Home for the (Virtual) Holidays
The holidays are going to look a little different this year. Heck, they are going to look A LOT different this year. We’re going to miss the big get-togethers - they’re what make this season special for so many people. However, with family gatherings being so limited, it’s still important for families to find ways to celebrate Christmas in a safe way. We’ve rounded up some of our favourite options to (virtually) spend the holidays with those close to you:
We had quite a downfall of snow earlier, so here’s a fun way to take advantage of that! Pick a family member’s house and front (or back) yard to build a snowman in. That household is in charge of building the actual snowman, and everyone else gets to bring an item for decorating the snowman with (Eg: grandma brings the scarf, the kids are in charge of the eyes and nose, mom and dad take care of the arms, and so on). Over time the snowman will go from a blank canvas to a beautiful creation the whole family helped make!
A big part of family get-togethers is the giant meals, especially during the holidays. In our family at least, the kitchen is the gathering spot for everyone, basking in the aromas and being close to the fridge for refilling drinks. This activity doesn’t have to be reserved for just the holidays, but pick someone to be your teacher. They choose a recipe and, while on a video conference, walk everyone through how to make their favourite dish!
No expert cooks? No problem, there are tons of resources online for doing exactly this. Everyone decides on a recipe and everyone follows along. If you’re looking for some good ideas, you can check out the virtual classes/recipes we have from the Local Kitchen YXE. After everyone has their dish prepared, it’s time to vote on who did the best job. Unfortunately this year, there’s no way to decide who made the dish the best when it comes to taste, since you can’t try the other options. You’ll just have to use the honor system and not vote for your own! ;)
Build a Gingerbread House
Another family tradition we have is to have all the cousins come together and build gingerbread houses together. While we can’t gather for this, we all can still make the houses. Set up a video conference on FaceTime or Zoom, and have everyone make their houses at the same time! Communication might get a little challenging, but it’s a way to still keep the holiday traditions going.
Virtual Present Time
A key part—especially to the younger ones—of Christmas is opening presents on Christmas morning. Almost everyone cannot get together this year, but like with the virtual gingerbread house building, that doesn’t mean family traditions have to be completely forgotten. It takes a little pre-planning, but head out to drop off gifts at each family’s home. On the big day set up a video conference and focus on one person at a time opening a present. Everyone can still see the reaction to gifts, and the giftee can thank their gifter. A big benefit? Everyone has to clean up their own wrapping paper!
Since we can’t hang out at each other’s houses, that doesn’t mean we can't leave little reminders of each other. Pick some ornaments to give to your other family members to put on their Christmas trees. Now when they walk by the tree or see the ornaments on Christmas morning, they’ll be reminded of those that weren’t able to make it over for the holiday season.
Movie Watching Party
Everyone has a favorite holiday movie (in our family fights have started over whether or not Die Hard counts as a holiday film). Because social distancing has been a big part of everyone’s lives this year, most streaming platforms (Netflix, Disney+, etc.) have added the option to watch the same movie in different households. Vote on what movie to watch, grab your favorite holiday treats, and sit down and watch a flick that will remind you of what the holidays are all about. Welcome to the party, Pal!
Christmas is always a reminder of what’s important to us. It’s also a time of giving. At Moda, we partnered with CHEP Good Food Inc. and the YWCA to collect donations for fresh food boxes to families in need during these uncertain times. Our family has also decided to forgo our annual gift exchange and use the money we would’ve spent on gifts to make donations to local charities in Saskatoon. Everyone picked a charity, and whoever drew that name is going to make a donation to that person’s charity of choice.
As a family, you can also pick a charity and make a group donation to it. While it isn’t the same as giving and receiving presents, it’s a great lesson to teach the kids in the family that the holidays are more about giving than receiving.