As if making travel plans, cooking, purchasing gifts, and rallying the kids wasn’t enough, this holiday season will now come with an extra burden: keeping the family safe during holiday gatherings. But with a little planning ahead, this new task doesn’t need to take up too much time or space on your to-do list.
First and foremost, it’s most important to socially distance wherever possible. Space seating out, designate a plate-preparer for the whole party rather than offering buffet style meals, and use this opportunity to skip out on the annual uncomfortably-close chat with your great aunt. This is the best way to keep your family safe and sound throughout holiday gatherings.
However, it won’t always be possible to keep 6 feet between all family members – especially when it comes to keeping multiple small children in check throughout each event. In these instances, it’s imperative to use face masks to help keep everyone from gifting their germs to one another.
If the thought of wearing a bright blue, plasticky face mask (or trying to keep an adult-sized face mask on your two year old) brings a tear to your eye, you’re not alone. There are solutions that will keep you and your family both safe and stylish as you make it through Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the rest of the upcoming holidays.
First, don’t even consider a disposable mask. Not only will they clash with your outfit, their one-size-fits-all approach simply might not provide the close fit your family needs. Instead, opt for masks that offer a variety of sizes as well as a mask sizing chart so you can make sure your family is covered — from kids to hubbies with larger facial features. By using the appropriate size, each person’s mask will seal appropriately around the nose, cheek, jaw, and chin areas. This helps prevent germs from getting in or out of the mask.
Next, you probably know as well as anyone that it can be a pain to convince the entire family to wear their masks. This is often due to discomfort for both children and adults alike and can be attributed to one of the following:
- Poor fit: you wouldn’t expect your child and your husband to comfortably wear the same size in clothing, would you? Poor mask sizing can lead to gapping, chafing, or excessive tightness — and that means your family will be less likely to keep them on as the hours pass by.
- Low quality materials: many masks are made from materials that itch or chafe. This includes plastic, wool, exposed nose wires, or even poor stitching. Again, if the mask causes too much discomfort, it’s unlikely to survive the night.
The solution for both of these issues is simple. After choosing the appropriate size for each wearer in your family, make sure to also choose face masks that are made of comfortable, high-quality materials. The layer closest to the face should be made of something soft, such as cotton. This will be more comfortable for the face while allowing the filter and outermost layer to do the heavy-duty lifting in terms of protection.
Lastly, many people simply balk at wearing masks because they believe the masks are uncool, unstylish, or gaudy. Instead of trying to force a standard face mask on your family members, opt to let them choose a color that allows their personalities to shine through (like one of these). They’ll be more invested in the decision, which translates to a greater likelihood of proudly wearing their mask for the full duration of holiday celebrations. And besides – wouldn’t you like your own face mask to make a statement rather than appearing to make a plea?
With these tips, you can rest easier knowing that your family’s protective face masks also complete their holiday look!