Karamo of Netflix’s “Queer Eye” is looking to spread some holiday cheer amid the COVID-19 pandemic with a special livestream event this week.
Karamo has always loved the holiday season. Like many of us, he’s had to make some adjustments in light of COVID-19.
“I’ve always loved the holidays, but of course we have shifted the way we all approach the holidays this year,” said Karamo. “I think it’s okay to pivot and we have to let it be okay to pivot – whether it’s our responsibilities, our relationships, the way that we’re gathering, it’s alright to pivot and know that things may change, and we’ll get back to something different and better next year.”
“I’m taking COVID very seriously. So the way that it’s changed this year is that I’m asking myself the question, are other people taking it seriously as well?” Karamo continued. “That’s really been the gauge for family members on whether I’ll be able to see them around the holidays – have they been quarantining? Have they been doing what they need to do? Are they willing to take a COVID test? If not, then I cannot interact with you, sorry. I think it’s okay for people to say – even to their loved ones “our health is more important than seeing each other in person right now.”.”
For those who are struggling to come to terms with the holidays looking different, or are having a hard time with the ongoing pandemic in general, Karamo fully understands those feelings. The first thing he has to say is, “I get it,” and hopes that people can find the strength to not hold in those feelings during this time.
“I understand. It’s been difficult, and it’s okay to feel whatever you’re feeling. The problem is when we keep those feelings inside, when we start to feel isolated, we start to feel alone,” said Karamo. “So go ahead and open up, talk to your family members, talk to your friends about what you’re experiencing, so that they can relate, they can check in on you so they can be there. And then together, you can work together to make changes so that you all feel supported and are celebrating in a way that’s going to be healthy for everyone.”
A recent study by Zelle found 35% of consumers are either holding virtual holiday get-togethers or skipping the holiday altogether. In order to spread some holiday cheer, Karamo is hosting a Christmas Spectacular on his Instagram on Dec. 17. Presented by Zelle, Karamo will explore the season’s hot topics during the event with tips to navigate the holidays during these unprecedented times.
“This is one of the things I’m most excited for this holiday season!” said Karamo. “The holidays look very different for everyone this year, and it’s important for us to find opportunities to be grateful, connect with each other, and send cheer – something we should do all year round but sometimes forget to do.”
Throughout the event, Karamo will host guests such as “Lucifer” actress Lesley-Ann Brandt, Emmy-award winning TV Host Zuri Hall, choreographer and dance sensation Matt Steffanina. The event will also reveal the winners of the Zelle Send Cheer contest, which will award three lucky individuals with $25,000.
Karamo hopes that his Christmas Spectacular can be held annually going forward.
“I would love to make this an annual thing once we move past the pandemic, it’s so important for all of us to continue to send cheer, connect with each other, and celebrate the holidays together even if we’re separated for whatever reason,” said Karamo. “If this year has taught us anything it’s taught us that we all can spread positivity year-round regardless of the circumstances.”
For those who are planning their own safe Christmas celebrations this year, Karamo says that preparation is key to pulling it off — particularly planning how long your Zoom calls will last.
“One of the things that I don’t like about Zoom calls that they can get awkwardly long – it’s so important to say to yourself, okay, this will be for 30 minutes and stick to that time,” said Karamo. “Set your schedule the same way you would set your schedule as if you were driving to people’s home. And understand that it’s okay if you want to cancel because you’re not in the same mindset.”
Karamo says that setting up an activity to do over Zoom will also keep things fun for those involved.
“When you do end up on these Zoom calls, make them fun! Have both of you be doing the same activity and sharing a connection that way – for example both of you could be trimming the tree, baking cake, decorating cookies, addressing holiday cards, whatever the case may be,” said Karamo. “That helps you to feel connected but also not feel this pressure like you have to sit down and stare at everyone for 45 minutes awkwardly.
Those who wish to tune in for Karamo’s Christmas Spectacular can go to his Instagram profile (@Karamo) at 7 p.m. ET on Dec. 17. After the show is finished, it will be posted to Karamo’s IGTV for future viewing.