For many of us, the holidays will look a little different this year. But although you may not be gathering with all of your friends and family or upholding every one of your favorite traditions, there are still plenty of ways to celebrate the holidays and let your loved ones know how important they are to you. It just might mean you need to get a little creative. Remember: What really matters is letting people know you care, not whether or not they’re able to sit down with you at the table this year.
Make New Traditions
Instead of focusing on the traditions you won’t be able to do this year, why not concentrate on making new ones? For example, you could surprise a loved one who lives nearby by decorating their porch and yard for the holidays. You can string twinkle lights, hang homemade signs, and even make a wreath for their door. If it’s not snowy, you can turn the sidewalk into a greeting card and write messages to them or draw pictures on it with chalk. It’s a great way to share a little holiday spirit with them.
Connect While Apart
If you live far away from someone you love and won’t be able to come together this year, find a way to share a special moment or two during the holidays. Try sending them a goody bag filled with items and activities you can enjoy together, even while apart, such as a book you can both read, materials for a hat you can both knit, or a recipe you can both make, so that you can share a meal together on Zoom. The bag can be its own gift—the Mono SuperBreak in Mystic Pine or Russet Red is a nice nod to the season—or you can urge them to fill it and send it either back to you or onto another member of the family or friend group, so that it’s a gift that keeps on giving.
Why not spend some of the extra time you’re at home this year making gifts that are truly personal? Surprise a friend with a scarf knitted in their favorite color; write a story for your nieces and nephews that they star in; or press fall leaves to make a collage for a grandparent. Even if you’re not that into DIY, you can still give a gift with plenty of meaning. For example, Homesick makes candles that smell like different places; if there’s a city that you usually spend the holidays in, you could send a scented candle that calls up the feeling of being there to the people who can’t this year.
If you live somewhere that doesn’t get too cold in the winter, you could always celebrate the holidays outdoors. Spread out blankets for a socially distanced picnic—just don’t forget to bring a Chill Pack or a Chill Break to keep your drinks and food cold. Or, if it’s too frigid to sit for a whole meal, serve hot cocoa, tea, and apple cider and build a fire. (S’mores, anyone?) And of course, you could always go on a family hike. Although in many ways it’s the opposite of sharing a meal, it’s a great way to spend time with your family and friends. And, at the end of the day, isn’t that what the holidays are all about?
Wondering what to gift your friends for the holidays? We’ve got some suggestions.
By: Jessen O’Brien