Christmas is hands down my favourite holiday. Nothing can compare to warm drinks by the fireplace, holiday specials, and the excitement the kids get in anticipation of Santa Claus. Celebrating Christmas during COVID-19, though, is going to look a lot different.
Normally Christmas is a time for family, but it’s also a time for tradition. And we all have our own! For some people, it’s doing your Christmas shopping at the mall or your favourite stores. For others it’s holiday parties and activities. Whatever you usually do, it will probably have to be adjusted a bit this year.
Celebrating Christmas During COVID-19
So that leaves many of us parents wondering how to plan our Christmas celebrations amid this pandemic. How can we make Christmas feel normal and special, even when we know deep down things aren’t normal at all.
Everything from your holiday shopping to your pre-Christmas traditions is going to be different this year. Kids might be out of school, or at least not celebrating the way they usually do while they’re there. Supply chains have been hit, which means shopping for gifts might not be as easy. And even when we can shop, it’s likely going to be online.
Here’s some ways I’m going to be celebrating Christmas during COVID-19 that you can totally steal.
Plan WAY ahead
I’m usually someone who plans pretty far ahead when it comes to Christmas. I like to be prepared so that I can really enjoy the holiday season. Hustle and bustle just isn’t for me.
This year, though, I’m expecting shortages in different ways than the typical holiday rush. For example, I’ve been debating getting the twins their own Nintendo Switch Lites. Game consoles are something that sold out like crazy at the start of the pandemic, and while some are back in stock now, I think they’re going to be harder to find when the weather cools off.
Even food sometimes sees shortages. If we have another lockdown, things like flour for your holiday baking might be hard to find. There might also be less to choose from in the stores this year, since it seems like production of a lot of items has slowed down from the lockdowns in China.
Travelling and hosting will be different
If you’re planning to go away for the holidays, try not to stray too far from home. Stick to people you feel comfortable being in close contact with, and, if possible, wear a mask during family gatherings. Make sure you have back up plans for your travel in case there’s new restrictions, or if you get sick.
When hosting guests, things are probably going to be different there too. Where you might normally go out and do things together, now everyone is staying in. Plan to be entertaining at home and make the best of it. Card or board games and other family activities are great ways to pass the time together!
Celebrate those traditions
Everyone has a different risk tolerance so the amount you actually go out and do things is going to vary from family to family. That’s OK! Just do what works for you, while still enjoying those family traditions the kids look forward to.
One idea is to put a twist on group activities. If your family always does a sleigh ride, for example, pull the kids around in the sled. Substitute walks through Christmas light displays with driving around and looking at the lights on peoples’ homes. Just. Do. Something.
Replace the school stuff
A lot of the Christmas season, at least for kids, resolves around the activities they do at school. Christmas concerts, school plays, and even gift exchanges usually happen around the holiday. Plus there’s all those holiday crafts!
If the kids are at home, take the time to bring some of those Christmas activities to your home. Host an at-home Christmas concert, make holiday crafts, or do a virtual party with all their friends.
Even with kids going back to school in some places the bigger gatherings are probably going to be cancelled. In that case, you might still want to bring some of that tradition into the home so they don’t feel like anything’s missing this year.
Your kids won’t be as affected as you are
It feels like the world is ending, but kids don’t have the same grasp on what’s going on in the world. Sure, cancelled plans and changes to their life are disruptive and upsetting, but they don’t carry the weight that us adults do.
Let’s be real: the kids are looking forward to gifts, family time, and holiday treats. They don’t care if you went on a sleigh ride last year, but not this year, as long as they get time with you. Keep that in mind and try not to feel guilty about what’s going on in the world.
As strange as things are this year, we still have to live our lives. That means creating childhood memories for your kids and preserving traditions. I don’t know if they’ll be allowed yet but I know that even if it bugs me that things aren’t normal, we’ll still look at those social distanced (or masked) mall Santa photos fondly.
After all, this is the year we got to spend with our families at home.
Mourn your loss
No matter how hard we try, we’re going to be sad about something. The way the world is right now is taking its toll on everyone’s morale, mine included. Normally I’m excited for the holidays, but this year I’m a little blue. It’s tough.
When it comes to celebrating Christmas during COVID-19 just do your best. That’s all you can do… And all that’s needed.