Keeping the Holidays Warm and Festive During COVID
The CDC is suggesting that people should not travel or spend the holidays with others outside of their immediate households. While for some this might come as a major disappointment, it could provide a change to the holiday scene that would create warmer connections with the ones you love in a much more relaxed scene.
Remember holidays past where you were stressing yourself to create an affair to impress Martha Stewart, yet she wasn’t invited to the event much less would ever know about your private holiday gathering to give a flip? Also, remember how somewhere in the magic of the holidays the task lists outgrew the joy?
This year we have the opportunity to change that. Instead of the virus creating another disappointment, why not turn those dinner tables and harness the opportunities this season allows us? Slow down, stay home and relax with the ones you love.
My family is probably very similar to yours. Dad still continues to go to work leaving Mom and two kids home to conduct full time work and full time school from different corners of the house. Since last March. I am actually looking forward to having the kids engaged into something other than online school. Am I right? Instead of dreading the upcoming holiday hoping I check all my boxes off to create a beautiful and effortless (looking) event for all my extended family and friends to enjoy, I’m actually looking forward to switching off the screens and spending quality time together. Low key and relaxed.
I’ve ordered my 4 person meal (no, I’m not cooking) to be picked up prior to Thanksgiving. I’m happy to support the catering and restaurant industry that is currently feeling the pressure with the reduced capacity allowed in public spaces. This leaves me more time to prepare activities for the day which I can honestly say I’m looking forward to. Some of my ideas include:
- Enjoying time together! One favorite activity that we’ve found we all enjoy is engaging in the different games offered by jackbox.tv. This is a collection of games available online or through different streaming apps like Amazon TV Firestick, Apple TV, or through your gaming devices such as PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch or Xbox One. Everyone plays along with their phone. It is challenging and appropriate for all levels. Give it a shot! Or if screens are on a temporary hiatus, why not try…
- Why I’m thankful performances. Who likes to create poetry? Or music? Or interpretive dances? Allow your family a few days to prepare to stage a variety show on Thanksgiving. Allow your people to express their love in the way they feel most themselves. And as an audience, REALLY listen. Pay attention to the form of expression your loved ones choose. This will give you insight into their love language and what really makes them tick. Bonus: this can lead to some gift ideas for the next big holiday in your future!
- Nature walk to collect natural treasures. This doesn’t need to be a kid activity. Why not dig into your inner child? Explore the season by observing the leaves, nuts and rocks left lying around on the ground. Really connect with the earth and all its wonders. The colors and shapes really can be intriguing if you open up and let them be so! And if the environment allows (assuming you’re not stealing from a protected natural area), grab some of your favorites and bring them home to share as decor on the table. There’s nothing I love more than to bring natural elements inside to create some texture and variety to your table. Create place cards with the items by writing names on them, if you feel so inclined.
- Bake together! I know this doesn’t seem like a new idea, but there are ways to do it so it doesn’t end up as a complete disaster. Be sure to prepare ingredients in advance and portion them out so it is simple for young hands to pour into the mixing bowl. Now’s a good time to teach them how to set the oven and operate the stove safely (assuming age is appropriate). Or even better, let them put together some ingredients and experiment with the results. Marshmallows, cheerios and cranberries? I don’t see why not.
These are just some ideas of ways to pass the time together as a family or household. The current conditions shouldn’t have to hold us back, but rather bring us closer together. To give thanks for the blessings we share.
Oh and that pesky elf? When he shows up for another year of freaking out the kids and stressing the parents, make sure that he just stays in quarantine in the corner and does. not. move. an. inch. He’s traveled far and has come into contact with many to make it to your house. Make sure he spends at least 14 days in quarantine while doing his work of watching for the naughty and nice. You don’t want to risk that kind of exposure from his travels. You’re welcome.
Happy Holidays, everyone. There’s nothing stopping you from being merry and bright. Not even COVID.
Header photo by @randireding