The holidays will look different this year, but you can still make it a memorable fun time for your family! Whether it’s tweaking your current traditions or incorporating new ones, there are many cheer-spreading activities you can do while social distancing and practicing safety precautions.
Here are 15 ideas for safely enjoying the holidays with your loved ones:
1. Tour neighborhood light displays – Remember how exciting it was as a child to see the houses that were decorated with hundreds (or thousands!) of lights? Relive that same feeling by packing the kids in the car and driving around to different neighborhoods to see the twinkling illuminations your neighbors have come up with.
2. Virtual holiday song karaoke – Calling all singers and would-be singers! While you may not be able to gather with your family in person to belt out holiday jingles, you can have everyone link up on a Zoom online session. Karafun offers a substantial catalog of songs perfect for virtual Karaoke parties at a budget-friendly price.
3. Reach out – Send a card or call someone who lives alone or may not have someone to talk to. It may seem like a small gesture to you, but will really make their day! The pandemic has been harder for those who don’t live with others, and some may feel forgotten about. Reach out to let them know you are thinking of them during the holidays.
4. Have a gift-wrapping chat – Buying gifts can be fun, but wrapping them – not so much! Make this task more enjoyable by enlisting others to wrap their gifts the same time you are, but virtually. Set up a Zoom meeting with a few friends or family members, get the gift wrap out of the closet, play holiday music on a low setting in the background, and chat it up while wrapping! The time will fly by.
5. Watch a holiday movie together from afar – Grab the popcorn, your favorite spot on the couch, and your best bud to watch a holiday Netflix movie while on Zoom or Facetime. Simply start the movie at the same time and enjoy! This lets you spend quality time with your loved one as you enjoy a festive flick.
6. Make your own wreath – You could buy a wreath to adorn your front door, or you could create your own! You can buy a plain green wreath and visit your local arts and crafts store to buy decorative materials like felt, glitter, ribbon, pine cones, berry twigs, and tiny ornaments. You’ll feel a sense of pride having a wreath you added your own personal touches to, and you’ll keep it forever!
7. Find the pickle ornament – Hanging a pickle ornament on a tree might seem odd, but it’s part of a fun Old World German holiday tradition. Legend says that the first child to find the pickle Christmas ornament on the tree is to be awarded with the first gift, an extra present, or allowed to hand out the presents, as well as good fortune for the year. This custom is known as Weihnachtsgurke, or Christmas Pickle.
8. Send cards to nursing home residents – The holidays can be a lonely time of year for seniors in nursing homes. Asking the nursing home for a list of residents or a group of residents to send holiday cards to will bring them joy. Some residents may not have family members who visit, or relatives may not live close by. Mailing them a card is a thoughtful gesture that takes just a few minutes to do.
9. Create a hot chocolate bar -Who doesn’t love hot chocolate?! The family will look forward even more to this cup of deliciousness when there’s a cool toppings bar involved. On your table or counter top, set out a variety of toppings that loved ones can add to their cocoa. A peppermint stick, green and red sprinkles, caramel glaze, whipped cream and more will add to the fun of creating a customized cocoa concoction!
10. Plan a themed Christmas day – Add a fun twist to Christmas day at home this year by initiating a theme! You could have everyone wear pajamas all day, wear a Santa hat, an ugly Christmas sweater, and more. You could also do a Christmas in July theme where family members have to wear summer clothes!
11.Decorate an ornament together – Since many children are doing school virtually, the tradition of making an ornament in class may not be an option this year. You can still keep this artistic activity alive for your child by creating your own ornament together. You can buy a plastic bulb along with glitter, glue, beads, buttons, and anything else small you can think of to decorate it. You can probably find many items at the dollar store!
12.Virtual Ugly Christmas Sweater contest – Time to get ugly! Have family members near and far don their best WORST holiday sweater for this year’s bragging rights (and maybe a cool prize like an Amazon gift card). Set up a Zoom meeting where everyone will take turns modeling their sweater to the enjoyment and laughter of others. Select a committee of judges who will then vote on this year’s winner, or have first, second, and third place winners!
13. Play virtual board games – Love Monopoly, Scrabble, Clue, and other board games? You’re in luck! Many classic games can be found online for free or at a low cost. Create a virtual game night with your friends to keep the competitive spirit alive during the holidays! You can check out games on sites such as Pogo and TableTopia.
14. Decorate holiday masks – Masks have become a part of daily life since the pandemic hit. But that doesn’t mean they have to be boring! Grab the kids and jazz up a plain mask for the holidays. Think snowballs for Santa’s beard, green furry material for The Grinch, and red and white felt for a candy cane striped look.
15. Send a personalized Christmas video – In this ever-evolving age of technology, sending a video holiday card will be a welcome surprise to loved ones. Especially if you know they’re always on their phone! Grab the family together and give a warm message, sing a carol, or re-enact a scene from a famous holiday movie. Personalize the video card with their name to bring an even bigger smile to their face!
What else would you add? What traditions are you changing or implementing this year?