Tips For A Safe And Special Christmas Season
With rising levels of COVID-19 numbers across the country, many families are choosing to take extra precaution with holiday celebrations this year. Your children might feel sad about holiday traditions they’ll be missing out on. If your family is feeling like you’re in a holiday slump, consider trying these ideas to help spread some Christmas cheer.
1. If you can’t see Santa…
Santa might be COVID-immune, but that doesn’t mean you’ll want to risk your family’s health just for that yearly mall Santa photo. If your children are disappointed that they can’t go see Santa this year, don’t worry - there are still plenty of ways to stay connected with Santa, from a distance. First, kids can write a letter to Santa (download a cute template at www.keababies.com!) and mail it through the USPS. Your child will need to put her letter in an envelope addressed to “Santa Claus, North Pole.” Then you (or another caregiver) will craft a special response letter to your child, and sign it “from Santa,” and place it in the same envelope. Address the envelope to your house, and write the return address at “Santa Claus, North Pole” and make sure it has a stamp! Find a large envelope, place the letters inside, and address it to “North Pole Postmark Postmaster, 4141 Postmark Drive, Anchorage, AK 99530-9998.” Santa’s helpers will be sure to send your child her return letter!
Some photographers are having fun with photoshop by using clients’ pictures to insert into a Santa photo. For example, some photos depict Santa holding a snow globe with your child’s picture inside. Others are pictures of Santa holding a picture frame with your family photo inside.
Some places are doing virtual Santa visits, where your child can have a reserved time slot to talk to Santa on a video call! This would be a delightful way for your little one to still have the experience of telling Santa what he wants for Christmas this year!
2. If you can’t be with family…
The hardest part about holiday celebrations during the pandemic is not being able to celebrate with extended family and other loved ones. This year, consider taking your celebration virtual by opening gifts or sharing a meal on a video call! If you’re used to having a big holiday dinner together, send out some meal delivery gift cards so that everyone can order a special meal to eat together while on a video call!
3. If you can’t celebrate with friends…
If your children are sad about not being able to see their friends, consider encouraging them to pick out some toys for those in need. After all, it’s just as wonderful to give as to receive. Organizations like Toys for Tots have gone virtual this year, too! Have your children help you pick out some special toys online that will be sent to children in need across the country.
Another fun idea is to assemble “elf” baskets with your kids, filled with cute holiday trinkets like cookies, hot cocoa mix, stuffed animals, decorations, and other small gifts. Put a few baskets together, and go “elf” your friends by sneakily dropping off your gift basket on their porch! You can add to the effect by dipping a small pair of shoes in flour and making tiny shoe prints in front of your friends’ houses to make it look like an elf dropped off a special delivery straight from the North Pole!
4. If you can’t attend holiday parties…
Make Christmas special this year, even if your kids can’t attend holiday parties through school or with their friends. Consider starting a special Christmas countdown this year. Forget the traditional advent calendars, and opt for creative ones this year! There are advent calendars that have many different themes, such as cartoon characters, stuffed animals, bath toys, collector’s cards, and more! You can also create your own countdown banner with your kids. One simple project is to create a Christmas countdown paper chain using strips of construction paper.
Did you do a scavenger hunt at Halloween? Consider doing one for Christmas too! Grab a few boxes of candy canes, and hide them all over your house or backyard. You can also do a neighborhood scavenger hunt by going on a walk and looking for certain objects in your neighborhood, like icicle lights, strobe lights, inflatable snowmen, reindeer, fake snow, and more!
5. If you can’t go out for a holiday dinner…
Many families enjoy going out to dinner on Christmas Eve, but this year, many restaurants have been forced to close indoor (and in some places, outdoor) dining as a result of COVID-19. If restaurants are closed in your area, or you don’t feel like sitting outside in the cold winter temperatures, consider using a meal delivery service to get a meal sent to your house from one of your favorite local spots! Companies like DoorDash, Uber Eats, Postmates, and Grubhub will pick up food from local restaurants and deliver it to your house for a small charge. If you don’t feel like takeout, you can cook your own amazing holiday meal, even if the number of people sitting around the table this year is smaller than usual. You can order meal kits online, or you can order ingredients through grocery store delivery services. This year might be a nice year to try some new recipes - so don’t be afraid to spend some time looking through food blogs and picking out a few unique holiday meal ideas to try!
Christmas in 2020 is going to be different than what we’ve been used to. Even so, Christmas isn’t cancelled, and there are many ways to safely celebrate at home. From creative ways to stay connected with our families, to unique ways to get that Santa experience this year, we can all try our best to adjust to changing times and make the most of this wonderful season.
Parenting is awesome. Sleep is overrated. Every day is an adventure.
Meet Our KeaMommy Contributor: Kaitlyn Torrez
I’m Kaitlyn Torrez, from the San Francisco Bay Area. I live with my husband and two children, Roman and Logan. I’m a former preschool teacher, currently enjoying being a stay at home mom. I love all things writing, coffee, and chocolate. In my free time, I enjoy reading, blogging, and working out.