No surprise to people in my close circle, Fall is my favorite season. From the change of the temperature to the variety of seasonal events, nothing compares to this time of year. As soon as school starts in August, I find myself wishing for October as many festivities like county fairs and pumpkin festivals will soon follow. Most importantly, this season ushers in some of my favorite holidays, like Thanksgiving and Christmas. I find myself struggling to build up excitement this year, as we overcome the challenges of dual pandemics. On the one hand, I am excited and the other I am frustrated about some of the realities and decisions we must face during the 2020 holiday seasons. Many questions are swarming in my mind, like, “Should we visit family?,” “Are we going to allow family and friends to visit us?,” “How do we transition our college student back into the home? “and “How can we make the holidays fun?”
Considering the challenges, my goal has been to continue pushing forward in every situation and ask myself “What can I do?” This question is a loaded question. It takes the focus off the negatives of the pandemic and helps me frame my mind by focusing on positive aspects of life. This question can also be used to frame perimeters for safety in a time that has many precautions to consider. Although many people are ignoring safety, there is no need to put ourselves and our families at risk when there are many things, we can do to safely enjoy life in 2020. So, out of my frustrations, I have created a list of “11 Family-Friendly Holiday Activities During Covid-19”.
- Holiday Zoom visit with extended family, games, and quality conversation. Try to make the Zoom call fun and engaging. Many of us have not seen our extended family in well over 10 months, so it would be beneficial to have a moment to catch up but also include quality activities that allow the family to engage with other. If your family typically plays games during holiday visits, find a way to turn your favorite game into a digital version.
- Explore an apple or pumpkin farm. Many apple and pumpkin farms are still open for business. There are many activities at these farms like apple and pumpkin picking, games, petting zoo, and shopping for homemade products and treats. You will be surprised at how much time you can spend exploring acres of apple trees.
- Visit an Outdoor Christmas Lights display with family and friends. This is one of my family’s favorite holiday activities. From neighborhoods near you to local gardens and national parks, there are many Christmas light displays to enjoy throughout the U.S. Check Forbes list to find the best in your state: https://www.forbes.com/sites/micheleherrmann/2019/12/21/best-holiday-light-displays-across-the-us/?sh=5f64945b5010
- Implement a Christmas countdown with a variety of activities. Whether you choose to create and Advent Calendar or a 12 Days of Christmas, these countdowns can take on a variety of themes for kids and adults. Advent calendars traditionally celebrate the days leading to the arrival of Christ. They have taken on a variety of theme outside of the traditional Christianity based calendars. The Today Show has curated a list of themed Advent calendars that even includes a calendar for pet and wine lovers. https://www.today.com/shop/best-christmas-advent-calendars-2020-t118294 If you are a super busy mom like me, try creating a 12 Days of Christmas list. There are many bloggers who share creative ideas online, so be sure to search for list online for inspiration. Do not forget to include Covid 19 safe activities outside the home.
- Go on a nature hike. I am sure we all could use the extra exercise during the holidays. With all the tempting treats and rich foods, a hike could be fun and beneficial to the family.
- Create an outdoor holiday themed scavenger hunt. Many businesses have created Zoom scavenger hunts to create fun and good morale for employees. Create a themed Zoom scavenger hunt and invite family and friends to participate. You could even buy small family gifts on Amazon for the winners. Here is an article from Business Insider that explains the steps they took to create a Zoom scavenger hunt. https://www.businessinsider.com/zoom-games-play-virtually-online-scavenger-hunt-2020-5
- Live-stream a Christmas party, dinner, or concert. Send out invitations and ask each participant to decorate and/or wear an ugly Christmas sweater. Turn on the holiday tunes and mingle via Zoom. You could even throw in a dance completion “old school” vs “new school” to get the teens involved. Coordinate your holiday dinners to have Zoom dinner and conversation with your extended family.
- Holiday-themed Karaoke on Zoom. Invite family and friends to take part in a Christmas themed Karaoke session on Zoom. You could even get creative by sending out a survey to ensure you have everyone’s favorite song.
- Take a scenic drive through the mountain and/or other beautiful views. Fall weather has slowly appeared here in the south which will result in a limited foliage change. It is very possible that we end our Summer without the colors of Fall. Many of us drive north if we are longing for a beautiful fall view during a warm Fall. Consider taking a weekend drive to a nearby beach, mountains, or lake. Do not forget to find the most scenic route for the best views. Here is a terrific book for a road trip: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1606523589/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_Pf1OFbQ8CEY3Y
- Rent a home away from home with a fantastic view. There are many homes available to rent during the holidays. There are many issues to overcome when traveling during Covid 19, so be careful and check travel restrictions before making plans. Here’ a great article that give tips for traveling during the Covid 19 breakout. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/2020/05/safety-tips-to-help-you-travel-again-during-covid-19-cvd/
- Set up a backyard holiday festival with a bouncy house, fair games, and a holiday movie in the evening. Setting up this holiday wonderland is easy and younger kids will be thrilled. Find a party rental near you and pick out items that the whole family will enjoy.
I hope this post give you inspiration and a lot of ideas for the upcoming holiday season.