“Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!”

  • Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

We can all learn a thing or two from the Grinch’s triumphant change of heart. While social distancing may be preventing us from responsibly hosting large family get-togethers and other yearly events, the spirit of the holidays is alive and well in the hearts of our neighbors and families.

Needless to say, this year has presented some truly unique challenges to the citizens of Hendricks County as well as people across the United States, and even the world. We’ve seen our brothers, sisters, mothers, and fathers face unprecedented adversity but one thing has remained constant during these challenges:

Hope.

A Strange Year Indeed: But Lots to Do in Hendricks County

The current surge in cases of COVID-19 across Indiana are certainly cause for concern during the upcoming holiday season. But let’s face it, the holidays can be an incredibly stressful time of year, even when we’re not in the middle of a pandemic.

We all love our families, but they can certainly be a handful. The beginning of November marks the beginning of the stressful holiday season, especially for the people who host their families for holiday meals and get-togethers. Coordinating what dishes come out of the oven at what time and in what order may indeed be a glimpse into the stress that’s faced by air traffic controllers on a daily basis.

We know that Aunt Esther and Uncle Ron don’t always get along, but they still get together for the holidays, even if arguments are bound to ensue. The jury is still out on the proper way to carve a turkey and, knowing those two, it will remain a point of contention for many Thanksgivings to come. 

We keep telling ourselves that we can’t listen to another year of Cousin Jim’s backseat quarterbacking and opinions on the Indianapolis Colts coaching decisions.

“Sure Phillip Rivers is a gunslinger, but his accuracy is trash,” he argues, mouth half-full of green bean casserole, “why I do believe he could overthrow the government if given the chance!!”

So why do we put up with it every year? We do it because nothing is more important than family, and the holidays serve as a reminder that love, faith, and family make life worth living.

We show our love during the holidays by giving gifts, spending time, and cooking meals for one another. While it may go against our instincts from years past, expressing love for one another this year may entail physically distancing ourselves.

While the holidays this year will undoubtedly be slightly different from the normalcy of years past, the strong-willed citizens of Hendricks County are still finding ways to celebrate the holidays in safe and sanitary outdoor environments.

The following are events that are taking place over the next couple of months that promise to provide safe, healthy, family-friendly fun for the citizens of Hendricks County:

November: Angry Turkey 5K and Kids 1K

Where: 1250 Airport Rd., Brownsburg, IN 46112

When: 10:00 a.m., November 21, 2020

Website: Sign Up Here!

The Angry Turkey 5K is the first race that is part of this year’s Indy Winter XC Trail Series! This aggressive gobble-fest is best described by their website:

“Angry Turkey XC is about a few simple things: racing fast, getting dirty, and enjoying the exhilarating rush of euphoria received as you cross the finish having left everything on the course. We kick off the Indy XC series on the new Brownsburg Cross Country Course which plays host to the annual Brownsburg Invite. This course is flat and fast winding throughout the grassy paths, and the 1K would loop. Once it is filled with die-hard “Angry Turkey” fans hooting and hollering for you to go faster and be better—it will surely be epic!”

November: Open Skate Events at Penguin Park

Where: Washington Township Park, 115 S. County Rd. 575, Avon, IN 46123

When: November 18, 2020, to January 31, 2021

Website: More Info Here!

The yearly tradition is back! What is more evocative of a winter wonderland than laughing along with friends and family as their attempts at skating resemble a newborn giraffe’s first steps! Relax on the sidelines, enjoying a variety of hot drinks served at the concession stand. Larger parties can even rent out inflatable igloos to house their snowy shenanigans! Follow the website above for operation hours and reserve your skate spots today.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, online registration will be required for all events at the rink this year.

November: Winterland Holiday Light Show through November and December

Where: Ellis Park and Gill Family Aquatic Center/Recreation/Parks and Trails, 49 N. Wayne St., Danville, IN 46122

When: November 20, 2020, to December 24, 2020

Website: More Info Here!

Enjoy the beautiful Christmas holiday light show in a safe, socially-distanced environment! Drive in your car as luminous lights gleefully glitter and glisten as if to herald that the holidays have arrived.

Your children can be dazzled by the display while you can attempt to wrap your head around the logistics of putting together that many strings of lights without a single extinguished bulb. Some things are best left to the experts!

See the Lights! Christmas on the Square in Downtown Danville, Indiana

Where: Downtown Danville, Danville, IN 46122

When: 6:00 p.m., November 27, 2020

Website: More Info Here!

Some traditions simply must endure, even in the face of a pandemic. A little elf told me that Santa and Mrs. Claus will even be helping to remotely light the tree and the canopy on a live stream that will be visible by boys and girls all over the county!

Those that are able to attend the lighting of the square in person will be delighted to see that Downtown Danville merchants and restaurants will be open with beautifully decorated windows.

December: The Market at Penguin Park

Where: Washington Township Park, 115 S. County Rd. 575, Avon, IN 46123

When: December 5, 2020

Website: More Info Here!

During the Market at Penguin Park, there will be the opportunity to skate with the reformed “king of mean”: the Grinch himself. I’m also told there will be an appearance by Buddy the Elf. Along with these two yuletide celebrities, attendees will be met by vendors of all types including those that sell Christmas trees and Christmas crafts.

Enjoy festive food and drop off your letters to Santa well in advance at their special North Pole Mailbox.

New Tips for Celebrating a Safe Holiday Season in Hendricks County, Indiana

The Government of Indiana has released the following guidelines that may help you protect your family from COVID-19 during the upcoming holiday season:

Decrease exposures:

Prior to your holiday gatherings, avoid indoor settings with people you don’t live with where you cannot socially distance or wear a mask (e.g., indoor social events, bars, restaurants, carpooling).

Wear a Mask:

Wear a cloth mask at all times when you are in indoor locations outside of your home or at outdoor events.

Wash your hands:

Regularly wash your hands or use hand sanitizer and ask those coming in your house to do the same. When at-risk individuals are visiting, wear a mask while visiting with them inside your home or inside your car.

Physically distance:

Set up your house so you can physically distance with individuals who have high-risk health conditions while they are visiting you and during meals or other times when a mask cannot be worn. If at all possible, have a separate bedroom and bathroom for the at-risk individual.

Screen visitors:

Ask anyone entering or staying in your house if they have had symptoms (e.g., fever, body aches, fatigue, runny nose, cough) of COVID-19 or if they have had recent exposure to someone with COVID-19. Anyone in your house with symptoms should be isolated and anyone with exposures should be quarantined. If possible, get yourself and your household tested for COVID-19 in time to receive the results before having high-risk individuals in your home.

Clean surfaces:

Designate someone to regularly clean high-touch surfaces in your house (e.g., tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, sinks, etc.).

Hope Healthcare believes that when we work together, there’s no challenge that the citizens of Hendricks County can’t overcome. That’s why we offer affordable healthcare to even our most vulnerable citizens. We wish you a holiday season full of safe gatherings, strong faith, and love, even in the face of uncertainty.

Give Hope Healthcare a call at 317-272-0708 for more information or to book an appointment today. If we do not answer, please leave a message, and we will call you back.