by Megan Lunney
Although the holidays may be slightly different than previous years’ celebrations, it does not mean it has to be less jolly. So, before you try and fast forward into the new year, why not check out some tips below on how to keep the Christmas cheer alive in 2020.
1. Create an activity advent calendar.
Be your own inspiration and create yourself a 25-day activity advent calendar. All you need are some old cereal boxes, a pair of scissors, glue, paper, and as many crafts as you want. Once you have constructed your calendar, write yourself a handwritten card with one activity per day. You may not be able to add in external events such as Christmas markets and ice skating, but you can try toasting marshmallows by the fire, baking Christmas cookies, walking around your area, viewing your neighbors’ festive lights – and that’s only the beginning! A magical event does not need to be big or fancy, all you need is a little sparkle and you’re good to go.
2. Support local businesses.
We’d be fooling ourselves if the word “presents” did not appear in our minds when we think about Christmas. The Barbie airplane Santa brought you at age 8, or the fresh set of PJs and fluffy socks from your kris kindle, there is always a gift that lives in people’s holiday memories. This year, when you are making your gift buying list and checking it twice, how about checking out your local businesses online and seeing what they have to offer. By supporting local businesses, you are in turn supporting your local economy, thus keeping business booming in your area. 2020 has been particularly hard for small business owners, especially if an “e-commerce presence” was not crossing their minds anytime soon before this pandemic. Why not do a quick Google search and find out what businesses you can support near you. Recently created websites such as “Shop Local” and “Locally” may help you with your research. Happy shopping!
3. Virtual volunteering.
This time of year, is all about bringing peace and joy into the world, and what better way than giving back to those who have been less fortunate? With Covid-19, you may think that your opportunity to volunteer has been swiped away, but with many charities’ moving to virtual volunteering, your chance is not over. Check out dosomthing.org to find out some places to volunteer online. Or, if you are unable to volunteer this year, you can still donate to your charity of choice by researching online how to donate.
4. Online Christmas Party.
For me personally, the holidays equal the entire family coming together, sharing laughs, and making new memories, and this year the only thing different is the location! I plan to still play the same cheesy games and eat more than I can manage over a good ole Zoom, Microsoft teams, or Google hangout call. I encourage you all to do the same, get the e-invite sent, and have a great time!
5. Create a shared Spotify Christmas playlist.
With the topic of family in mind, why not create a shared Christmas playlist? All you need to do is follow Spotify’s collaborative playlist steps for either desktop or mobile and share the playlist link with all your loved ones. You can even make the Christmas playlist a theme! “Songs with the word snow in the lyrics” or “songs about reindeer” - you can also play the playlist during your online Christmas party!
There you have it, a few festive and effective tips that will hopefully help you all to keep the Christmas spirit alive this December. Enjoy, stay safe, and have a very Merry time!
Illustrations by Hilary Kwan @ifuckinglovedrawing on Instagram.