There’s no question that this holiday season will be different from any before. Given the circumstances, it can be easy to let the cancelled and changed plans bring down your holiday cheer. However, if you still want to create loving and positive memories this year, here are some ideas to make your home and your virtual gatherings more enjoyable.
For Your Home
This is the year to go all out with your holiday decorations. Spread as much holiday cheer as you can with sparkling lights, elegant tablescapes, a gorgeous tree, and a lavish mantle. Even setting up a festive Zoom background can bring a smile to a coworker’s face. With fewer people under the same roof for the holidays, filling the space and making it joyful and cozy can really help the mood. Another great way to create a feeling of Christmas mood is to decorate the front porch. Wreaths, strings of lights, and festive inflatables all make great decorations that will bring a smile to your face and brighten up the neighborhood. Lights will brighten up the space and winter inflatables will keep the festive part alive. Customizable winter inflatables come in many different shapes and sizes and can range from cartoon characters to an entire nativity scene. In addition to making yourself feel merry and bright, outdoor decorations can put smiles on the faces of passers-by or neighbors who may be feeling a bit down during this time of year.
Since many of us are spending more time at home than ever before, you may have started to notice the little flaws in your home. Whether it’s an uncomfortable chair or a faucet you didn’t know had a drip, take some of the money you’ve saved from traveling and going out less to upgrade something in your home. Treat yourself a cozy new blanket for a reading nook, set up a real home office, or even replace an outdated appliance if your budget allows. This year has become about enjoying our homes, so take the extra time to make it even more enjoyable for yourself.
Much like filling your rooms with things you enjoy, fill your home with fresh holiday smells. Baking is not only a great way to relax and enjoy quality time with your family, but the result is a great smelling home and delicious treats to enjoy. Whether you make classic sugar cookies or want to try something new like these spiced molasses mini cakes, remember, if you make too much, be sure to share with your neighbors and essential workers to spread more holiday cheer.
For Your Mind
While this time of year is usually full of thankfulness and gratitude, this holiday season requires more reflection. It is easy to be thankful for your family and friends when you are all together, but in this time when we are apart, we need to take a real inventory of our lives. Look around and be grateful for the less obvious things in your life, the things that surround you but you may overlook every day. Show appreciation and spread kindness whenever you can and make sure the people in your life know how important they are to you.
Peace of Mind
With the free time we have left in 2020, you can prepare now to set yourself up for success in the new year and during post-pandemic life. The mundane tasks of your to-do list are, expectedly, not the most enticing, but checking off these items will bring you the relaxed and accomplished feeling you may need to actually enjoy the holidays. If you usually travel around this time of year, redirect the energy and money you would spend driving or flying to your destination to complete a project. Clean out your inbox or organize your closet. Tackle your finances and start thinking long term about the investments you’ve made or plan to make in the future. You can use this time to start exploring things like financial safety plans, warranties to protect your home and other large financial assets you may own. This type of premature planning will allow you to achieve peace of mind and will save you frustration in the future. Getting your to-do list done means more free time and less stress when it counts — when we can all be together again.
For Your Loved Ones
12 Days of Facetime
The world is more connected than ever before. On the days leading up to Christmas, FaceTime or Zoom call a different person who is important to you every day. Surprising someone with a call is so simple, but a great way to show that you care and are thinking about them.
If companies and cities have learned one thing this year, it’s how to host a virtual event! From your home, you can attend a concert for the Trans Siberian Orchestra, tour the North Pole and speak to Santa, play a virtual board game, or take a cooking class. If you have a family tradition of cooking or baking, have each household buy the ingredients and cook them at the same time over a video conference call.
Secret Santa by Mail
The anticipation of getting a package in the mail is always exciting, but with the added suspense of not knowing who sent it, you can capture some of the magic and wonder of Christmas morning. There are even websites that streamline the Secret Santa process so you don’t have to deal with drawing names from a hat and someone picking themselves by accident. You can also do a cookie exchange through the mail to get some more baking incorporated into the holidays.
No matter where you are for the holidays and who you are spending them with, fill your home with joy. Whether it’s going overboard on the decorations or spending quality time digitally, it is possible to enjoy this holiday season.