7 Ways To Keep Holiday Traditions Alive During COVID

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Holiday traditions are very important to me — are they important to you?

I like to go to parties and have fun during the holidays. But more importantly, there are time-honored holiday traditions that have been passed down through the generations in my family.

These traditions are intended to be shared as we gather together to celebrate. I’m missing the gathering together.

I recognize that I'm not alone feeling this way. How could I be when we're all experiencing the pandemic together?

I'm a glass half-full kind of person so I'm always looking for the bright side in a situation.

With that in mind, I've come up with some ways to keep those holiday traditions alive for me while being COVID-safe. Maybe one or more of these ideas will help you, too.

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Here are 7 ways to keep holiday traditions alive during COVID this year.

1. Go to a botanical garden.

No matter where you live, there's bound to be a botanical garden not too far from you, or at least an outdoor park.

In Atlanta, the Atlanta Botanical Garden does a fabulous display during the holidays called "Garden Nights, Holiday Lights." People buy tickets to wander the gardens at night and gaze at the beautiful holiday lights.

If the botanical garden near you doesn’t do this, plan an outing during the day with your family to be in nature and admire the gardens.

Gardens are beautiful, even in winter, as something is always happening in the garden.

2. Decorate a tree.

I decorate a Christmas tree inside my house, and in the past, I've decorated trees outside with my children and their friends. Decorating trees outside is a lot of fun!

Do you have a yard? Decorate an outside tree with pinecones, peanut butter, and birdseed.

The children will love creating these decorations and the birds will be happy, too. You can even string popcorn together as a garland for the birds.

You can even get together with another family as long as you wear masks, stay physically distant, and enjoy some fun time outside.

If you can’t do this together, maybe each family can decorate their own tree and then share the photos on FaceTime.

3. Have a snowman-building contest.

Is there snow on the ground where you live? One of your holiday traditions might be to build snowmen together. Why not have a contest?

Get everyone outside and bundled-up in their snow gear. You can decorate the snowmen with carrots, sticks, scarves, and anything else you can think of.

Do you have room for an outdoor fire pit? If you do, get it going and then serve hot chocolate out by the fire pit.

4. Read holiday stories.

I love to read to children and have a lot of holiday storybooks that I hope to read to my granddaughter.

Since I can’t be there to read them in person, one way to keep this holiday tradition alive is to read to them using the Portal. You can also use Zoom, Skype, or any other online platform.

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5. Sing carols.

Singing Christmas carols in church is another one of my favorite holiday traditions.

My plan — and maybe you want to do this, too — is to sing-along to my favorite Christmas carols at home. I will be doing this all season long.

6. Bake cookies.

I bake cookies all the time, but there are certain cookies that I only bake during the holidays. I will be continuing that holiday tradition this year.

In the past, I've given cookies out to people as a party favor at my Christmas party. Since there won’t be a party this year, my plan is to deliver cookies to the people who I usually invite to my party.

7. Relax.

When I was teaching in school, one of my favorite things to do over the holidays was to relax and just hang out with friends. We’d sit and talk for hours and hours about everything and nothing.

I don’t live near these friends anymore, but by using available technology, we can still hang out.

Think about your favorite holiday traditions and decide which ones you can modify due to our current circumstances.

Naturally, there will be some that may have to wait in the wings until next year, but there will be others — like decorating trees, baking cookies, reading stories, singing carols, and relaxing — that we can still engage in, just differently.

RELATED: 4 Most Depressing Things About The 2020 Holiday Season & How To Remain Optimistic

Diane N. Quintana is a Certified Professional Organizer® owner of DNQ Solutions, LLC, and co-owner of Release, Repurpose, Reorganize in Atlanta, Georgia. Diane specializes in residential and home-office organizing and working with people affected by ADD, hoarding challenges, and chronic disorganization. Please contact Diane for a free 30-minute phone consultation.

This article was originally published at DNQ Solutions. Reprinted with permission from the author.