The holidays are fast approaching, and as COVID cases rise in the U.S., there is an urgent need to rethink how we gather in groups (and perhaps get a little creative). That said, we believe there’s a unique opportunity to “pivot” and still make things fun, easy, and most of all, safe for children and your family during the holiday season. Here are some of our favorite ideas!
- Make a gratitude journal or chain. Talk about gratitude with your children and emphasize the importance of remembering how powerful it is to think about things we’re grateful for on a regular basis, not just during the holiday season. Even the most simple things can bring us gratitude, especially during the current state of affairs.
- Write and draw Thanksgiving or Christmas cards. If your family celebrates, encourage an afternoon of artistic expression with your children by drawing, painting, or creating cards in some form. Think about sending them to other family members you may not be able to see this year, your neighbors, or other members of your community.
- Meet with family members virtually. Fortunately, there’s an abundance of modern technology out there to make family and friends seem closer right now. Schedule time to play games over Zoom, or partake in a typical family tradition. Kids will love it, and it still creates an atmosphere of togetherness.
- Send care packages. Practically meeting the needs of our community during the holidays can be a way of spreading kindness and meaningfully creating solidarity. Involve your kids in assembling a spa package, healthy snacks, candles, or something personal for the recipient of your care package. It’s less about what the package contains than it is about the message and intention behind it.
- Find a way to give back to your community. Although COVID is very much a real part of our lives, there are still plenty of ways to support our local communities. Invest in small businesses, write letters of encouragement, or feed the homeless. Participating in these things (safely of course) are all opportunities to involve your children and teach them the power of giving back and investing in the fabric of our local communities.
- Help your child cope with change. Be honest in communication with them, age-appropriately, about what this time means, and that it’s okay to be sad, angry, or disappointed. Make sure you’re checking in with your children to see how they’re feeling, which could very well change from day to day.
Currently, there are many ideas floating around for alternatives to traditional gatherings. Whatever you decide is best for your family and friends during this holiday season, we want to encourage you to keep your children in the loop, involve them in all of your planned activities, and have some fun! We will likely never experience times like these again in our lives, so let’s all make it the best and most memorable year we can.