Suffice it to say, this year’s holiday season will have its limitations. And it’s common knowledge that this year has been a difficult and challenging one for everybody. Some of us have lost loved ones. Some of us have gotten sick. We have made adjustments to what used to be our regular lives. The new normal has become uncomfortable, inconvenient, and just plain hard. But we adapt to help keep each other safe and to hope for that light at the end of the tunnel, or at least some fancy new twinkle lights to help us find our holiday spirits.
While we wait for that day to come, it is always good to have a positive attitude no matter how difficult the situation. This will help keep our sanity intact and aid in our mental and physical health. It may even prevent the 2020 holiday season to be a complete downer!
So here are some ideas in making the most out of the holidays (safely) during this pandemic year:
Bake festive treats and spread some holiday cheer. Anyone with social media knows that baking has emerged as one of the most popular hobbies ever since the lockdown early this year. If you have perfected that sourdough bread already, how about putting that new talent to good use? Whip up some healthy holiday cookies and enjoy munching on them. Not only are these guilt-free for when you need a snack while working from home, but you have something to give to friends, families, and even frontline delivery workers. Just mask up and wash your hands while making them, pack the cookies up nicely in a sealed bag and drop off the goodies at the doorstep of your loved ones. Maybe even leave a basket by your front door for that favorite person who always brings you your most awaited packages (don’t forget to put a thank you note!).
Shop online for gifts. Sure, your spouse might be giving you a look every time you eye something on Amazon, but this is the season of giving. This is the time to have a good excuse to shop. It’s for others! While local stores have limited capacity this time, why not try their websites and order online? You can have these gifts delivered or you can pick them up curbside. There are a lot of stores and malls that have this option now to help keep everyone safe. And if you still prefer going into stores and perusing the items, or your favorite local shop doesn’t have an online option, just remember to mask up and practice social distancing.
Create your gifts. Some of us got hit hard by the pandemic financially and thinking of buying gifts this year can be a source of stress. While your friends and family will probably understand your situation, sometimes you can’t help but still want to give something. So why not try making the gifts? A project will distract you from pandemic woes especially when you have holiday music playing in the background as you put your DIY cap on.
Practice random acts of kindness. You know that Friends episode where Joey and Phoebe argued about whether there’s a selfless good deed that won’t make you feel good inside? However a random act of kindness will make you feel, what’s also important is how it positively affects others. Send thank you cards or care packages to the tired healthcare workers. Check up on your elderly neighbors. Leave bottled water for your friendly postal worker. Help that unemployed friend out and cover a week’s worth of their groceries. We must keep in mind that we are all in this pandemic together.
Enjoy holiday-themed shows on TV or online. So we are encouraged to stay home. That doesn’t mean we can’t be entertained indoors. Many of us have resorted to binge-watching our favorite shows. Get into the festive spirit and watch that cheesy Hallmark movie or that holiday-themed bake off challenge. Enjoy festive music with holiday specials on network TV. Try a newly released holiday film or relive your childhood by watching a classic. So much content is out there for your viewing pleasure.
Take a joy ride and enjoy the lights. When I was a kid, my family and I would get in the car and drive to see the nice houses with the fancy lights. It was a fun way to enjoy some quality family time while marveling at the sights. There are also a number of places that have drive-through light shows. If you prefer to get some fresh air and log more steps to your daily goal, get out of the car and take a walk through the lights. Just be sure to socially distance and wear a mask.
Participate in a Merritt Club’s holiday activity or event. We do like to celebrate at Merritt Clubs. The next time you’re at any of our locations, ask the Welcome Desk what the staff has planned this season. Or keep an eye on our social media channels and make sure you are subscribed to our newsletter.
Plan a fun day of activities. Funtivities! Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Chrismukkah or Festivus, plan a day that will bring joy to your family. With restrictions in place this year, the safest way to celebrate the big day is with the people you live with. Cook together a healthy holiday meal then enjoy quality time at the dining table. Afterwards, if the weather is nice enough, do something active to get that heart rate up and the blood pumping. Play a sport outside with your family or roommates. If you’d rather go the warm and cozy route, stay indoors and play charades, Guesstures or Just Dance. This way, your indoor game still involves some movement. Still want to see those family members who don’t live with you? If they’re local, plan a drive by to say hi and drop off gifts and holiday food. Or share a meal outdoors and remember to stay at least six feet apart. If your family’s not local, organize a Zoom party with them.
Lastly, keep an eye on what the authorities are saying. Check the CDC guidelines. Follow state and local leaders’ orders. Not only don’t we want to be breaking any rules, but we don’t want to risk spreading a dangerous virus even further. That won’t make for a fun holiday.
What are you planning to do this holiday season?