First off, we want to stress that we are not making light of Covid or the impact it continues to have on all of our lives. We have all been living with it for most of 2020. Even though vaccine hopes have lifted our spirits, we are still suffering from Covid fatigue. But, now it’s December and we want to shake a little of that fatigue off and enjoy the holidays. I mean, we definitely earned the right to celebrate this year and we can. We just have to figure out how we can have a Covid Christmas, while keeping ourselves and our loved ones safe and not contributing to the spread of Covid.
This does not have to be a daunting or impossible task. I mean, yes, a Covid Christmas will look and feel different; however, that doesn’t mean it has to be bad or boring. It just means, we might have to get a little creative and be open to changing traditions or even starting a few new ones.
- Decorating. This is something that can remain unchanged. You can still put up your Christmas lights and decorate the exterior and interior of your house like you normally would. Your home can still have the same festive flare/feel it always does at this time of year. I don’t know about you, but sitting by the Christmas tree in a room lit only by its twinkle lights on a cold winter night is a total happy place for me. It’s like the best hug wrapped in a Sherpa throw. If you’re feeling a little Hallmark Christmas movie’ish, you can even have some hot cocoa with marshmallows.
- Virtual cooking time. If cooking together is part of your holiday tradition, do it over Zoom this year (or another video communication app). You can either create the same recipes at the same time or each create different ones to the (safely) shared through contactless delivery at a later time.
- Deliver food to family and/or friends. If hosting a holiday meal or sharing your homemade fare is part of your tradition, there is no reason why it can’t continue this year. You can share with those you would normally eat with or you can share with someone you know won’t be doing it for themselves. Just cook up what you normally would, portion them out into containers and drop them off on their porch or by their door (just let them know it’s there). This could be a full meal, a few cookies, or even a special beverage (like good hot chocolate/tea/or coffee or even a nice bottle of wine). If they live too far, you can always have a meal or dessert delivered.
- Deliver or exchange gifts. Gift giving with your loved ones is still possible even when following all safety protocol. You can plan a time and leave gifts on the porch or in a car in the driveway. Also, you can talk on the phone or FaceTime together while the gift exchange happens. Or you can also meet up by car and do a trunk exchange. You can also take the gift exchange outdoors. You may have to bundle up (depending on your climate), keep your masks on, and stay a safe distance from each other while you open your presents. The bottom line, you can still buy and exchange gifts with your loved ones. So, feel free to shop and support your local businesses.
- Virtual holiday happy hour or get-together. This is a perfect replacement for holiday parties that have to be postponed this year. You can still hang out, drink in hand and ready to celebrate. Just send out an evite with the date/time and attire preference as if you were physically inviting them into your home. You can even plan to play games, do karaoke and/or create and share a playlist for them to listen to. Then get ready to welcome your guests. Appetizers optional.
- Attend a virtual mass. While it’s not safe to attend a mass/service, there are many virtual religious mass/services available online from most denominations. Virtual events make it possible to “attend” different religious celebrations everywhere.
- Virtual carolling. A great way to continue the tradition of carolling with your family, friends and/or neighbours is to hold a virtual Christmas carolling hour with them. You can send out a Zoom link and sing the songs that are merry and bright with those that opt to participate either as a fellow caroler or merely as an attendee.
- A holiday movie watch party. If watching holiday movies is part of your tradition, you can keep the tradition alive by using a watch party app to stream movies and shows on Netflix, Hulu, Disney+ and HBO. This would let everyone in the group start a movie/show at the same time, chat throughout the film and even take coordinated breaks bathroom or snacks. Or you can just watch a movie together through ZOOM or FaceTime. Oh, and if Hallmark Christmas movies are your thing, you can even print off these Hallmark BINGO cards to play while you are watching.
- Virtual holiday talent show. I know this may sound hokey but it can be fun. You just need a host (aka an emcee) and everyone can participate regardless of age or talent level. They can showcase their talents by singing, dancing, telling jokes, doing magic, performing a special trick or by reading a holiday story or poem. The organizer can create an outline for the talent show and as participants respond, schedule them into slots on a first come, first serve basis. Before long, you’ll have a full line-up of talent. You might be surprised at the hidden talents of your loved ones.
- Video call with Santa for kids. Keep the magic of the holiday alive for the children by hosting a call with Santa for a group of kids in your life. Send out an evite to their parents and ask that they RSVP with the child’s name and a few wishes from their list to Santa. Then Santa can ask for each child by name and reference their wishes. This will help keep the kids into the holiday season even though things are a little different right now. It does require a Santa’s suit (which can be purchased online at various price points) and someone who is willing to commit to the part.
Covid Christmas fun for those inside your household consider doing a:
- DIY holiday photo booth @ home. Use those decorations as your backdrop and create props from what you have around the house. Pull out any wigs or hats you have too.
- Family game night. Family game night is always fun but it’s even better when you’re having it by the Christmas tree, eating cookies with your favourite hot or cold beverage.
- Build a snowman. Building a snowman is a fun group activity and it gets you outside and breathing in fresh air. Plus, it makes a pretty cool (and cheap) lawn decoration.
- Go sledding. Sledding is such a great winter activity. It gets you out in the fresh air, gets the heart rate up and you are rewarded with some hot cocoa afterwards. Perfect.
- Homemade Christmas decorations. If you find yourself with some extra time, homemade decorations become perfect sentimental keepsakes and you create memories while you make them too. You can then give them to loved ones as a gift. Who knows? You just might be creating a new family tradition.
We hope these suggestions help you celebrate the holidays with those inside and outside your household. What really matters is staying safe and feeling connected to those you love and the traditions you share. Thanks to technology, we can do that remotely when necessary this year.
Remember, you are not alone this Covid Christmas. We are all in this together. Even the Queen is breaking with a decades-long tradition of spending Christmas at Sandringham. She will instead be staying at Windsor Castle chilling with Prince Philip without the family. Deciding on what castle can be such a dilemma…’Tis the season!
Will you be trying any of these suggestions? Do you have any other ideas to help celebrate the holidays during this Covid Christmas? Let us know in the comments.