Happy Holidays at Home – Christmas in COVID-19


A beautifully decorated Christmas tree gets us in the holiday spirit.

Kate Wiley and Katerina Tomazos

Happy holidays, everyone! Over the past nine months, with having to stay six feet apart from everyone we come in contact with, having to wear a mask everywhere we go, and having classes through a computer screen, things have been a bit strange to say the least, and this strangeness will continue into the Christmas season. There’s no getting around the fact that Christmas will be different this year. While there won’t be as much traveling or huge family gatherings, there are still plenty of safe ways to get into the spirit of Christmas and enjoy your favorite holiday traditions.

1. Decorate your house

This is a great way to get the whole family together. Hanging ornaments on the Christmas tree while holiday music plays in the background is a great way to bond and feel the Christmas spirit.

2. Secret Santa

Secret Santa may be more difficult this year with COVID-19, but if you have a lot of siblings or a big family that you live with, this could be a great opportunity. There’s even a website called Elfster that you can use to organize a Secret Santa, and some stores will ship gifts directly to their recipients, which allows for a gift exchange with social distance. Even if the gifts aren’t extravagant, this is a fun way to get to know your family better during the holiday season.

3. Get a real Christmas tree

While some opt for artificial trees every year, a fun new tradition to start could be heading down to your local Home Depot and hauling a real one home. If you want to get crazy, you can chop it down yourself! This is another family-friendly idea that will warm your hearts and make your house smell like Christmas.

4. Donate and volunteer

There are so many organizations you could help with, and what better time to get involved than the season of giving? Strictly Christmas-related organizations include Toys for Tots and Adopt-A-Family. Toys for Tots is run by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve and you can either make a monetary donation or donate a toy yourself. Through Adopt-A-Family, you “adopt” a low-income family and give them gifts on their wish list as well as necessary items such as clothes and toiletries. There are many, many more places to volunteer and donate, such as the COVID-19 Response Fund or the COVID Foundation.

5. Make a Christmas list

If you like arts and crafts, this is the activity for you. Gather markers, pens, paper, and whatever else you think you’ll need and call your family together. You can all make beautiful Christmas wish lists and present them to each other. This can be a fun way to let your imagination run wild and see what your family wishes for as well.

6. Make ornaments

This is another arts and crafts idea if you’re feeling particularly creative this holiday season. It can be super easy; all you need is some plain glass ornaments from Target, a hot glue gun, and some glitter. Get creative and decorate your ornaments with stickers, paint, and other craft materials. You can do this with siblings, friends, or family, and it’s not messy or expensive at all!

7. Have a virtual Christmas party

You may not be able to see your relatives and friends in person this year; however, this does not mean that you can’t see them virtually. Create a Zoom meeting for your friends or family and have a Christmas meal, a gingerbread house decorating competition, an ugly sweater fashion show, or any fun holiday event you can think of.

8. Create a cookie table

Every Christmas, many neighborhoods look forward to baking and sharing dozens of batches of cookies in a community cookie swap. If you also enjoy doing this, consider talking with your neighbors about having a socially distant cookie trade off. Lay a table in the front of your yard and place the cookies you want to give them on top of it. One by one each family can come and retrieve their holiday treats.


Do the Christmas activities you have done every year. While there are some traditions that will have to be different this holiday season, many do not. You can still make your annual gingerbread house, watch Christmas movies by the fire, spend time with some of your family members, and so much more.

Following the safety guidelines given to us this year is extremely important. If we want to help prevent the spreading of COVID-19, we must do things a little differently this year. However, we cannot let this pandemic get in the way of our holiday spirit. I hope the suggestions above are useful to those who feel their holiday season is being taken away.