DC-area residents keep the 'holiday spirit' alive despite pandemic’s presence

This year’s unexpected arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic has made the holidays feel quite different for a lot of people across the country and in the D.C. region.

But plenty of people, it seems, are still finding the best way possible to cherish and safely celebrate what’s left of this challenging year.

READ MORE: Reservations and tickets for 'COVID-safe' activities high in demand during holiday season

"Oh, I’m just in the spirit you know?" said Michael Ransone of Washington D.C., about wearing a Santa hat. "Plus, I got a bald head to protect because it’s cold outside."

We caught the self-dubbed and true procrastinator, gift shopping at the last minute at Pike and Rose.

Ransone said it’s something he isn’t ashamed of doing the day before Christmas because he’s just thankful that he can afford to do so. 

"I’m a chef and caterer, and during the pandemic, a lot of people still have to eat, so to me... I’m winning," Ransone said.

Meanwhile, the owners of Brews and Barrels in the Kentlands spent the day before Christmas, giving away about 100 free hot meals to anyone who called ahead or showed up hungry.

"You know, times are tough and a lot of people don’t have jobs," said Sam Malhotra, partner with the restaurant. "And for some people, the PPE hasn’t gone through and they are seeing tough times, so we are doing what we can for the community and provide the free meals."

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No matter how some people handled the year of the pandemic, one thing was for sure; there was, and still is, plenty to be grateful for.  

"First of all, I’m just thankful that I’m alive and my work family is alive," said Zack Emonoi of North Bethesda.

"I’ve been blessed with my family being healthy, so I am happy for that, it’s been a good thing," said Scott Cole of Potomac.

"I just wish people will stay blessed and healthy," said Kenneth Kal of North Bethesda.