Safely Celebrate The Holidays With These Ideas

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Yes, the holidays are going to be a little (a lot) different this year.

The pandemic is now part of our everyday life, meaning that normal things like knocking on a bunch of strangers’ doors to get candy or simply gathering in a big group may not be possible. (At best, these traditions aren’t encouraged.)

But the holidays don’t need to be canceled or minimized — unless you want to use the virus as an excuse to do less and by all means do you if that’s the case.

If you’re still feeling the holiday spirit, you can make this time of year just as special even while safely distanced. Here’s how.

Make the most of the traditions you can safely continue

It’s so easy to focus on what we can’t do right now. But many aspects of the holidays can still happen just as they always have.

You can still deck out your house for Halloween and carve pumpkins. You can make your great-grandmother’s corn casserole for Thanksgiving or build gingerbread houses. (Great way to use up all that leftover Halloween candy, right?)

You can send cards and sweets to family to celebrate Diwali. You can dust off the menorah and unwrap all your beloved Christmas ornaments. And, you can definitely drive around town and look at everyone else’s holiday decorations. (Don’t forget the hot cocoa!)

Stay positive by getting really excited about all the things you can still do and put your energy into them.

Take advantage of festive pandemic-inspired events

While I’m looking forward to the day when this whole social distancing thing is over, I have to admit I’m impressed by the creativity so many people have shown to make the pandemic as fun as possible.

The holidays are no exception: Some cities are putting together drive-through haunted houses and reopening drive-in movie theaters to screen holiday movies, among other COVID-friendly events.

Borrow from other celebrations

Clearly, going door-to-door for Halloween is pretty much a no-go for most of us. Of all the holiday-related disappointments for 2020, this one is probably the toughest for kids and parents alike.

One of the prevailing ideas right now is to have your kids look for Halloween treats at home, à la an Easter egg hunt, instead of trick-or-treating. Taking a fun, familiar activity and turning it into something new(ish) will ease the disappointment — especially because there’s candy involved.

You could also borrow from Valentine’s Day and send out little sweet treats in the mail to friends and family members and ask them to do the same for your brood.

Do the Zoom thing

One thing I really appreciate about these times is how normal it’s becoming to virtually gather with far-away family members and friends. Before the pandemic, if someone couldn’t make a holiday gathering, we just missed them. Now, my family members all hop onto Zoom just to sing someone happy birthday.

Getting to “see” everyone when you can’t be together in person is one aspect of the pandemic I hope we keep for years to come.

Make all the treats

Thank goodness the holidays are here because now I have a legit excuse to bake cupcakes, pies, and all the sweet stuff without having to make up a reason. You don’t have to be a home chef to create awesomeness in the kitchen.

Celebrate anything — whenever you can

Having something to look forward to can keep you going when you’re feeling worn out from #covidlife. Even these micro-celebrations can create fun memories and make this pandemic feel a little less draining.

However you decide to celebrate, remember that it’s OK to feel bummed about the holidays not being the same as years past. Life is full of disappointment right now and it’s hard.

But if you can look at the holiday-related changes that the pandemic is imposing on us as an opportunity to get creative — or a perfectly good reason to scale back this year — you and your family will enjoy more time making memories and less time feeling like this year is lacking.

Who knows? Maybe you’ll discover a new way of celebrating that will become a family tradition post-virus.

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