The holidays 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 nine creative ways to get festive in 2020.
9 Creative Ways to Celebrate the Holidays Safely This Year
1. Have a Holiday Movie Marathon
Whether 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. The CDC recommends celebrating virtually or with members of your own household (aka anyone who resides and shares common spaces within your home or apartment). 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? The CDC website actually has a section at the bottom of this page devoted to Santa Claus visits (yes, another 2020 joke should be inserted *here*). Their recommendation: 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 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 Tasting
We’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 Want for Christmas Is You” comes on.
6. Host a Virtual Gingerbread Competition
If 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. Bake Treats for Friends and Neighbors
It’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. Since there's currently no evidence to suggest that handling food or eating is directly associating with spreading the virus, you're in the clear according to the CDC and FDA. Just make sure to either drop your box and run or wear a mask and maintain a safe distance while chatting outside.
8. 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.
9. 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. Encourage kids and parents to mask up, then watch them go absolutely wild trying to find the most, fastest.