‘Tis the season to reconnect: Half of Americans are mending fences with loved ones during COVID

NEW YORK — While coronavirus quarantines may be keeping many loved ones away from each other this year, it’s also giving old friends a chance to reconnect. A new survey finds half of Americans have broken a long silence and reached out to a family member or friend they’ve lost touch with during the pandemic. It seems the desire to mend fences and a renewed value in human contact matter more than ever this year as the holidays approach.

The OnePoll study of 2,000 Americans examined the shift in values the COVID-19 virus has spurred as 2020 draws to a close. Three in four think human connection has never been more vital than during this holiday season. Another 63 percent are looking forward to the holidays more than ever so they can spend time with their nearest and dearest ‒ in any form.

connecting holiday season

Seventy-six percent confess the pandemic has really put their priorities into perspective. They now realize the holidays are solely about being with loved ones and enjoying good food.

The survey, commissioned by the Chinet brand, uncovered that two in five Americans (39%) plan on attending a socially-distant holiday event this year in order to see family and friends safely.

Happy Call-adays

Nearly four in 10 (38%) will be scheduling family-wide video calls to achieve that feeling of holiday togetherness. A third of the poll (32%) will opt for scheduled individual video calls with relatives so they’re able to have conversations with everyone.

When it comes to how holiday hosts plan on keeping their family and potential guests safe, 43 percent are decreasing the guest list in 2020. Over a third (36%) will require face masks in their homes and three in ten will hold parts of their celebrations outside.

Logistics aren’t the only aspect of the holidays that are changing this year. Over half anticipate keeping their events extra casual this year. Two in five (41%) won’t be waking up early to see if their stocking was filled by Santa and will opt to sleep in. Forty-five percent want to enjoy their holiday without a set schedule.

No shirt, no shoes, no problem for holiday celebrations

connecting holiday season

Forty-one percent are throwing out the dress code while 36 percent will be chilling in their pajamas all day. In fact, respondents wouldn’t mind if traditions like large dinners (42%), lots of travel (38%), dressing up and waking up early (both 37%) fade away forever.

“This year has been a reminder that it’s not about the perfect parties or lavish gatherings. It’s about doing what you can with what you have and taking the time to enjoy the moment. This holiday season, we anticipate an uptick in more casual holiday get-togethers focused on quality time spent with closest family and friends,” a spokesperson for the Chinet brand says in a statement.

Three in five Americans (59%) typically use more formal dinnerware during the holidays, with 85 percent of those taking the time to hand wash them after dinner. One in ten spend over 30 minutes up to their elbows in water and dish soap to get their dinnerware sparkling again.

This year, respondents want to spend less time with a sponge in their hands and more time with loved ones. Of those who plan on having a more casual holiday celebration this year, one in five won’t be eating at the dining table and 35 percent plan to use disposable tableware instead of dishes.

“Peoples’ holiday values are shifting to focus less on the formality of a setting and instead prioritizing how they’re spending their time and with whom. They want easy and accessible ideas and products that provide convenience, so they can take the time to enjoy the little things with friends and family,” the spokesperson adds.

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About the Author

Chris Melore

Chris Melore has been a writer, researcher, editor, and producer in the New York-area since 2006. He won a local Emmy award for his work in sports television in 2011.

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