It’s no secret that the holidays will look a little different these days, with many people staying home with their families instead of traveling — but you know what they say: “There’s no place like home for the holidays!” Just because celebrations will be a bit smaller and scaled-down, it doesn’t mean your family can’t make new memories and create new traditions. Many of these family holiday ideas won’t cost much and are great for family members of all ages; read on for some inspiration to make this year’s holiday season just as special as years past.
Host a Virtual Holiday Party
At this point, so many of us have access to video conferencing tools (many of which are free!) and we have some idea of how to use them. Whether attendees use their phones or mobile devices or their computer, it’s easy to log on and see friendly faces. Choose a date and time, gather everyone around the screen, and connect with friends and family that you may have not seen in months.
Once you’re partying, there’s an endless list of activities you can all do together from the comfort and safety of your own homes. Try sharing stories about holidays gone past, having a family recipe bake-off with extra points for creativity, hold a holiday trivia contest, or have a holiday-themed read-along for the kids.
Have a Movie Marathon
Think about this: How many holiday movies can you name off the top of your head? Probably enough to spend all day in your pajamas, watching one after another, snacking on popcorn and Christmas cookies while sipping hot chocolate. You can even have the whole family recreate scenes from your favorite flicks.
Create a theme for the marathon and plan a menu of snacks that fit that theme. You could even get everyone to dress up in their holiday finery and pretend like it’s a red carpet premiere! If you’re feeling nostalgic, you can watch home movies or videos instead of theatrical releases. Even better, you and other family members in different households can use tech tools to sync the movies and watch them together.
Deck the Halls and Play Some Games
Because we will all be enjoying our home’s holiday decorations a bit more these days, it’s a great idea to take things to the next level. Order those crazy and festive decor pieces online and get the whole family together to spend the morning creating a winter wonderland. Create a holiday playlist for the soundtrack as you deck the halls.
After you’re done setting the scene, relax by the stocking-clad fireplace in your holiday pajamas with puzzles and fun games that keep everyone of all ages engaged and learning, without having to hear “I’m bored!”. You can even divide the family into teams and play holiday-themed charades or Pictionary, keeping score to see which team comes out on top.
Don’t want to order holiday decorations or use generic holiday cards to send out to everyone? Don’t worry — grab the family and make them yourself! Your loved ones will appreciate personalized, custom holiday greetings, and making your own decorations is a budget-friendly way to get into the spirit.
You can make ornaments out of salt dough, masks out of paper plates, and Christmas tree garlands from popcorn and cranberries; the possibilities are endless, and there are so many household objects and ingredients that you likely already have at home. Invest in high-quality storage to keep all of your craft supplies and finished products, like this wooden chest with the family name on it.
Cookies and Christmas go hand-in-hand! Pull up a puzzle stool to the kitchen counter for little helpers and bake all of those holiday cookies that help put you in the mood to celebrate the reason for the season. Email family members ahead of time and get the recipes that have been passed down throughout the generations to try and recreate with a new generation of cookie-bakers.
You can also get everyone involved in cooking Christmas dinner together. Even if you don’t have the usual crowd over for a big meal, you can still go all out — divvying up the work among your family members makes it fun and easy. Plan the menu together ahead of time and assign tasks to help teach little ones responsibility and teamwork. If you have leftovers, drop them off (safely!) on the doorstep of an elderly neighbor or friend you know may be spending the holidays alone.