Karamo Brown's Advice for Enjoying the Holidays During 2020

The Queer Eye star shares suggestions on how to keep the holiday spirit alive this year.

Karamo Brown
Photo: Taylor Hill/Getty Images

Like so many aspects of life, the holidays are looking a little different in the era of COVID-19. And even if you've discovered you actually kinda like virtual schooling, work, or hangouts, chances are you'll feel a little bummed at the prospect of streaming holiday celebrations if you're used to large family gatherings.

Of course, for many people, 2020 has brought upon challenges that go beyond the disappointment of missing out on IRL gatherings. That's why Karamo Brown of Queer Eye is partnering with Zelle to host a Holiday Spectacular. During an Instagram Live, Brown will be giving $25,000 to three people who have been spreading holiday cheer this year despite personal hardships. You can watch the Holiday Spectacular tonight at 7 p.m. ET on Karamo's IG.

In the meantime, here's some advice from Brown on how to enjoy the holidays amid the realities of 2020. (

Prioritize Self Care

Self-care is important year-round, but arguably more so during the holiday season, and especially this holiday season. If self-care tends to fall to the bottom of your priority list, Brown suggests setting an alarm on your phone that prompts you to take a moment for yourself every day. "When we're in high school or at work, usually it hits 12:30, and you know, 'I have an hour lunch.' Or if you're at school and the bell rings, you know in between class is your time. But I think, in this Zoom world we live in, we don't try to take that time. So setting reminders for yourself is key."

When that alarm goes off, try tuning into what exactly you need at that moment, says Brown. "If, during that time, it's about having a good cry, if, during that time, it's about taking a few moments to check-in on your skin — whatever it is, do what you need to make yourself happy," he explains. (

Select Heartfelt Gifts

If you plan on giving gifts to friends and family this year, you can put extra effort into coming up with something that might help brighten their day. One of Brown's favorite suggestions is a gift that's personal, universally loved, and affordable even if you're strapped for cash this year. "I think a handwritten letter is a beautiful gift to give someone right now," he says. "During this quarantine, it's about a new way of connecting. But it's also fun to get something that you normally don't get. So write down what you've learned from this person. I'm big on giving people their roses while they're still here and alive. So, share with someone in a letter how special they are to you."

Another gift idea that might help you connect with your recipient is a disposable camera, Brown says. He suggests sending a camera and instructing the person to send it back once they've taken the photos so that you can print them. "How cool would it be if someone was sending you random photos from when they're going through the day?" he says. "It's funny and cute, and a new way to connect." (

Add a Fun Element to Your Virtual Celebration

If you've been doing your school, work, and social gatherings over Zoom, you might be thinking, "Please, not another video call" by this point. The key to making a virtual holiday celebration feel special is planning a fun activity that everyone can participate in, Brown explains. "I'm over Zoom. You're over Zoom. We're all over Zoom," he says. "So if we have to be on a Zoom, make it more interactive. No more just sitting there looking at each other or having a cocktail. Let's plan an activity, and let's put a time limit on that activity. So, maybe we're playing a game or we're cooking together. Whatever it is, do something more interactive so that you actually feel like you're connecting with someone in an organic way versus sitting down and just talking."

While this year wasn't what anyone would've wished for, Brown believes it's highlighted the importance of connecting with loved ones. "I think the one thing that we can all learn this year is the importance of connection, and making sure that as we go through 2021 and beyond, we really do find moments to connect with ourselves and others," he says. "It's so important that we connect and be there. At the end of the day, all we have is each other."

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles