If there was ever a great opportunity to pivot and plan a staycation over the holidays, 2020 is THE YEAR! If you’re like my family at all, you’re mentally and physically exhausted, missing loved ones, and disappointed that we’re in a 3rd wave of the pandemic which is changing Thanksgiving plans all over the country.
BUT there are some silver linings! 1. No Travel. 2. No family dynamics to worry about. 3. No cooking in the kitchen allllll day long. 4. No Stress (well, at least not the same kind).
We’ve all been stuck at home a lot already, so how do we make this holiday season special while breaking out of the Groundhog Day routines we are in?
As I was brainstorming about how we can spice up things for the holidays on a budget while staying mentally sane, I was surprised to get a pretty decent list that I want to pass along to you.
Ten tips for a fun and fantastic holiday staycation with your family:
1. Make a Gratitude Jar.
Each family member takes turns writing down what or who they are grateful/thankful for this holiday season and why. After you write them down you put them in the jar to read in December or on New Years.
2. Host Turkey Trivia.
This wasn’t really my idea, actually. Our family friends do this every year and now their son Ben is in charge of it. He researches and writes down 10-15 turkey or Thanksgiving related trivia questions and has picked out prizes ahead of time. We gather around and answer his questions and the top 3 get something special. This year, turn it into a zoom trivia party with your families and friends from afar.
3. Zoom Thanksgiving.
Coordinate your turkey day dinner time with your family from afar, and eat together virtually!
4. Relive memories with a Photo Slideshow.
Plan a slideshow of your favorite family photos through the years. If you’re like me you probably hove thousands of photos uploaded to the cloud somewhere, and most have slideshow features. Pop some popcorn and cuddle up, and relive those memories together.
5. Mail out hand-written holiday cards.
One of my favorite parts of the holiday season is hearing what our friends and family have been up to and they’re so fun to get in the mail! Take it up a notch this year with a hand written message of love, laughter, and companionship.
6. Make gifts this year.
That is, if you have time on your side. I’ve always thought homemade gifts were much more meaningful than gift cards and other things, and it’s a great way to get your kids thinking about giving instead of receiving, and it can feel like a fun craft party to them. Ideas include sewing a sweater pillow, making Cocoa jars with the recipe attached, creating a coupon book, bake cookies or granola, etc.
7. Decorate together with a twist.
Try something new! Maybe this year you make popcorn paper chain garland, cut out snowflakes for the windows, or decorate gift wrap out of kraft paper.
8. Host book and movie nights.
Plan a special night to read all your favorite holiday books while sipping hot chocolate. Similarly, plan a holiday movie night or two and make it a pajama party cuddling on the bed together with popcorn and the works.
9. Organize a game night (or two, or three).
Game nights are always a fun way to break up the monotony and reconnect (and laugh!!), and there are so many ways to have a game night. You can have a card night, charade night, puzzle night, and a virtual night. We’ve found cribbage apps, Words with Friends, and even Apple’s Game Center where we can play with family and friends from afar.
10. Mask up and get outside!
Go on walks, make a snowman, go hiking or sledding or skiing! Do a photo walk or scavenger hunt and look at your neighborhood in a different way. Fresh air and a change of scenery is always good for the soul.
If you have other good ideas, I’d love to hear them! Let’s get through this together. Happy Holidays to you and your family.