Week 4: Safe at Home for the Holidays – Holiday Bake-Off!

The holidays are a time to come together with friends and loved ones. Obviously, this year, that’s a little more complicated, as cases of COVID-19 surge across the country. As you are aware, California State, Alameda County, and Los Angeles County governments are issuing rules about small gatherings, including holiday gatherings, which we must comply with.

So from now through New Year’s, we’ll be sharing ideas about ways to enjoy this special time of year while keeping ourselves, our families, and communities safe and healthy. Each week, we’ll send out a new idea to make your life simpler—and your celebrations special. 

Week 4: Bake Off!

Go virtual with your favorite holiday kitchen tradition

Home-baked goodies are a classic way to celebrate the holiday season. They work well as a video chat activity for all ages.

If you and other family members are fairly confident in the kitchen, find a festive recipe to bake “together” from scratch over video-chat. It can be a family favorite, a traditional recipe that honors your heritage, or something new you’ve never tried.

If you’re new to baking, keep it simple. Buy plain sugar cookies and a few colors of premade frosting from the grocery store, prop up your mobile device on video chat with one or two loved ones, and make decorating the main event.

We’ll be back next week with your next tip. Till then, have a healthy and happy week!


Staff Tips

Each week, we’re compiling and sharing great ideas for celebrating the holidays safely from our own staff members. Here’s another one, courtesy of Heidi Booth, a wellness coordinator with the Masonic Homes:

Building upon the suggested ideas to share photos, art, or documents by family members, a fun way to save them or add to it would be through a digital picture frame. The capacities for these are vast and can include videos, photos, Facebook and WhatApp videos, Alexa, Spotify, Games and more. This gift would be ideal for all groups. Families with younger kids could have them playing games and sharing video chats with Grandma and Grandpa who live far away. After the chat is done, Grandpa and Grandma can have a video recorded or a slideshow that includes family photos of Thanksgivings past with along while new photos that are added from other family members around the country, creating a feeling of connection despite being apart. The possibilities are vast and certain frames can be linked, while some digital photo frames feature onboard memory—others rely on Wi-Fi streaming, USB thumb drives, or SD cards, so assessing how technical you are and where most of your photos are currently stored is essential. Non-connected frames are the easiest to use but may not offer the desired services as connected frames offer considerably more flexibility in sourcing and swapping out images from social media sites, but are more difficult to use. If most of your images exist on social media or cloud services, you’ll benefit most from a connected frame. (The prices observed today ranged from ~$40-$270 depending upon features so allow me to acknowledge cost may be prohibitive for some families.)

Other Resources for Staying Healthy

State and local governments are issuing rules for gatherings, and we should abide by them.  For official guidance about staying healthy this holiday season, please visit these sites to stay up-to-date:

For the latest news about the Masonic Homes and COVID-19, including employee policies, visit the Masonic Homes website.

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