Just as we have become accustomed to adapting every aspect of our lives over the previous months, so must we consider how we will celebrate the holidays ahead. Here are some ideas to consider.

Prepare for shipping delays. Online shopping is more popular than ever. The pandemic has caused shoppers to stay home more and avoid crowded stores, and with the holidays approaching, people are turning to e-commerce to check off their holiday shopping lists.

This season, be prepared for more shipping delays as parcel companies struggle to fulfill the high quantity of orders. If you are the type of person who tends to wait until the last minute to buy holiday supplies and gifts, you might want to plan ahead of time this year.

Remember remote friends and family. If you’re sending mail or gifts, order ahead of time to ensure your recipient gets them on time. Nothing is worse than finding out your card or the gift you sent out won’t arrive until after the holidays.

Don’t forget those on your gift list you might not get to see in person this year due to COVID-19.  Especially this year, connecting is more important than ever.

Consider curbside pickup to avoid delivery drama. Take the shipping element out of the equation and choose curbside pickup, a contactless and safer option than shopping in stores. Check the retail store’s website to see if they offer curbside pickup as an option.

Many grocery stores also offer online orders and curbside pickup. You can avoid the stress and chaos of a packed grocery store before the holidays. Remember, if you aren’t up for cooking a feast, ordering takeout from a local restaurant is a delicious alternative that benefits your community.

Don’t rely on traditional sales. In-person shopping on Black Friday might not be an option for some people this year, and Cyber Monday Sales might not have discounts on what you need this year.

Due to a lack of inventory, some stores won’t be able to discount items they have a small supply of. Many stores are running sales ahead of time, so check their apps and ads frequently, and if you see a deal, it might be best to grab it while you can.

Remember that this year local businesses need even more support than ever. Consider doing some of your holiday shopping from local artists and small businesses to support the community. When you shop locally, your gift keeps giving to your neighbors who work hard to make where you live special.

Stay calm and focus on what matters. Above all, take a breath and remember that the holidays are about spending time with family and friends. This year has brought many challenges, and that doesn’t stop with the holidays.

Give yourself some slack this year, and don’t expect everything to go as it usually does. Some traditions might be interrupted this year, but we are fortunate to have the technology to keep us connected to the people we love this holiday season.

Michael Cole is the general manager of Hargray.