafts that capture the spirit of the holiday. People can stop by the CSPR office at Stephen C. Beachy Central Park and pick up as many as they want for their kids between October 26 and 30. Those interested can even call in advance and request someone to bring a packet out to their car.

Day of the Dead, or Día de los Muertos, is a Mexican traditional holiday that celebrates family members and friends who have passed. It is usually celebrated on November 1 and 2. Romero says November 2 tends to be the day where people celebrate with anything that makes them remember those who are not here with us anymore.

“Making any type of food or drinks they used to have or doing any of the things they used to do while they were alive are popular ways to celebrate,” Romero said. “Sometimes, the only way you can remember things like that is when someone in your family who got to meet them tells a story about it, and those are some of the things you get to share with people on November 2.”

Romero says the parks and recreation department plans to make another packet available in February to celebrate Black History Month.

Copyright 2020 KBTX. All rights reserved.

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Bella Hadid and Fanny look happy during beach vacation to celebrate the model’s 24th birthday

Bella Hadid and friend Fanny look happy during beach vacation to celebrate the model’s 24th birthday in new throwbacks photos

Bella Hadid and her best friend, Fanny Bourdette-Donon, looked happier than ever on a sun-soaked vacation in throwbacks photos from her epic birthday getaway.

After sharing shots of herself epitomizing beach glamour for a Versace shoot over the summer, the catwalk star, 24, continued to reminisce over swimsuit season.

While the stunner opted not to tag her location, the bikini-clad duo appeared to be blissfully floating in Caribbean-style waters, as they displayed their trim figures. 

Sunnier days: Bella Hadid and her best friend, Fanny Bourdette-Donon, appeared happier than ever on a sun-soaked vacation in throwbacks photos on Instagram

Sunnier days: Bella Hadid and her best friend, Fanny Bourdette-Donon, appeared happier than ever on a sun-soaked vacation in throwbacks photos on Instagram

As Bella donned a tiny white two-piece, she had one arm wrapped around her pal’s shoulders and was completely relaxed on the water’s surface.

For their swim, the honorary ‘sister’ of one of the world’s biggest supermodels rocked a leopard print thong bikini, which showed off her envy-inducing midriff. 

The pair were beaming as they enjoyed the warm tropical breeze and posed for another picture standing in the water with gleeful expressions across their faces. 

Tropical getaway: After sharing shots of herself epitomizing beach glamour for a Versace shoot over the summer, the catwalk star, 24, continued to reminisce over swimsuit season

Tropical getaway: After sharing shots of herself epitomizing beach glamour for a Versace shoot over the summer, the catwalk star, 24, continued to reminisce over swimsuit season

In a close-up of her face, the Vogue cover girl’s eyes were shut and she looked perfectly sun-kissed with rosy cheeks and a few freckles on her makeup free face. 

Additionally, while running a hand through her wet tresses, she flashed a wrist full of stunning gold bracelets, which coordinated with the chain around her neck. 

During her fun-filled birthday excursion earlier this month, they also partied with pals Devon Lee Carlson, Jesse Jo Stark and Alana O’Herlihy, before returning to NYC. 

Best friends: As she donned a tiny white two-piece, Hadid had one arm wrapped around her pal's shoulders and relaxed on the water's surface

Best friends: As she donned a tiny white two-piece, Hadid had one arm wrapped around her pal’s shoulders and relaxed on the water’s surface

Just weeks ago, the Victoria’s Secret model also became a first-time aunt, after her elder sister, Gigi, welcomed a baby girl with her beau Zayn Malik.  

Gigi confirmed her pregnancy on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon in late April.

Meanwhile Bella’s representative recently denied rumors she is dating Jack Nicholson’s grandson Duke, telling E! News she is ‘single and not in a relationship.’ 

Birthday girl: Her fun-filled birthday excursion also included pals Devon Lee Carlson, Jesse Jo Stark and Alana O'Herlihy

Birthday girl: Her fun-filled birthday excursion also included pals Devon Lee Carlson, Jesse Jo Stark and Alana O’Herlihy

Aunt Bella: Late last month, Bella also became a first-time aunt, after her elder sister, Gigi, welcomed a baby daughter with her beau Zayn Malik

Aunt Bella: Late last month, Bella also became a first-time aunt, after her elder sister, Gigi, welcomed a baby daughter with her beau Zayn Malik

On Wednesday, Bella reposted a checklist of how her ‘goals have changed’ including ‘getting married when I am ready’ rather than before age 30 and ‘finding someone who I deeply connect with’ rather than the most attractive.

Hadid has been single ever since ending her on/off romance with three-time

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