The Holidays are Different This Year

Updated: Jan 26

and that's ok!

With COVID-19, more families are cancelling or modifying their traditional holiday plans and some don't know what they will do.

I saw a post going around on social media about "not letting fear control you" and that "this could be the last holiday with your loved one". While I understand the thought behind this, there is also a huge risk in exposing your loved one to COVID-19, thus causing this to be their last holiday. There is no shame in being fearful of spreading COVID-19, it is a realistic threat that exists.

With that being said, we ultimately have the choice to attend a family gathering or not. If you do decide to have traditional holiday plans, please be considerate, wear a mask and social distance when you can. And if a relative decides they don't feel comfortable, be understanding. This is an unusual and scary time for us all.

But, if you're skipping traditional holiday plans all together, here are some great ideas to make the holidays special, despite the circumstances.

1) Get a family holiday meal to go: No reason to stress over making an extravagant meal this year (unless that's your thing!), many restaurants offer Thanksgiving/ Holiday meals to go. Everything is prepared and ready to eat. Take it home and put it in decorative and festive serving dishes and set the table. If you have young kids, let them "play restaurant". They can create menus, play hostess and show you to your seats, serve you drinks (non-alcoholic, of course), or anything else to make it fun!

2) Hot chocolate bar: Set up a "make your own hot chocolate bar". You can make your own hot chocolate from scratch or to keep things simple, just get the Swiss Miss packets (they taste like childhood, btw). Then have a whole array of toppings like marshmallows, crushed candy cane, whipped cream, or sprinkles, just to name a few. And if you're an adult only house- you can add a cream liquor for some extra warmth. Get cozy and watch a movie!

3) Go outside: I know in the cold weather it can be hard to get yourself outside. But we all know exercise is shown to improve our moods. Go for a walk at a local park or take an evening walk and view some light displays. Some park districts hold winter events, where I live they have a bird feeder where you can handfeed birds during the winter! If you're around people, just remember to social distance and wear a mask.

4) Make holiday décor for seniors: Doing things for others can give us a sense of purpose in such a unpredictable time. So many seniors in senior living apartments and nursing homes will be spending the holidays alone this year. Gather some craft supplies, faux winter florals, bows, ribbons, bells, etc. and create winter or holiday décor to donate to your local nursing home. Get the kids involved and let them go wild with the decorating! Make it extra special by having them write letters and make drawings. It's such an easy way to brighten up someone's day.

5) Make gingerbread houses: A childhood tradition of ours is making gingerbread houses. We'd get together with my aunts and cousins and the adults would have a ton of small boxes from packaged crackers or cookies, then some store-bought frosting, graham crackers, and alllllll the candy you can imagine. We would go wild decorating our gingerbread houses and even do themed houses, one year I made a gingerbread Wal-mart! It was such a special tradition. So gather some supplies, make real gingerbread if you're feeling up to it, and create some super cute gingerbread houses! Stick with close family or those in your social bubble and only send one adult to the store to keep it COVID safe.

While the holidays aren't the same this year, it can be fun to create new traditions and make the most out of this year. I hope you find some inspiration with these ideas and I hope you have wonderful (albeit different) holidays with your loved ones!


photo cred: wix media

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