1. DOG/PUPPY IN ANTLERS
2: MUG OF HOT CHOCOLATE
3: GRINCH PHOTO SHOOT
4: WRAPPED IN CHRISTMAS LIGHTS
5: GRINCH THEME
If you celebrate Christmas, it's likely that you have a few traditions within your family. Sometimes, when we share our traditions, we hear one that we like from other families and adopt it into our own.
So, with that in mind, here are a few of my family Christmas traditions:
1: MATCHING CHRISTMAS PAJAMAS
2: READING THE CHRISTMAS STORIES
3: OPENING A GAME AND PLAYING IT ON
My family's side has a get-together where Santa stops in to bring an early Christmas present. After a certain age, my mom stopped sending the gift off to Santa and just gave it to us herself.
It's always a game, and we always play it when we return from the get-together. Since there is no get-together this year, we will get to spend more time playing our games and eating yummy snacks!
4: BAKING TOGETHER
One thing I love to do around the holidays with my mom is baking. We will make all sorts of Christmas treats for our family to enjoy the morning of Christmas.
We make things like rum balls, chocolate oatmeal no-bake cookies, sausage balls, rice crispy treats, rolo pretzels, and much more.
I find baking to be fun and I love when I hear that something I made tastes good!
5: FINDING THE NEW ORNAMENT ON THE TREE
Each year, my mom buys or we make a new ornament that had something to do with the year.
This was the year that I found out I would be the drum major of my college's marching band. And, as you can see, we did hand-made ornaments this year.
My mom made this one! However, in a year where she buys them and we don't know which is which, we stand around the tree, staring intently until we find the new addition to the tree.
This is a tradition Jonathan and I have also adopted and I hope to do with my future children!
1: SEND OUT A VIRTUAL INVITATION
First things first, pick a date and get a virtual invitation out to your attendees. There are a ton of free websites out there where you can create your own unique invitation which you can download and embed into an email. One of my favorite websites is Canva.com. You can find a ton of templates, or can upgrade for premium access options.
2: FIND OR CREATE GAMES
Since this event will likely have to be virtual, as I know mine is, you'll need to find some games you can play over Zoom or video chat. I've become somewhat of a holiday game guru in my office.
I love the Christmas/Holiday jeopardy, but you can also find plenty of Kahoot or Family Feud games out there, or make your own!
3: COME UP WITH A PLAN FOR FOOD/SNACKS
As I mentioned, my office usually does a potluck event where we all bring a dish and have lunch together. Since we don't want anyone bringing their food in in case of contamination, we considered a few ideas:
4: HOST YOUR PARTY
Now that you've done all the leg-work, it's time to enjoy your party. For me this year, I'll be the game hostess. I usually do this every year, but the game is going to be the main activity.
Put on your best holiday gear, or just a big smile, and celebrate with your team. It's been a tough year, and you all deserve a break to enjoy an hour with one another!
1. A SUBSCRIPTION BOX
2. VACATIONS OR EXPERIENCES
If you have an adventurous loved one or friend, a vacation or experience may be a great gift. This could be a family vacation, tickets to a concert or the opportunity to drive your dream car around a race track. The options are unlimited. Make sure you know what the recipient loves before purchasing. Vacations and experiences are generally pretty expensive, so you want to hit the nail on the head when you purchase this alternative gift.
3. MAKE THEM A LORD OR LADY
No, the Keeping Up with the Kardashians scene where Scott Disick became a Lord in the UK was not faked.
I’ve seen a ton of ads on Facebook where you can, for a nominal fee, make someone you love a Lord or Lady in various countries. I think it would be super interesting, and a fun thing to joke around about.
4. DONATE TO A CAUSE
If you have someone in your life who really doesn’t like receiving presents themselves, you can always give them the gift of donating to their favorite cause in their name. If your loved one is a die-hard supporter of a reasonable cause, consider donating on their behalf. This could include a wildlife adoption where you can adopt an animal in the wild to make sure they’re taken care of and protected!
5. PAY A BILL
This may be a little controversial to some, but I’ve seen almost every 20-something on my social media timeline say that they’d love to have the money someone would use toward a gift to go toward a bill. Even if you can’t directly pay the bill, giving cash or a check with the purpose that it should be used to pay a bill could be really helpful to many, especially right now.
1. VISIT A PARK FULL OF LIGHTS
There are so many parks and venues around the country that have annual light displays that you can drive or walk through. One of my favorites is Tanglewood Park’s Festival of Lights. Located in Clemmons, N.C., this festival is open now until Jan. 1 from 6 to 11 p.m.
Google your area and “Christmas Lights” to see what venues are located nearest to you.
2. PUT TOGETHER A GINGERBREAD HOUSE
3. CHRISTMAS TREE & ORNAMENT SHOPPING
4. PUTTING UP YOUR OWN CHRISTMAS LIGHTS
5. HOT COCO CONTEST
6. CHRISTMAS MOVIE NIGHT
Since it's Dec. 1, I thought I'd share a few things you can do today to get into the holiday spirit:
1. DONATE TO YOUR FAVORITE CHARITY TODAY!
Today is Giving Tuesday. On this day, several agencies in your area will match the gifts you give to non-profits you donate to. This can be a nation-wide non-profit such as United Way, or can be a local college or university, your church, or a social services organization that helps those in need in your area.
Check your favorite non-profit's website today for more information.
2. GO SHOPPING FOR WEEK-LONG DEALS
Although Cyber Monday was yesterday, there are still deals to shop throughout this week and moving forward through the holiday season. You can find deals on Amazon and other bigger retailers.
Just search for deals in your area using Google, and you may find that perfect Christmas dress on sale at Macy's!
3. GET BAKING
Nothing quite signals the start of the holiday season than breaking out the baking apron. I personally love to bake, no matter if its cookies, cake, banana bread, or something else.
Start making your favorite Christmas and holiday treats now to get into the spirit and kick off the holiday season right.
4. HAVE A CHRISTMAS CRAFT DAY
I just did this with my mom, brother, and family friends. Christmas crafting is a great way to make more ornaments for your tree or decorations for your house. You can even make some DIY gifts if you choose. Get together and come up with some Christmas or holiday crafts and do them with your family, or people you know who have been safely social-distancing and wearing their mask. If you want to see what we made, check out the video below!
5. START LISTENING TO CHRISTMAS SONGS
For all the Grinches who didn't want to listen to Christmas music until after Thanksgiving, now is the time! Switch on some Christmas music on your Spotify or Pandora accounts while you're driving around or getting ready for the day. There's nothing really like the sound of familiar Christmas songs to get your mind into the spirit of the holidays.
What are you doing to get into the spirit? Leave a comment below, or catch up with me on social media!
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