It’s no surprise at this point: For many of us, Christmas 2020 will look much different than holidays past. The culprit? Yep. It’s COVID. Again. (We just heard your sigh and we hope you hear ours too.)
But even though this year may bring changes to travel plans, tweaks to traditions, or cancelations to your favorite seasonal activities, it’s impossible for COVID to completely claim Christmas! We just have to get creative.
Below, you’ll find ten COVID-friendly ways to celebrate Christmas in 2020. We hope these suggestions help bring a sense of normalcy back to your beloved holiday traditions.
1. Take a Christmas Light Tour.
Grab your family (and some hot chocolate!), hop in the car, and take a tour of your city’s Christmas lights. Need some help finding the best local spots? Many towns have their own Christmas light maps, like this one in Columbia, Missouri. Do a little research beforehand and scope out the places or homes with the best lights. Or forget the map and just see where the road takes you!
Need a (really good!) hot chocolate recipe for your journey? We’ve got you covered!
2. Create Your Own Christmas Playlist.
What’s Christmas without some really solid Christmas music? This year, spice things up by creating your family’s own playlist. Add both familiar and unfamiliar tunes. Use this playlist as the background music to accompany just about any family Christmas activity you participate in!
Want to borrow some songs from our playlist? Check it out here.
3. Donate to Your Local Food Bank.
Did you know that because of the coronavirus, this year has seen a 60% increase in the number of people seeking help from food banks? What better way to make a difference this season than by helping your neighbors in need?
Do some research on your local food bank. Are there any holiday food drives happening where you could drop off specific items? And if you’re comfortable with it, find out if they’re in need of any volunteers. Or consider donating to a national cause, like Feeding America’s COVID-19 Response Fund.
4. Celebrate the Lead-Up to Christmas.
Maybe you don’t typically celebrate the days and weeks leading up to Christmas in any special or specific way. This year could be a great time to start that tradition. Not to mention, this will only help extend the Christmas celebrations (and who doesn’t deserve a little extra cheer this year?).
If you have younger children, consider this free download, “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” which provides some exciting ways to celebrate the season of expectation leading up to Christmas, also known as Advent. And no matter your age, everyone loves candy, so consider adding a fun, candy-filled Advent calendar, like this one, to your Christmas décor.
5. Host a Virtual Cocktail Hour.
If your travel plans have been dashed or if you’re unable to visit elderly or immunocompromised family members or friends this holiday season, why not bring the party to them? Via FaceTime or Zoom, that is.
Find a fun, Christmas cocktail recipe, like one of these, (or make up your own!) and have the rest of your “guests” do the same! Then, host a virtual cocktail hour where you share your newfound drink recipes with each other. Zoom, drink, and be merry!
6. Get Crafty.
Exercise your creativity (and save yourself some store-bought Christmas gifts) by undertaking a Christmas craft or two this year. Create your own Christmas décor like garland, place settings, stockings, or wreaths. Maybe add some more personal touches to your annual holiday cards. Or turn your crafting venture into a family affair and create your own ornaments with your kids. Find directions and free printable art to go along with your handmade ornaments here.
7. Bake and Take.
Holiday baking is one of the hallmarks of the season. But where to start? Try out our easy, no-bake cookie recipe below. Make some cookies for yourself, then take a batch or two to your family, friends, or neighbors. (Hey, another excuse to get out of the house, right?)
Bonus tip: Leave a little note on your cookie bags to let your loved ones know you’re thinking about them a little extra this Christmas. Need some inspiration? Download our free, printable cards that are ready for you to personalize.
8. Get Lost in a New Read.
Few holiday traditions invoke as much nostalgia as reading classic Christmas books together as a family. Need some ideas for some Christmas books to read with your preschoolers and elementary-aged children? Take a title or two from our list below.
- A Very Noisy Christmas by Tim Thornborough and Jennifer Davison
- The Christmas Promise by Alison Mitchell
- The Friendly Beasts by Rebecca St. James
- Snowmen at Christmas by Caralyn Buehner
- Christmas in the Manger by Nola Buck
- ‘Twas the Evening of Christmas by Glenys Nellist
Looking for a good “grown-up” read? Look no further. Check out our list of top books from 2020 for some inspiration of your own.
9. Become a Christmas Chef.
One benefit of smaller gatherings at Christmas? Less people to critique your cooking! So, take the risk and try out some new recipes. Take on some of the recipes in the video below and create your own holiday feast!
(Bonus tip: Go ahead and open that bottle of wine you’ve been “saving for a special occasion.” We think surviving 2020 is about as special as it gets!)
10. Watch an Online Christmas Special.
Did some of your in-person Christmas events get canceled this year? Maybe it was going to see a play. A concert. A meaningful Christmas service. While the sting of canceled events certainly does leave a void, the good news is that there are some online alternatives this year that could also be well worth your time.
For example, you won’t want to miss an upcoming Christmas special, Light in the Night. You can expect familiar Christmas songs and a hope-filled message about where to find optimism, even in a year full of darkness.
COVID may have taken a lot of things away from us this year, but… let’s say it together… Christmas 👏 isn’t 👏 canceled. 👏 We hope that some of these COVID-friendly ways to celebrate Christmas help you to remember just that.