While this Christmas season will be like no other, many of our beloved annual traditions and activities are or can be made pandemic-proof. In the spirit of giving, we’ve selected a few of our festive traditions to share, which may become new favourites for your own family this year. However you choose to celebrate, we wish you a very happy and healthy holiday season!

Trim the Tree

The joyful tradition of trimming and decorating the Christmas tree remains at the top of many To-Do lists, even if its enjoyment will be limited to one’s household this year. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than unboxing precious ornaments and finding the best spot to display them among the tree’s branches. In my family’s Swiss-German tradition, this includes attaching real candles onto the tree.

Bake Holiday Cookies

The weeks leading up to the big day are perfect for planning and executing a cookie baking extravaganza. If you’ve been making family favourites for years, it’s likely impossible to stop now, and why would you? Those treats bring such joy and warm memories, biting into a gingerbread man or spitzbube is a gift in itself.

If you’ve never tried to establish your own holiday cookie repertoire, this is the time to start! Make it easier with a socially-distanced drop-off cookie exchange with close friends. You’ll find some new baked-goodoptions and share the cookie love. In the immortal words of the Great British Bake Off – on your marks, get set, bake!

PJ All Day

If 2020 is the Year of Loungewear, then nothing stands in the way of your family dressing up in matching jammies all day, or all season long for that matter. There are so many great festive styles, colours and sizes to choose from, with flannels or full-on onesies for every member of the family.

Mixology Magic

The holidays are a time for festive drink concoctions, in moderation of course. From bubbly champagne cocktails to calorie-bomb brandy alexanders and snowballs, mix up something new or an old stand-by to enjoy during your family’s virtual gatherings, or to sip fireside with your household.

If you’re creative in the mixology department, brew up a batch of homemade Bailey’s or other preferred liqueur to drop off a gift bottle on the porch of friends. What could be sweeter?

Light up the Night

The nights are dark and filled with… lights. Your neighbourhood is likely full of extra light displays this season, as people are putting them up earlier and in greater numbers as part of an effort to lighten our collective load this year.

Use social media posts or newspaper articles as guides for some of your town’s best light displays. Pile into the car for a drive or walk through your own neighbourhood streets to admire the light displays that are helping to keep spirits bright.

Christmas Day Outdoor Fun

From coast to coast to coast, Canadians know how to bundle up to enjoy the best of winter. Whether it’s organizing a snowshoe hike or cross-country ski along a forest trail, a toboggan run down a local hill, or a brisk walk in the neighbourhood, gather the household for an outdoor activity on Christmas Day. It’s a great way to burn off those extra calories – either before or after you sit down to the feast.

Zoom Carols and Cocktails

We organized a Google Hangout Thanksgiving cocktail hour with family back in October, and it went better than I expected. Don’t think the grandparents can’t do tech; ours were ready with drinks in hand before we were! (But just in case, go over the tech stuff ahead of time to ensure a smooth cocktail time.)

Have one family member organize the date, time, invitations and host the gathering. Dress up in your party best – or if you’re PJ’ing all day, your jammies – and have some special cocktails at the ready. Add music with carols or instruments if your family is so inclined and celebrate the holidays in the virtual 2020 way.

Elf on the Shelf

If The Elf has been a part of your life during past holiday seasons, government sources have publicly assured families that he/she/it is considered part of your household this year. So, The Elf can visit.

On the other hand, the pandemic is the perfect excuse to not have The Elf visit this year. If you need an excuse and your kids haven’t listened to the news, that is.


Photo credits: Pixabay