New Christmas TraditionsThis Christmas, we all have an opportunity to connect and celebrate in new and different ways. And whether you’re celebrating the holiday season together or apart, we’ve got suggestions for thoughtful traditions to add to your festivities.
Aprons on, Hearts Full, Can’t Lose
If there’s anything we’ve learned in the past year, it’s that people take great comfort in the traditions, tastes and rituals of baking. Check out great ideas to help you share holiday love with the people who matter most:
Bake small treats for people in your life you’ve come to appreciate, like your letter carrier, barista, grocery store clerk, dog walker or snow removal service.
Cookie exchanges don’t have to be in person. Compile and share an address list in advance for 10-12 avid bakers, then bake one dozen of your finest cookies for each participant. On the appointed day, bakers can drop off their cookies at each participant’s doorstep.
Host a Zoom holiday happy hour, with an emphasis on shared creativity. Get a group of your best pals together to chat, sip, snack…and work on a gingerbread house, decorated sugar cookies or other holiday treats. You can even post photos of the results! Vote on your favorites via the poll function and announce the winners with plenty of emojis and good cheer.
Festive Family Nights
If you’ve settled into a weekend pizza-and-a-movie routine, add some holiday cheer by trying some of these festive family ideas. Everyone will appreciate these new ways to add a seasonal vibe to your regular chillaxing time.
Family film festival. In the weeks leading up to Christmas, give each family member their own special night to pick their favorite holiday film to watch. They can even create a fun holiday menu and movie treat for their special night as well!
Personalize that snack. Everyone loves to make a holiday treat that’s uniquely their own. Before the movie starts, set up a self-service popcorn or hot chocolate bar, with plenty of add-ons and toppings.
Sip and see. Choose signature mocktails or cocktails themed to your holiday movie night. Prepare your own batch of eggnog or festive punch, and enjoy your drinks while you enjoy old favorites.
Gifts from the Heart
The best gifts are the homemade ones, and that’s truer this year than ever before. If you’re looking for a way to add more meaning to the holiday, consider crafting some personalized gifts that celebrate your special connections with friends and family. Here are some easy, heartfelt suggestions.
Homemade ornaments. Check out your favorite crafting sites for fun ideas to create your own ornaments. Consider using kitchen twine, cinnamon sticks, twigs and pinecones for an outdoorsy vibe.
Keep Secret Santa going. Use a gift exchange generator like drawnames.com to keep your family tradition going. Choose a day or time for present opening, then set up a Zoom call to so everyone can see what everyone else got during your virtual party.
Create group art. If your family or friend group is artistically inclined, you can create a work of art together, no matter how far apart you may be. Choose an image and segment it into squares, then send each family member their segment and a square canvas. Assemble the canvas squares as a family, and enjoy the masterpiece you made.
Gift Wrapping Hacks for the Holidays
Skip the bows this season…get crafty with natural textures, colors and seasonal scents to put the finishing touches on your holiday gifts.
Décor That’s Merry and Bright
As we’re all spending more time at home than ever, this is one holiday season when it’s a great idea to pull out all the stops. Conduct a thorough inventory of all the holiday doodads you’ve acquired over the years, then amp up the fun with some additional homemade touches.
Count down the days until the 25th by creating new traditions for holiday countdowns. Try crafting a paper chain (remove one ring each day), indulging in a chocolate-packed Advent calendar or inventing new antics for your Elf on the Shelf as the holiday approaches.
Bring some holiday cheer to your outdoor space. If you’ve got rolls of wrapping paper leftover from last year, wrap your front door to look like package. Or take a cue from the southern “bottle tree” tradition, using wine or other glass bottles that are formed in the shape of a Christmas tree. Use sturdy sticks or rebar as “branches,” and then insert small strings of lights into bottles before placing them on the tree.
Show gratitude to area wildlife by decorating trees with birdseed suet “ornaments” in festive shapes. Or string popcorn and cranberries as a natural – and animal-friendly – garland for the trees and shrubs in your garden or yard.