We usually hold off on all holiday decorating and traditions until December 1, but this year we decided to do things a little differently. Afterall, nothing this year seems to feel normal. But even with restrictions in place, there’s still a good majority of our traditions that Covid can’t touch.
First things first, Christmas tunes are playing from early November onwards in our house. It varies from some oldies, to Mariah and Michael Buble, and it’s either in the background or blaring while I belt out tunes at the top of my lungs. We stream the tunes from our Google Home so our whole house can be rocking with Christmas cheer.
My children love helping to decorate the house and hang lights outside. Plus, who couldn’t use a little festive cheer surrounding them as they begin to binge watch their 52nd Netflix series. There’s just something about the lights in the evening and the scent of my wreath everytime I open the door that fills me with joy. Our lights have officially been hung, the tree has been glammed and glittered, and there’s a touch of the holidays in every room of the house.
Our love of Christmas lights doesn’t end at our sidewalk. We love walking and driving around looking at all the enthusiasm our community puts into their decorations. Our local paper publishes a list of the best decorations each year, and we plan out our map so we can see them all.
I’ll admit that I’ve gone over the top in previous years, but it’s just too exciting to wake up to a new surprise every morning.
Last year I created an activity for each day in December. They varied from Santa parades, baking cookies and watching movies. This year we’ve had to keep it to things we can do at home, which will involve crafts, activities and coloring a new sheet every day to countdown until Christmas.
Elf on the Shelf
I can already hear the groans from some of you, and I realize this isn’t for everyone, but our kids love it. So, I oblige.
Our elf traditionally shows up on December 1st and brings all of our Christmas decorations with her. But, since we’ve already decorated this year I’m expecting her to arrive with a “Holiday isolation package”, complete with hot chocolate and mini marshmallows, delicious treats, cookie dough and a few Christmas themed craft supplies to keep us busy indoors.
While I don’t bake them, we build a gingerbread house kit every year and dedicate a night to decorating it. And if you’re wondering if the end result looks like it’s been crafted in a pastry shop, I can assure you it doesn’t. In previous years we’ve even learned a hot glue gun works wonders as a gingerbread building tool.
Giving Back To Our Community
We understand that we’re fortunate to have a warm home to decorate, food on our table on Christmas day and a healthy family who can spend the holidays at home together. But this isn’t a luxury some people have and we recognize that every year.
It’s a tradition that we donate to the food bank, new toys to toy drives or a nominated family in the area, and we make a donation to the Children’s Hospital every year. This is our way of giving back.
Acts of Kindness
Our last tradition is to purchase a few Starbucks gift cards and hand them out as random acts of kindness.
This tradition has unfortunately been put on hold this year due to our efforts at reducing the spread of germs and avoiding public places. But we’d love to come up with some pandemic-friendly acts of kindness. I’d love to hear your suggestions below as well as any Christmas traditions from your own family.