In a year of uncertainty, one thing is a given: Reduced travel and social distancing mean families will be looking for new ways to embrace the seasonal spirit. Read on for five fresh ideas for holiday, plus pointers for planning out your schedule.
First, make your list (and check it twice)
A little planning goes a long way to avoid last-minute stressors and free up time with the family. Here are a few ideas for holiday organizing to get the ball rolling:
- Consider buying wrapping paper and ribbon as early as October. Don’t forget the little must-haves that often seem to be in short supply, like wrapping tape and gift tags.
- Bake cookies in November and tuck them in the freezer for safe-keeping. Tip: This is a great time-saver if you’re baking big batches for friends and neighbors, or planning a cookie-decorating day with the kids.
- Double-check deadlines at your local post office, just in case you need to send gift packages out a little earlier than usual. Gift recipients will appreciate it!
5 Fresh Ideas for Holiday Family Time
1. Give ‘thank you’ cards to essential workers
While everyone has made at least a few sacrifices this year, it’s essential workers — teachers, nurses, postal workers and grocery clerks — who have gone above and beyond to keep daily life running. What better way to show them your gratitude than with homemade Thank You cards? Make it a family activity by inviting your kids to create their own cards using their favorite art supplies.
2. Take family time outside
With the closures of public spaces and continued social distancing, you might be looking for reasons to get everyone out of the house. Why not try a new outdoors activity with your family, like snowshoeing through the neighborhood or cross-country skiing on a local trail? Walks to view Christmas lights are also a great idea for holiday togetherness (no snow required!).
3. Give back to your community, together
More families than ever are in need this year. Even a little bit of your time or a few donations can brighten someone’s holiday. Help instill lessons of compassion by asking your kids to each pick a cause that’s dear to them. Ideas for holiday giving could include grocery shopping for the local food bank, donating coats or making greeting cards for children in the hospital.
4. Create an activity ‘advent’ calendar
In place of a daily advent calendar, count down to the holidays with a weekly one that’s filled with family activities. For example, maybe you hold a holiday movie night each Friday, complete with different snacks and a build-your-own hot cocoa bar. Or maybe you make Sunday a volunteer day, with a cause that changes every week.
5. Deck the halls with homemade charm
Crafting decorations is a great way to keep little hands busy. Tree trimmings like cranberry garlands or popcorn strings are simple yet fun to make. Other ideas for holiday decorating include whimsical painted rocks (perfect for mantels) or paper snowflakes to spruce up windowpanes.
Want to incorporate more “sophisticated” elements but still stay on budget? Old bits and bobs from holidays past, like extra string lights or ornaments that have lost their hooks, can easily be repurposed for charming holiday décor.