12 Fun Holiday Traditions to Make Memories During the Pandemic
This holiday season will be like no other. We have spent over nine months grieving all kinds of loss- from the little things (impromptu playdates and coffee meetups) to the big stuff (loss of our loved ones near and far, and an inability to mourn with and hug our loved ones who have lost their lives due to COVID).
While it is easy to look at all the things we won’t be able to do, I invite you to think of this as an opportunity… an opportunity to spend time with your kids (and immediate family who live in your home) and discover them in ways you haven’t before.
This year, we are being encouraged to stay home, so, I thought, why not put this time to good use, let’s make memories with our kiddos!
I’ve compiled a list of new holiday traditions in a pandemic. Some of these are traditions you may already have in your family, you may find something that you want to add to your holiday celebrations!
Holiday Traditions In a Pandemic
- Matching PJs for the entire family: I know many families do this for Christmas but this is the first year that we are doing it (after I finally got my hubby to agree!) so I wanted to include it here in case it inspired others to try it. (If it’s after Christmas you may be able to get them on sale for next year!)
- Baking cookies: Now, due to the pandemic, we have been baking NONSTOP but — this is the first time that we have baked all kinds of Christmas cookies to share with neighbors and friends. We have been making and LOVING this absolutely perfect almond flour chocolate chip recipe by Dessert for Two.
- Fort/ sleepover in the living room: If you can’t go outside, transform your living room! You can put sleeping bags on the floor, or blankets, or open your sofa bed and have lots of snacks, make s’mores in the kitchen, watch movies and tell stories.
- Fancy breakfast: I love fancy breakfasts, and what I mean by fancy is something that doesn’t come out of a box, lol. If you follow me on Instagram you see I love to make French toast, and different types of pancakes for the kids on the weekends. If you don’t follow him already, Tidy Dad has a great recipe for holiday homemade pop tarts, AND great ideas for fancy breakfasts, which his daughters love.Photo courtesy of Tiny Dad
- Holiday Karaoke celebration YouTube has a lot karaoke tracks! What’s even more fun, you can add a zoom component and invite your friends and family.
- Family storytelling Recently I’ve started making stories up for my daughter at bedtime. I start with a line, and then I ask her , and what happens next? It’s kind of similar to mad libs. I start and I say “This is a story about a little girl named ____ and she fills in the blank, or sometimes I say the name. Then I ask her to five me details to fill in the story. The character is always a strong little girl, with a friend, and a sidekick , and have adventures together. You can try a version of this with the entire family! Go around and have each family member add a part of the story! You can also add to this activity, by writing it out or drawing it out. (We love the rolls of paper they sell at Ikea or Michaels).
- Build a gingerbread house (or an edible Christmas tree) – this is another traditions that I hadn’t ever adopted but this year, we are pulling all the stops.
- Christmas Movie marathon: Now, we have our epic Christmas movies right? In my house, it’s Home Alone and Home Alone 2. But, there are other fun Christmas movies to watch! Between all the streaming platforms you will surely find something you love! (In 2020, two cool movies will be released on the 25th: SOUL on Disney+ and Wonder Woman on HBO Max).
- Holiday cards If you haven’t sent holiday cards — this is a great year to do it. It’s always nice to get something in the mail— you will definitely brighten someone’s day. And, you’ll be helping the post office while you’re at it! You can get the little ones to help too… and don’t worry if it’s past Christmas, you can send BEST WISHES FOR THE NEW YEAR cards, they don’t necessarily have to be about Christmas.
- Random acts of kindness. This year, we have been focusing a lot of helping others this holiday season. There is SO MUCH NEED! You can take some time this holiday break to do some good, and teach your kids about giving back and giving to the less fortunate as well. Some ideas: buying some food to restock the neighborhood fridges, shop and donate to a food pantry, restock a Little Library in your neighborhood. If it snows, offer to shovel an elderly neighbor’s sidewalk. Bake cookie for your neighbor, leave snacks and water for your delivery person. Here are 25 ways to be kind by Teach Mama.
- Dress up. Who says we need to wait for Halloween to dress up? Pull all those Halloween costumes out of storage! You can combine this with other activities: baking and dress up! Movies and dress up! (Dress up like your favorite super hero and watch that movie, which is exactly what we are doing for the release of Wonder Woman on December 25th).
- Games, puzzles, and more games, oh my! Board games, virtual games, Just Dance marathons, UNO championships, Chess, Bingo, you name it! The options are endless of course, not only depending on what you have at home, but now many games have online options you can play with friends who are not physically with you.UNO is one of them, check it out here. (Though I’m not going to lie, we are definitely partial to UNO in person, not virtual). We also LOVE puzzles and the holiday break is the perfect time to start one of those GIANT 500 or 1000 piece puzzles that the whole family can help build!
As I was preparing to share this post, my dear friend and childhood development expert, Lina Acosta Sandaal, shared this post about what our kids need during the holiday break. I encourage you to read it, it is very insightful. Whatever we decide to do, she reminds us that we must be present with our kids, which means, going slow, not on our phones, and really engaging and listening and being at their level (but go read the article because seriously, it’s gold).
The items on this list are meant to do just that, create memories with our little ones that will make them feel for years to come! I wish you a wonderful, restful and joyous break.
PS. If you’re looking for a yummy and cheesy treat during the break try this throwing a raclette dinner party!
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