This year the holidays may look different, however, we can still connect to our friends and family in creative ways.
This post is all about finding the time and spreading cheer using the fun traditions we all know and love and perhaps creating some new ones along the way.
Grab a cup of hot cocoa (add some spice if you wish, wink wink), turn on your favorite holiday tune, and join me as we explore my top 10 ways to connect during this socially distanced holiday season.
Top 10 Creative Ways to Connect:
A few years ago, I stopped sending cards. I thought it was silly being that I had most people’s e-mail addresses or we were connected on social. However, this year I decided my family will be sending an old-fashioned paper card. There’s something special during this time about getting the gift of a card in the mail. The touch of the paper. The smiles in the photos can be contagious. And it looks nice as a decoration to look at amongst all the other cards.
This is my number one way to connect because it’s not only creative, it’s personal and sentimental. Plus you can make a book of your Christmas cards every year or turn them into an ornament.
In my home, I have a whole bookshelf full of Christmas stories. We read one as a family every day of December. We save The Night Before Christmas for its obvious day and every other holiday book is fair game for the other days. This year, spread the joy of storytelling by connecting with friends and family to share a Christmas story weekly (or daily!) with a virtual call/meeting. Rotate whose family turn it is and who reads the book so everyone has a chance to tell the story in their own way (even if they can’t really read yet).
If you don’t have kids, this could be something to expand on by telling funny stories or sharing a scheduled weekly meme with friends.
Drive through Lights Contest
I’m not talking about the big ones at farms and amusement parks. I’m talking drive through a large nearby neighborhood, or your own to look at the lights.
A way to make this more fun is to create awards for the top 3 houses. Then your family can vote for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. Once your votes are final, drop your award with a bag of candy in the mailbox of all of your winners. What a special treat for all their hard work to decorate their home!
Holiday Movie Night
Have your family write down all of your favorite Christmas movies on small pieces of paper. Then, fold them in half and drop them into a hat or empty tissue box (wrap it in Christmas paper to make it more festive). Each family member gets a chance to choose a random movie out of the box to watch. You get to decide if this is a weekend thing or a weekday thing.
Spice things up in creative ways for movie night with different types of popcorn, a hot cocoa bar, or other holiday treats you enjoy.
Some of my favorites for kids are:
-The Santa Clause
-Mickey’s Christmas Carol
Some of my favorites for adults are:
I literally just made this up in my head and it sounds so fun! Create relay races outside with a start and finish line so things are socially distanced. Invite neighbors and/or friends to join in the fun. If this is adults only for you, add some mulled wine into the mix and I’m sure it will be a hoot!
Races may include:
-balancing “egg-nog” (balancing an egg on a spoon)
-1 legged Gingerbread run
-Reindeer race with jingle bells and obstacle course
-Toys in the bag-throw as many toys in Santa’s bag as you can and carry the bag to the other side
-Mrs. Claus’s sewing room challenge (getting dressed in so many layers before reaching the finish line)
-Cookie race-eat a cookie and carry milk to the next person, they drink the milk and run to the finish line
-Santa’s late! A tag-team race with obstacles (like eating cookies and drinking milk, tying up the reindeer, get creative!) to snatch 1 Santa hat at the end…whoever gets the hat is the winner!
-This is really limitless so get creative and make up your own race!
With a group of friends, each family creates a Gingerbread house. You can use your imagination and select a theme (like candy can lane, Oreo street, Gummytown, etc.) or keep it open. Come up with a list of rules such as the house can’t be made with a pre-fab kit, or you can only use a preselected list of candies. Then select 3 judges who are not participating to judge who wins the best house over a Zoom call. Each family can use the call to model and describe their house, maybe even creating a story to go along with their cookie home. There’s so many creative ways to do this one, have fun with it.
This one is up to you. If you feel okay, go caroling with the kids around your neighborhood dressed in your finest Christmas attire. This means breaking out the ugly sweaters, tinseled face masks, and crazy Christmas hats. Or surprise Facetime a friend or relative with a carol or lip-sync and dance! I’m sure it will make someone’s day!
Usually, these are done in person, however, we can still have the exchange from afar. Schedule your cookie swap for a pre-selected week. Then each person drops off a small batch of cookies on a different day each week. Now you get to try different cookies every day of the week! Don’t forget to ask if anyone has allergies in their home. Nothing worse for a little kid with a peanut allergy to find out they were given peanut butter cookies.
This one is easy, but probably not as fun if you play gift exchange games. The positive thing though is that you can order gifts right from Amazon to a friend’s doorstep and remain anonymous if you’re playing a guessing game this year. Of course, you can always send anonymous gifts for fun without being part of an exchange to spread love.
For our last way to connect, I thought this was a special idea. There are a lot of people this year who are sick (COVID or other), are elderly, have no time or other circumstances where they can’t put up their tree or go out to get one. No matter the size, dropping off a tree or a decorated tree to this person would probably make their day and bring some holiday cheer into their home/hospital/nursing home, etc. during a difficult time.
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If a tree isn’t what they need, consider dropping off a meal, some coffee, or a sweet holiday treat.
I hope you enjoyed this post. See we can be creative in finding ways to stay connected during the quarantined holidays. All it takes is a little imagination and determination to create these new memories. Who knows, perhaps one of these will become a new tradition for your family to look forward to year after year.
Have Fun Creating & Connecting!