The holiday season doesn’t look like what we’re used to. While it’s not easy, it’s important to remember that this is temporary. There will be a time when we can be with our loved ones again. Just because we miss our typical holiday traditions, though, doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the season in a new way.
Here are a few ideas to find and create joy and fun over the holidays, even when we can’t be in the same room with our loved ones.
Send Holiday Care Packages
From hot chocolate to ugly sweaters to special Christmas pajamas, you don’t have to give up on your family traditions this year. You might not enjoy them together in the same room, but you can enjoy them together. Pack up a holiday care package with hot chocolate, a sweater, or whatever you usually enjoyed together and send it in the mail. You might celebrate at a distance, but you can still feel like you’re together when you continue your old traditions.
Watch Holiday Movies Together
For your immediate family, this can be a great option each night leading up to Christmas. For families who can’t visit, you can still do this virtually. Netflix, Disney+, and more now offer “watch together” features. Pick a night (or several), put on your holiday pjs, make hot chocolate, and watch a movie together. You can feel connected even from a distance. Again, those beloved traditions don’t have to go away. They just need to adapt for now.
Drive to See Christmas Lights
You’ve done as much outside, six feet apart, as you can. Now that it’s colder, outdoor gatherings aren’t quite as easy. Why not do something together, but in your personal vehicles? Drive through neighborhoods or to local events to enjoy Christmas lights together. Call each other, put yourselves on speakerphone, and chat about the beautiful lights, silly displays, and fun songs. You’re having the same experience, but without the risk of getting too physically close.
Unwrap Presents via Zoom
You’ve had birthdays, anniversaries, and Thanksgiving via Zoom. This is no different. Whether you unwrap on Christmas Eve or you do it Christmas Day, set up a Zoom meeting, get everyone logged in, do it together. Everyone can hold their gift up to the camera for everyone else to see. And if you want to see the grandkids before the Zoom call, Facetime a little earlier (you know they’ll all be awake anyway) to get that special time together.
Create New Traditions
It’s easy to miss what you don’t have, and we all desperately miss our families this year. But that doesn’t mean you can’t start new traditions. Maybe everyone bakes cookies together or does a holiday craft together virtually. Maybe there’s a dish you’ve never had the chance to serve or make. Instead of focusing on what you can’t do this year, take some time to focus on the new things you can try. It won’t replace the family you miss, but it might give you something to look forward to.
With a bit of creativity and willingness to try new things, you can enjoy the holidays at home this year. You might even start new traditions to carry forward into the years ahead.