A very COVID Christmas

How has COVID-19 changed Christmas celebrations in Queensland?

The simple pleasures of the holiday season, such as children visiting Santa in the local shopping centre or road trips to view Christmas lights, have been placed in doubt due to the ongoing threat of COVID-19.

Here’s how COVID-19 has changed how Queenslanders celebrate the 2020 silly season.

Visiting Santa

Santa’s village has already begun to pop up in shopping centres across the state but the days of long queues to kids sit on Santa’s knee are over.

Westfield shopping centres have implemented an online booking system to secure an appointment to see Santa and children won’t be able to hug the jolly red man.

Instead, families will have a socially distanced seat next to Santa’s throne for their Christmas photo. Check your local shopping centre for COVID-safe Santa photo requirements in your area.

Christmas carols

A number of carolling events are going virtual this Christmas.

The Gold Coast Mayor’s Christmas Carols will be live-streamed on Facebook and simulcast on the 102.9 Hot Tomato radio station for families to enjoy.

The virtual carols will feature a number of Aussie performers including Casey Barnes, David Campbell, Kate Ceberano, Anthony Callea, Emma Pask, Christine Anu, Katie Noonan, Luke Kennedy and Paulini.

Visiting family interstate

While celebrating Christmas with family overseas is well and truly off the cards, the changing rules around the Queensland border have made it difficult to get a head start on planning celebrations with family residing interstate.

On 3 November, Queensland opened its borders the majority of Australia but remains closed to greater Sydney and Victoria.

As for the situation at Christmas, the Queensland Government is expected to make further announcements on the state’s borders at the end of November. Keep an eye on the border situation here.

Christmas light competitions

A number of Christmas light competitions, including the Gold Coast, have been cancelled.

Those that are going ahead will look a little different this year. Entrants to the 4KQ Christmas Lights Competition must follow COVID-safe guidelines and judging will be based on a photo of the display. The winner will be chosen by public vote in an online voting gallery. 

The good news is you can still view any of the Christmas lights displays across the state from the safety of your car. Maps of decorated houses will be available in most regions closer to Christmas.