5 Ways to Happily Celebrate the Holidays in a Socially Distanced Season
With the challenges and losses we’ve faced this year, gearing up for happy holidays may feel more overwhelming than usual. Some of our traditions may be altered or impossible this year. It’s easy to get focused on the things that are missing, to notice the empty spots on the calendar where a holiday party might once have been. It’s okay to grieve for those things.
What we don’t want to do, though, is let the losses swallow up our attention and steal the possibilities of other happy holiday celebrations.
Instead, take some time to reimagine your holidays. Are there things you can update or reinvent that allow you to celebrate in a socially distanced way? Here are 5 ideas to jumpstart your imagination and help you reframe your traditions and help you keep the happy in your holidays.
1. Send Videos to Friends and Family
Use an app like Marco Polo or another app that lets you record a video message and send it to a loved one. Then record yourself or your family. Make it as serious or as funny as you want. A quick Internet search will give you lots more ideas.
2. Have a Holiday Movie Marathon
Fix your favorite snacks and warm drinks and curl up on the couch with your household to watch holiday movies together. My favorites are Elf and Love Actually. What are yours? Some movie apps have a feature where you can set up a “watch party” and invite other households, so you can watch the movie together, even if you’re not in front of the same TV.
3. Make or Send a Gift Basket or Stocking
Many families will choose to forego or postpone an in-person gift exchange this year, but you can still send something special to the ones you love. Personalizing the gifts with notes on why you chose each item or what made you think of the receiver will help bring you closer together.
4. Choose a Special Holiday Dish to Prepare
Lots of holiday traditions center around food and sharing big meals together. It may be impossible to recreate those on your own, but choose one dish—maybe a favorite dessert or treat or Aunt Lucy’s famous sweet potatoes, whatever makes the holiday special to you—and ask your family member for the recipe for that dish.
Serve it with whatever you want, even order the rest of the meal prepared if you prefer. Share some pictures of your baking experience with your loved ones.
5. Volunteer and make someone else happy
In my book, I mention that one of the most effective way to increase our happiness is through acts of kindness. There are so many ways you and your family can pay it forward. Some people may be alone this year, why not make cards or cookies to let them know that they are special?
Make These Holiday Happiness Boosters Your Own
Try the ideas that sound like the most fun. Use them as a jumping-off place to inspire you to create and share more happiness through your holidays. Your holiday celebrations may be different this year, but you can still create happiness and share it with the ones you love this season.
Give the Gift of Happiness This Holiday
Still looking for the perfect holiday gift for that special someone? Give the gift of happiness with my book, 21 Days to Happiness. Each chapter offers tips and research on how to boost happiness in one area of your life. 21 Days to Happiness is available as a paperback, e-book, and new interactive online sessions.