Christmas 2020: Celebrating From Afar
This has been a difficult year for most of us, and thinking about the holidays may be overwhelming. I didn’t see family at Thanksgiving, and if you’re like me you won’t be having family over for Christmas either.
Here are some ideas to help keep Christmas alive:
Even if you’ll be alone for Christmas, you can still enjoy the pleasures that Christmas brings. Decorate for yourself and enjoy the beauty around you.
Have a nostalgia night.
While you are watching those family memory videos, try to laugh and be thankful for all the good times you’ve had instead of feeling sad that this year is different. You could even invite your family, share your screen, and watch them online together.
Bake away the blues.
There’s no reason that you shouldn’t enjoy baking the things you normally bake even if you’re alone. Yes, you are important enough.
- Bake extra and place them in the freezer, have family come pick them up, or send a gift box.
- Listen to Christmas music or watch a Christmas movie while you bake.
- Set up a time and cook over video chat. Talk and laugh together as you get flour on yourself or talk so much you make your daughter forget what step she’s on.
Have a glass of thankfulness.
Sip on your favorite drink while thinking about what you are thankful for. I’m thankful that there are modern ways to communicate that keep me in contact with family and friends even though I can’t see them. I’m thankful for a bathtub and a warm bed. Remind yourself what you do still have.
Rethink your menu.
If it’s just you or you and your significant other, try a non-traditional menu. Turkey isn’t my favorite, so I prefer eating it as a sandwich on rye with avocado and tomato. If I were doing exactly what I wanted, I’d have salmon or steak. Treat yourself to your favorite foods with no restrictions. It’s your year to do up your menu with only you in mind. Instead of pumpkin or pecan pie, maybe you want snicker bar cake or a gourmet dessert. In fact, this might be the year you feel like ordering in so you don’t have to cook.
Don’t forget the true meaning of Christmas.
This is a Christian holiday, where those who believe celebrate the birth of their Savior. Believe it or not, you can still sing Christmas carols, read the Christmas story, and do most other religious celebrations with your family online. There will also be Christmas church services online this year. Grab a candle and join in on a virtual Christmas Eve service, or find your own way to celebrate it.
Plan some family time.
There are so many things you can do over the internet with your family. Make sure you download a free app to video chat. I use Discord, Zoom, and Facebook for video calls.
- Family Movie time: You can watch a movie together by sharing your screen or by using an app like Netflix party. If nothing else you can each bring up the movie on your device and try to start the movie about the same time. Getting on a video call allows you to enjoy the movie together while laughing during the funny parts and groaning when you hate it. It is a sure-fire way to feel closer to those you love.
- Family catchup: Show each other your original creations. Share what’s happening in your life. For people like my mother (who doesn’t have a computer), there’s always the telephone.
- Open presents: Especially for those gifts you gave each other, you can still share the enjoyment of seeing someone open your gift online.
- Play games: My daughters love Phase 10. We found an excellent version online for free, and we play together whenever we have time. Here are some sites that have downloadable games. Some of these games are multiplayer and some are for one player. It tells you in the description.
- crazygames.com (.io games are multiplayer and free)
Whatever you do this Christmas, have a good time. It may not be the typical Christmas filled with usual traditions and activities, but you can still do something together to make it memorable for you and your loved ones around the world. Merry Christmas!