As the end of 2020 nears it is now more important than ever that we stay socially distanced and end this pandemic. However, this does not mean that the December holidays have been canceled. Below are 10 ways to make the holidays fun while still staying socially distanced.
Spend time with family
While the CDC encourages you to celebrate the holidays with only your immediate household, there are still ways to spend time with your family this season. You could quarantine for 2 weeks prior to visiting your family, wear masks, and keep any gatherings outdoors and with 5 or less people, but that is not an option for everyone. The recommended alternative is to keep in touch with your loved ones digitally. You can set up times for facetime, calling, or meeting your family over zoom. Even traditions like lighting the menorah or decorating gingerbread houses can be worked into online sessions. While it might not be the same, you can still make meaningful memories while at home.
Decorate your home
Since everyone is spending more time at home, this is a great year to go all out in decorating for the holidays. Whether that means bringing out the Christmas tree, dreidels, garland, or just some winter blankets, adding some festive décor to your home can fill you up with holiday spirit and make you feel a lot more excited for the days about to come.
Watch holiday movies
Holiday movies are arguably one of the best parts of the season, and they are something that are easily accessible from your own home. Netflix, Disney+, HBO, Amazon, and other streaming services have thousands of films ranging from Christmas classics like It’s A Wonderful Life (1946) to newer favorites such as Frozen (2013). No matter what kind of movies you like, you’re bound to find one that can bring you holiday cheer.
Help the community
While the holiday season may be less exciting this year, it is important to remember there are others who are having a much more difficult time. Due to COVID-19, the safest way to help in the community is by donating to charities or supporting families online. Some options for this include Toys for Tots https://www.toysfortots.org/, who donate toys to children in need, Operation Help a Hero https://www.operationhelpahero.org/operation-christmas-spirit.html, which helps support military families, and Cocoon House http://www.cocoonhouse.org/, a non-profit that aids homeless teens and children in Snohomish County. While not everyone may be able to help, these could help make someone’s holiday season just a little bit better.
Bake festive treats
Quarantine has caused a surge in baking, and now we can put those skills to use in creating festive desserts for the season. You could make a family recipe your own, try one you find on Pinterest, or even just buy the premade cookie mix. There’s also an opportunity to try new things like hot cocoa bombs. Making (and eating) holiday treats can make the season feel a lot sweeter, even if it’s only for a moment.
Deliver gifts to loved ones
Just because you are socially distancing it doesn’t mean that you can’t give gifts to your friends and family. As an alternative to a gathering, you can leave treats or presents on their doorstep for them to enjoy. Another option is to deliver it to them through the mail and have it surprise them when it arrives. This year has allowed us to get a lot more creative with our gift-giving and find new ways to show those surrounding us that we care.
Listen to holiday songs
The holiday season brings along with it a large selection of Holiday music. There are hundreds of Christmas and winter albums on almost every streaming service that range from classical to rock, so take advantage of them and enjoy the music! Singing along to the festive tunes can elevate your holiday spirit and make the season a lot more cheerful.
Visit a tree farm
Christmas trees are a staple for those who celebrate the holiday, and if you prefer real trees, the best way to get them is by going to a local tree farm. While COVID has made an impact on businesses, many farms have added precautions to make sure that getting a tree is safe for customers. For example, Stocker Farms enforces a social-distanced environment and are selling pre-cut trees up until December 13th. While not everyone has this tradition, those who do can still enjoy the joy and smell of fresh pine that the trees bring.
Make/send holiday cards
Sending holiday cards have always been used to send warm wishes to family and friends, and now is a great time to take advantage of your extra time. You can take family photos and upload them to Snapfish (https://www.snapfish.com/christmas-and-holiday-cards#/bspview?ptype=cards&pcat=christmas_holiday_1637_1443633194_snapfish_us&offset=0&view=BSP&bspOffset=0&isLoadMore=false), Vistaprint (https://www.vistaprint.com/holiday/christmas-cards/templates?xnav=LP_Holiday_cta_category_viewall), or even make your own! From long-distance friends to quarantined acquaintances, delivering cards to those you know is a cute and easy way to keep connections and spread happiness.
Look at Christmas lights
This year there has been an increase of Christmas lights on houses, which makes this activity a lot more fun and accessible. You can take a walk in your neighborhood, go for a drive, visit the Marysville Christmas lights which sync up to the music broadcasted on the station 101.9 (Address: 7513 72nd Dr. NE), or even check out the Evergreen Church’s virtual Christmas lights ceremony (https://www.christmasatevergreen.com/). No matter what you choose, you’re bound to find something interesting and jolly.
That is the end of the list! Enjoy this season while it lasts and don’t forget to follow the social distancing guidelines. Stay safe and Happy Holidays!