Garnet Hill/Victoria Bellafiore

How to Celebrate Your Favorite Holiday Traditions In-Person and Remotely

This year, the holiday season will probably look a bit different. Chances are you won’t be attending the annual 37-person sit-down dinner at Aunt Donna’s house or shelling out cookies at the school’s holiday bake sale. But that doesn’t mean the rest of your traditions should be tossed out the window. Together with Garnet Hill, we’re laying out five top holiday moments and how to celebrate them whether you’re physically with your loved ones or connecting with them from afar.

Make Your Decor Work Double-Duty

With less people entering your home this year, think of ways to streamline your holiday decor by using your outdoor decorations indoors, too. Use natural elements like a eucalyptus door wreath for the exterior and interior of your front door. Candles in each window are another element that can be experienced from both the outdoors, as well as indoors. A basket of pinecones, a green garland and cozy decorative pillows for the front porch and living room couch are some other bright ideas.

Enjoy It Remotely: Send your close family members a wreath or centerpiece that matches your holiday theme so even if they won’t be stopping by, they can experience a festive touch in their own home.

Show Off Family Recipes on a Pretty Tablescape

If there’s one thing we love about the holidays, it’s that all the food has such meaning. Grandma’s pie, Uncle Thomas’ mashed potatoes, Aunt Dorothy’s ambrosia (OK, we usually pass on that one, but you get the idea). Even though you might not all be together to sample the dishes you dream about all year long, now’s a great time to seek out and exchange the recipes. To make sure your holiday meal feels significant no matter the size of your guest list, put together a proper tablescape to show off all your new cooking skills. Think festive serving trays, candleholders, crisp linens and real (as in no paper or plastic) dishware.

Enjoy It Remotely: Poll your group to choose a favorite holiday recipe, arrange a video chat and get cooking! Bonus points if the recipe creator is there to guide you through any culinary snafus (like what to do if you accidentally burn the caramel sauce topping).

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.

Enjoy It Remotely: Share the playlist and have a virtual listening party. (We recommend listening while participating in the Zoom baking idea above).

Products to Help Get You Started:

Take Your Matching Sets to the Next Level

Raise your hand if you’ve been living it up in sweatfits rather than real outfits. Same, and we have zero regrets. Since you’re spending more time lounging around the house this holiday season, up your sweater game and treat yourself to a stylish, yet comfy cashmere set. That way, when you’re looking back on photos from this year, you won’t be kicking yourself for wearing your oh-so-worn-out baggy sweatpants…for the fourth day in a row (your secret is safe with us).

Enjoy It Remotely: Surprise your loved ones a pair of cozy cashmere socks. If you’re feeling extra generous, send along a mug and some hot cocoa mix too.

Switch Up Your Gift Exchange

Times are certainly unpredictable this year and the cash flow might not be where it once was—and that’s totally OK. (Don’t worry, everything has a way of falling into place.) Rather than buying gifts for everyone and spreading yourself too thin, opt for a Secret Santa gift exchange and focus on one person. Be sure to set your price limits with the group so that everyone is on the same page instead of assuming what others are comfortable spending. The only catch? At least one element of the gift has to be homemade.

Enjoy It Remotely: Send out an invite to see who’d be interested in participating then use an online name drawing to select giftees.


Director, Special Projects & Branded Content

Rachel joined PureWow in 2016 and is the Director of Special Projects where she helps oversee the editorial production of sponsored content campaigns and organizes large-scale...