This is the time of year when families often travel home for the holidays. We always suggest and encourage that this is a good time to start the conversation about estate planning, but 2020 is very different.
One thing that almost everyone agrees upon is the significant impact the coronavirus pandemic has had upon our lives and the holiday season. Many physicians are recommending very small or virtual gatherings. It was very difficult to cancel the 20th year of my annual tradition of having 30-40 family and friends come to my home for Thanksgiving. If you are finding yourself in a similar stay at home holiday situation with just your immediate household, what are new traditions that you can create?
Not sure what you’re making for Thanksgiving dessert? Register for a virtual cooking class at Penn College on November 24th. You’ll also get tips and suggestions for dealing with leftovers.
Want to teach your children or grandchildren how to cook and have fun at the same time? Check out 16 Cooking Classes for Kids of All Ages.
Take a class and paint a snowman on December 3rd through a virtual paint night fundraiser for the United Way of Bradford. If you cannot join that evening, a recorded session will be available.
If you are comfortable with being out and about, there are many local opportunities. Catch the Spirit is a downtown shopping event being hosted by Explore Williamsport on December 11th from 5-8 PM. Or, find your favorite local shop and check out their website and ask for hands-free pick up or shipping to your home.
See the lights
Take a drive and see the area’s offerings for lights and light shows. Here are a few options:
- Knoebels Joy Through the Grove starts on November 27th and runs through January 3rd.
- Check out Berwick’s Christmas Boulevard.
- South Williamsport’s Candy Cane Lane opens on Thanksgiving evening.
If you do not mind a little bit of chill in the air, do a socially distant bonfire or make pumpkin pie s’mores over a firepit. This might be a nice get together for a few people the night before Thanksgiving or any day throughout the holiday season.
Make a pinata in the shape of a seasonal character or object and fill it with candy, toys or things that would cause excitement in those young and old. Allow everyone to take a whack at it outside.
Santa Claus Is Coming To Town will be at the Pike Drive Inn on December 5th at 1:30 PM.
Stream online from your home
Lycoming College’s 45th Annual Candlelight Service on December 13th at 7 PM. The service will be available to view that night or at any time during the holiday season. They suggest that you ready your candle if you wish to join in the lighting ceremony and singing of “Silent Night” toward the end of the program.
Experience Fireside Nutcracker with the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre for no cost from December 17th through the 31st.
Stream the Trans-Siberian Orchestra on December 18th at 8 PM.
Take Holiday Tours
Go to the Hope Hill Lavender Farm Holiday Open House in Pottsville starting December 5th. Get a ticket for $5, redeemable at checkout.
Join the Electric City Trolley Museum for a very merry trolley excursion beginning November 27th. Deposit your letters to Santa and get a special virtual visit from the big man in red all the way from the North Pole.
Have a Virtual Party
Have a virtual Christmas party for family, friends or office. The list includes holiday bingo, karaoke, a scavenger hunt, cheery holiday playlists, ugly sweater, charity donations and more.
Review (or start) your estate planning?
Just as holiday traditions are important, it is also important to make sure that you have your legal documents in place in the event of a crisis. Many people are affected by an unexpected health crisis, and when you plan ahead with loved ones that crisis can become much easier to navigate. The ones that did not plan ahead experience challenges like dealing with the inability to access financial sources to pay for care without going to the courts or having internal family confusion and disagreements.
Marshall, Parker & Weber is open and available to you virtually. Check out our website for blog articles, videos and webinars to help you assess whether your plan is in good shape.
Tammy A. Weber is a Certified Elder Law Attorney and the Managing Attorney of the law firm of Marshall, Parker & Weber, LLC with offices in Williamsport, Jersey Shore and Plains. For more information visit www.paelderlaw.com or call 1-800-401-4552.