As we continue to celebrate and plan for the holiday season, it’s more than okay to feel down and discouraged since it will most likely be different from prior years. Although we may not be able to uphold all cherished traditions, we hope you are able to create new ones that you will bring to our next “normal” holiday season. Whether you’re celebrating with your loved ones in-person or virtually, here are nine ideas to help love and maintain community in a safe way this year!

  1. Create a list of all of your holiday traditions (with food, decorations, activities) and try to see what you can keep and/or adjust your plans to. Being able to maintain some traditions will help keep the holiday spirit.
  2. Curate a menu and cook with members of your household. If you’re unable to celebrate together in person, plan to cook the same meal virtually and buy all of the ingredients ahead of time.
    If there’s a particular dish that you usually look forward to eating during holidays, reach out to the loved one who makes it and ask them for the recipe— or cook it with them!
  3. Plan a paint night! Find a Bob Ross or a painting video on YouTube and pick up some supplies from your local art supply store.
  4. Find a virtual volunteer opportunity. One site you can use is Idealist. (While browsing, make sure that you apply the “Virtual/ Remote” and “Volunteer” filters to your search.)
  5. Write letters to family and friends who aren’t able to celebrate with you this year.
  6. Write letters to patients at a local hospital, to the elderly, and/or to US Troops. When writing to patients and folx who require care, carefully read all mailing instructions to ensure that you’re handling the mail safely.
  7. Have virtual exchange gift parties. Use DrawNames to help (with no surprise) draw names, ask questions anonymously, and create wishlists. Set a time where you open the gifts all together virtually. If a gift comes early, make it a rule that participants have to wait until you all plan to meet.
    (Tip: their wishlist generator pulls items from Amazon. Support small businesses and include links and/or screenshots of products you’d like from their online stores.)
  8. If you are able to, go through old family albums and/or yearbooks together. If you’ll be celebrating with household members that you would like to learn more about, share photos of loved ones with one another.
  9. Reconnect with a distant relative or loved one that you wish you knew more about and ask them questions about their life story.

While things may be different this time around, we hope that you are still able to have a safe and happy holiday season!

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