My hopes of having a good holiday season this year weren’t that high. Because COVID has made 2020 stressful, isolating, and hard to navigate, I had my doubts that Christmas would be as enjoyable as other years. I didn’t expect to have a wonderful time because Christmas during a pandemic couldn’t be as special, right?
In spite of such a hectic year, I’ve been pleasantly surprised to be savoring this Christmas season to the full.
Maybe your circle is limited like mine and you’re having to make the best of things aside from going in public with a mask and social distancing. Maybe the tradition of getting together with family members is canceled.
That’s why I wanted to share eleven simple, practical ways to celebrate Christmas during a pandemic.
1. Participate in Advent
To have true joy during this season it’s important to wait, to realize, and to remember the true reason why we celebrate—Jesus coming as a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes to ultimately die on the cross and save us from our sins (Luke 2:12, 1 John 4:14).
Using the “Glorify” app is an easy way of keeping close to Christ by reading a few verses and a short devotional about those passages, and listening to a time of reflection that is like guided prayer.
An advent devotional by Ann Voskamp, “The Greatest Gift” will also draw you closer to the Lord and bring your attention to him. Her poetic deep style of writing is compelling!
2. Spend Time Celebrating and Decorating with Family
Set aside a night or weekend to play games, have special food, and watch classic movies such as “It’s a Wonderful Life” (a beautiful life lesson about the love and support of friends and family and just how much life matters and makes a difference), “The Nativity Story” (a gripping and uplifting film about God coming to earth as a baby), and even cheesy Hallmark Christmas movies can do the heart some good.
3. Wrap presents and discover new Christmas songs
I enjoy Spotify or free Amazon music channels. Create a huge playlist!
4. Capture moments by camera or pen that you don’t want to forget
5. Make new traditions
6. Visit those you can
7. Shop small businesses and help others
You can help orphans through organizations like Samaritan’s Purse (OCC—Operation Christmas Child or their gift catalog) and Sixty Feet (who provides meals, counseling, medical care, etc., to the imprisoned children of Uganda.). These are timeless gifts with the most meaning!
8. Draw names to get your sibling a gift
9. Make a pot of homemade hot chocolate or heat up apple cider in the crockpot for a simple, festive way to create all the cozy feels at a gathering or weekday night. Drink coffee with a hot chocolate packet stirred with candy cane.
10. Light a candle
The glowing flames provide a peaceful, comforting atmosphere and the fragrances are enough to create nostalgia
11. Notice Christmas lights in your neighborhood or set up some of your own.
Spruce up Christmas decorations (this year, we got new stockings and stocking holders). You can have the advantage of ordering online instead of going in stores because of COVID.
I hope this list puts you on the path of truly enjoying the holidays this year! 2020 may have been a rough year, but we can still experience joy this Christmas season.
How are you celebrating this year?