11 Creative Ways to Celebrate the Holidays Safely This Year
The holidays are going to look a bit different this year, but that doesn’t mean we have to miss out on some of the season’s most festive activities. In fact, this year is a great opportunity to create new holiday traditions that are equal parts fun and safe. From virtual Santa visits for the kids to virtual wine tastings for the adults, here are 11 creative ways to get festive in 2020.
1. Have a Holiday Movie MarathonWhether you’re searching for a kid-friendly classic to enjoy with the family or a festive rom-com to give you all the feels, we’ve got you covered with the best holiday movies that you can stream right now. And with clever apps like Houseparty and Gaze, you can easily watch together with your loved ones, even when you’re apart. Set aside an entire day for the event and bring on the bottomless eggnog.
2. Visit with Santa Virtually
We never thought we’d feel nostalgic for the lengthy lines and crying children that are signature to any mall Santa photo experience, but—courtesy of 2020—here we are. So, what’s the pandemic-proof pivot on the real deal? Enter virtual Santa meet and greets. (Yep, they’re all the rage this year.) After all, your kid still needs a way to update Santa that they’ll be absolutely gutted if they don’t see a Nintendo Switch (or, better yet, a wireless karaoke microphone) under the tree. But which virtual Santa visits are the least bizarre and most fun? We rounded up our top five picks.
3. Indulge in a Virtual Wine TastingWe’re no strangers to a virtual happy hour, but the holidays call for something a little more special. A Zoom wine tasting is a great way to discover new varietals with friends while pretending you’re at a gorgeous vineyard in Napa (instead of the same house you’ve been in for eight months). You could, of course, figure this one out by yourselves by choosing wines available to all, or you could enlist the services of Sommelier Company, which offers sommelier-guided wine and whiskey tastings in a virtual format, via Zoom and Webex video conference. (They’re also able to ship wines or whiskeys to each participant, nationwide.)
4. Do a Festive Craft
Whether you DIY a tree ornament, craft your own dreidel or create a modern Kinara, kids (and grown-ups, too) will love tackling a festive project and showing off their hard work in time for the big celebration.
5. Create a Shared Holiday Playlist
Nothing gets us into the spirit quite like music. Plus, it has a way of setting the atmosphere inside your home. To create a cozy and inviting vibe, curate a memorable playlist by asking your family and friends to add their all-time favorite holiday song. It’ll feel like your best friend is right there with you when your karaoke classic “All I for Christmas is You” comes on.
6. Host a Virtual Gingerbread CompetitionIf making your own slab of gingerbread sounds too ambitious, don’t worry: There are tons of great kits that you can buy online (you can’t go wrong with this mini gingerbread village, $27) and we’ve got a few gingerbread house floorplans to help you think outside the (candy-covered) box. To make it socially distant-approved, mail the same kit to your sister and brother who live across the country and ask that everyone snap a photo of their final creation.
7. Try a Festive Zoom Scavenger Hunt
Here’s how it works: Find a holiday-themed scavenger list online or make your own and invite friends and family to the event using an online meeting platform like Zoom or Google Meet. Once everyone is signed in, you (the host) tasks attendees with finding items on the list (like “a Santa hat” or “a dreidel”). Whoever manages to find and show off the most items on the list, wins.
8. Bake Treats for Friends and NeighborsIt’s cookie-baking season, folks. And just because you aren’t having dozens of people over to your house to eat them doesn’t mean you have to bake any less. Instead, take your goods on the road and deliver tasty care packages to friends and family in your area. Just make sure to either drop your box and run or maintain a safe distance while chatting outside.
9. Try a Socially Distant Turkey Trot
For the most active among us, the holidays are a great time for getting together and burning off some of those mashed potatoes you ate at Thanksgiving. Because organized Turkey Trots and other holiday runs are cancelled this year, create your own route, stay far enough away from those you’re not living with and enlist a non-runner to greet you all with hot chocolate—or a cold beer—at the finish line.
10. Go on a Self-Guided Christmas Light Tour‘Tis the season for ogling other peoples’ houses. Hop in the car and go for a drive around the neighborhood for a fun, socially distant and festive way to celebrate the season. Just don’t forget to bring some of those snowflake sugar cookies you baked for the ride.
11. Set Up a Candy Cane Hunt
Why should Easter have all the fun? Instead of eggs, hide (or “hide,” depending on how young your kids are) a bunch of candy canes around your house, yard or even neighborhood and watch them go absolutely wild trying to find the most, fastest.