Christmas is too important to let slide. This month Good News Wants to Know… What creative way will you honor and enjoy this COVID Christmas?
Not sure how creative this is but we do an annual Christmas party for our Rescue Upstream team, and I am renting a very large tent and celebrating in the backyard so we can socially distance. Fellowship is so important!
Char Talmadge, Director, Rescue Upstream
My siblings and I have talked about taking some time with the family this Christmas to have everyone share an update about what’s been happening in our lives (we don’t all live in the same city) and spend some time praying for each other. Perhaps also discussing how we can better show love to one another and what we can adjust about our family culture to better support one another. I’m really looking forward to it!
Amanda Forman, Lead Business Designer, Zone (UK)
Christmas is a very special time for our family wherein we celebrate our Savior’s birth and re live and create special memories. We’re looking forward to staying safe yet watching our grandchildren, like their parents, sit for the annual picture coming down the steps then watching their eyes and excitement as they plunge into their stockings and open their gifts from under the tree. There is something very special in hearing a child say: “Just what I wanted!”
William “Bill” C. Davell, Director, Tripp Scott Attorneys at Law
The Denisons will have bright blue stocking; and a bright green tree.
They will have hand sanitizer; at the top of the bright red chimney.
The children may hear of North Pole spikes; but they won’t fear.
They will have Doctor Fauci; watch over the sick reindeer.
Bob Denison, President, Denison Yachting
Our family will be celebrating Christmas this year in a smaller and safer format. The creativity we will be bringing back to our home is the true meaning of Christmas in a more thankful manner than ever before. We will celebrate the birth of Christ, and the health and safety of our family and friends as the greatest gifts of all.
Chip LaMarca, State Representative, Florida House District 93
We intend to keep as many of our Christmas traditions going this year while we do our part to keep family safe. We will still ride bikes around our neighborhood and check out all the Christmas lights each night and watch a bunch of classic Christmas movies. We will serve at our Church for the Christmas outreach and do a hybrid-socially distant Christmas Caroling party (maybe a drive-by). On Christmas Day we will read Luke 2 and Wendy will make monkey bread; later that day our family will come over for dinner. The Savior has come!
Chris Lane, President, First Priority of South Florida
There are so many moving parts this year that it’s making planning really difficult for us. Typically, we choose a different location each year to celebrate with family – we are geographically diverse! This year, we’re hoping to be together with both of our sons here in South Florida if that possibility opens up. Otherwise, each of us will do a FaceTime guided walk-through of some of our family’s favorite places to go on Christmas.
Craig Huston, Huston Consulting Group, LLC
We will celebrate Christmas with just our nuclear family and perhaps some from our church family who have nobody else. Jennifer’s family prefers us not to come to them this year, and some of our adult children will be here from England and Ohio visiting. As such, we will enjoy the time with them while we have them
H. Collins Forman, Jr., P.A.
Our family will be more intentional than ever about being grateful we get to celebrate Christmas together and what Christmas really means for us (for us into eternity much more than just 2020). Reading the Christmas story during this time is a way to stay focused on the real meaning of Christmas and not get caught up on the shopping and to-dos that can be so draining. We wish everyone in our community a BLESSED Christmas!
Cynthia J. Arevalo, Esq., The Law Offices of Cynthia Arevalo
This COVID Christmas, as usual, I still plan to go door-to-door in my neighborhood, singing Christmas carols with several friends who have better voices than I do. Then we often walk to Mizner Park to listen to the musical Christmas tree and to Sanborn Square to take photos with the life-sized Nativity Scene.
Deborah Cusick, FAU Campus Volunteer, Intervarsity Christian Fellowship
Having our grandson (and his parents) visit our home in Florida for the first time, while taking COVID precautions.
Debra A. Schwinn, President, Palm Beach Atlantic University
“My family and I will volunteer at our home church to serve in hospitality and parking. This season, more than ever, has put a strain on volunteers, but gratefully there are opportunities to serve. Thankful for opportunity to help our church reach others for Christ as we are holding live-in person worship services. In addition, we will have ZOOM Christmas Morning with the Grandparents who cannot travel.”
Dennis DeMarois, CEO/Executive Director, Gathering Palm Beach
If COVID is still rampant, our daughter and son-in-law will cancel their long flight to visit us for Christmas. If that happens, then we have talked about either using Zoom or our Facebook Portals to be online together most of the day. We have some routines we can do together (opening presents, meals, and there is a way to watch a movie together), and though it won’t be the same (breaking my heart to think about), we praise God for the technology! Also, our daughter’s birthday is Dec. 26th. We would do a portion of that day the same way.
Dolores King-St. George, President, King Communications and GraceNet Radio
This Christmas we are going to have a ZOOM “Family Open House.” From 1-4 p.m. parents, nephews, nieces, kids, uncles, aunts and other family members can come on line to zoom with one another. We are using a family WhatsApp group to inform one another when you are coming onto ZOOM in case there are certain family members you do not want to miss while they are on.
Don Campion, President, Banyan Air Service
The Sauders plan to celebrate Christmas week with a few thousand new friends at a drive-through light show at our church and then retreat together around a fireplace in North Carolina on Christmas night — just the five of us.
Doug Sauder, Pastor, Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale
The Gomez family will be celebrating COVID Christmas at home, together. On Christmas day we will be going to our neighbors and blessing them with some Christmas goodies that my wife will cook up. The Bible invites us to make the most of every opportunity, and we plan to do so that Jesus may be glorified. And of course, I’ll eat a lot. That’s my personal Christmas tradition, eating.
Fidel Gomez, Pastor, Calvary Chapel Hollywood
I am excited about getting involved with a virtual gala that Hope South Florida is doing December 18th. The millennials on our Board of Directors have put together quite an extravaganza complete with singing and dancing as well as an auction and personal testimonies from homeless individuals and families that we have helped throughout the year. We have never done this before, and I am so excited about leaving my comfort zone and finding new ways to help people that are really suffering during these difficult times.
Fred Scarbrough, DVM, Founder, Scarbrough Animal Hospital & Hope South Florida
Thanks for asking! While we will have reduced service time and practice all the CDC guidelines for large gatherings, we are back to normal. We will have 7 services with the usually Church By the Glades creativity. Christmas services: Sat., 12/19 @ 6:30 pm; Sun., 12/20 @ 10 & 11:30 am; Weds., 12/23 @ 7 pm; Thurs., 12/24 @ 4, 5:30 & 7pm
Fred Uhl, Worship Experience Pastor, Church by the Glades
We plan to take time to worship on Christmas Eve at church and spend time with family enjoying this special time of year. Even with Covid we still rejoice in the birth of Christ our Savior.
George R. Moraitis, Jr., Moraitis, Cofar, Karney, Moraitis & Quailey
I honestly never thought about it as a COVID Christmas. I have actually found, even in the challenge of loss for so many, that COVID has made me rethink and recharge many areas in my life that needed pruning. So this year, I think that the creative thing is to slow down and enjoy the moments. What a thought – soooo creative.
Germaine Smith Baugh, Ed.D, President and CEO, Urban League of Broward County
The first Christmas was problem and pain-filled. Mary, pregnant before the consummation of her marriage with Joseph, traveled five days up-hill from Nazareth to Bethlehem. They found no room in the public shelter so settled for a stable – likely a cave – where she went into labor with no family nor midwife to assist her. They were forced to take the journey because of the Emperor’s census – for tax purposes! Mary and Joseph were poor, alone, separated, in a dark place. Yet there Jesus, the Light of the World, was born. Covid-19 takes us to the heart of the Christmas story. God’s Hope comes in the midst of our distress.
Gene L. Green, PhD, Dean, Trinity International University – Florida
For Christmas this year, I’m looking forward to taking time off to spend the holidays with my family down in the Keys.
Gregg Wallick, President, Best Roofing, Inc.
Christmas will be spent with close family & friends as usual. Traditional food, drinks and gifts… Unfortunately this planeddemic has touched way too many lives!!! Christmas and the balance of this year will be spent worshiping and praising God for all we have. Praying for those who have lost so much. Please remember to give when you see a need. You Are God’s Hand extended… Merry Christmas ️
Helen Wayner P.A., Century 21 Hansen Realty
COVID, SCHMO-VID! It’s Christmas and we plan to celebrate our Savior’s birthday with the same heart and effort as we do every year. MERRY CHRISTMAS!
James ‘JT’ Taylor., Managing Director, Head of Automotive, Truist Securities
Throughout Covid we have slowed down and focused on things that matter most. We discovered much business on our calendar and Covid provided a season of focus. We are leveraging that this Christmas Season to focus on devotional time with God, serving our city, investing in our family, and pouring into our local church.
James Welch, Pastor, First Baptist Fort Lauderdale
Slow down and get comfy under the tree with a soft blanket, ginger tea and well-written Christmas book like “Holding Heaven” by Jerry Jenkins.
Karen Granger, Community Relations Director, Palm Beach County, 4KIDS Palm Beach
“We are keeping up our family traditions on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, but are limiting our get togethers to just those immediate family – a big change for our Italian family. We’re excited to celebrate the birth of our Savior no matter the circumstances.”
Kevin Enders, President, 4KIDS of South Florida
Well, I have not really thought about it yet. But, as always will be with immediate family and a cozy Christmas. Hopefully, attend church (at least by zoom), and maybe make some fun Christmas Masks for the family, and perhaps host some “virtual” Christmas parties. Praying that the new year will be filled with all of God’s goodness.
Dr. Mary Drabik, President, South Florida Bible College & Theological Seminary
Many things are different in 2020, and Christmas is no exception. I actually think it is a great opportunity to be extra creative in communicating the Christmas story more impactfully through technology. We plan on utilizing tools like Facetime, Zoom, etc., and the focused/undivided attention it affords from the viewer, to repeat, review and rejoice over what it means for the Savior to have come into the world. Celebrating that our sins are not just “forgiven” but the event which took place in “the House of Bread” (Bethlehem) 2K+ years ago, would eventually result in billions of free one-way tickets to eternity in Heaven!
Dr. Michael Rozenblum, Genesis Physical Medicine and Chiropractic
Christmas is always our family’s favorite holiday and one spent all together. So this Christmas will really be no different. We will gather at our home, celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior, and enjoy great food and great company. This year will be especially blessed since my grandson will be at the age to enjoy so many of our family traditions and give us a child-like wonder of the season.
Milan Stefanovic, Chief Operations Officer, Bass Underwriters
We are a family that loves playing games and Christmas always has a homemade themed game competition, we have done take offs on Jeopardy, Price is right and almost anything you can think of. This year the creativity will have to go into overdrive for a virtual competition. The upside is that I am sure it will be the biggest yet since more family from all over can participate.
Nancy Robin, CEO/Executive Director, Habitat for Humanity of Broward County
This year the Torch & Trumpet Theatre Company, a performing arts & theater group which I direct, will be presenting “The Gospel According to Scrooge” on December 4th, 5th, and 6th at Community Hope Church East. All social distancing policies will be in place for the performances. Our hope and desire is to bring hope and the joy of Christmas to the South Florida community through this warm and joyous story.
Oksana Horton, President/Artistic Director, Torch & Trumpet Theatre Company
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we plan to limit our Christmas gathering to immediate family only, which would be approximately 6 or 7 persons. And Yes, we will be wearing our masks when we are not eating. We believe that this is the best way to come together to enjoy Christmas.
O’Neal Dozier, Pastor, The Worldwide Christian Center
This year does make it more of a challenge to celebrate Christmas as we have in the past, except that due to COVID, we have become closer to our neighbors and delivery people. We talk to each other quite frequently. More of us are home during the day. We are planning ways to do special things for them with gift cards and food baskets. Many in our neighborhood have been impacted by the loss of jobs. We also are decorating along with many others in our community, earlier and with a bit more pizazz.
Patricia Colangelo, EdS, Lecturer, Professor, Trinity International University – Florida
Christmas, “the most wonderful time of the year,“ Celebrating Jesus’ Birth. We have such a great Community with so many special ways to celebrate this Season, from to Candlelight Services, to Children’s Choirs, to The Ft. Lauderdale Boat Parade! Our Family favorite is a drive through Tradewinds Park “Christmas Fantasy of Lights,” it’s fun, simple, sentimental, and a staple tradition for my family for generations!!
Coach Rick Andreassen, Founder/President, SAINTS Homeschool P.E. and SAINTS International Sports Ministry
More than ever, this Christmas is about the little things that are really the big things. Jesus was born in the least dramatic fashion, but we tend to celebrate in the most dramatic way possible. This year, we are being forced to slow down, stay home, and reflect on how blessed we really are. A COVID Christmas is about loving others and we will take more time to find ways to bring joy to those in need.
Robin Martin, Executive Director, Rebuilding Together Broward
Thankfully, all our immediate family members are COVID free! If it stays that way until Christmas we will all gather at our lake house in Lake Placid, Fla for a family Christmas celebration to celebrate our saviors birth. In order to include extended family and friends, we will do some face timing to spread some Christmas cheer. In the meantime, we will make sure and join with other Church members and local non-profits to make sure donated funds or food are available for others to have a Christmas meal.
Romney C. Rogers, Managing Partner, Rogers Morris & Ziegler LLP
This Christmas will be one where we truly celebrate the gift of life! In remembering the birth of Christ, we will be thanking Him that He has allowed our family to celebrate together during this pandemic even if it has to be by Zoom!
Rosby Glover, Executive Director, Mount Bethel Human Services, Inc.
We have a three-year-old granddaughter named Ella Grace Grams (her initials and nickname are EGG). We look forward to gathering around this Christmas and teaching her. This is really the first Christmas that she can appreciate all the “goin’s on” as my father used to say. We hope she will love Christmas and the Christ Child as much as we do.
Samuel Lamerson, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Biblical Studies, Knox Theological Seminary
We will be celebrating Christmas as we always do, with family and loved ones. Going to church and knowing the Real Reason for this special season – There will only be one difference, and that will be that we will be even more grateful that we know our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ
Sue Trombino, Founder, Women Impacting the Nation
Christmas is the celebration of our Savior’s birth! There are many going through very difficult times. But, the focus must remain on the true meaning of the season, which is our love and gratitude for His amazing sacrifice and love. I am reading the story of His birth each day and asking for a renewed sense of awe and wonder, just as the shepherds felt that night when they heard the Good News!! I’m asking Him to renew that excitement in me as we prepare to rejoice and give thanks! While cinnamon potpourri is simmering on the stove and Christmas music is playing in the background. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!
Tewannah Aman, Executive Director, Broward County Right to Life
We are actually excited about making this Christmas a more intimate celebration of the birth of our Savior with our immediate family. This year, more than ever, having a deep faith in Christ is the cornerstone of EVERYTHING! And that will be the theme for this year’s Christmas!
Tom Lukasik, Vice President Community Engagement, 4KIDS of South Florida
Living in South Florida we are taking Christmas outside, we have a large covered patio with Living & dining areas ! Why not enjoy the outdoors?
Wayne Cotton, President, Cotton Consulting Group