Under normal circumstances, the holiday season can bring out the best – and the not-so-best – in all of us. Throw in a worldwide pandemic, and it’s like we are all living in a snowglobe, unable to leave our immediate surroundings. While the CDC recommends postponing travel for the rest of the holiday season, Zoom calls are not the same as spending time with loved ones. Luckily, there are several ways to lift your spirits despite these less-than-ideal circumstances. From partaking in some holiday self-care to doing good for others, here are 10 ways you can spread joy this holiday season.
Bake Holiday Treats
Whether it’s homemade or store-bought, the holidays are marked with special treats. Even if you don’t consider yourself a master chef, there are thousands of simple recipes any novice can conquer. When you’re finished, take some great photos and share them with family and friends. These photos can now serve as a reminder of what you’ve accomplished.
Host a Group Zoom
Chances are you’ve used Zoom at some point during the coronavirus pandemic, but have you used it to build gingerbread houses with your family or friends? This is a great way to bring everyone together for what could become your newest tradition. Set a date on the calendar, send out a shopping list to those joining, and share a link to come together. This will ensure an hour of fun and laughter!
Watch Your Favorite Holiday Classics
There are few things more festive than holiday movies. Animated classics like Santa Claus is Coming to Town and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer have the power to take us back to our childhood. Who hasn’t seen the more recent live-action holiday favorites like Home Alone and Elf that are nostalgic in their own right? Grab your favorite blanket and a cup of eggnog and curl up to enjoy. If you want to watch with others, apps like Rave make it possible to share streaming movies on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
Decorations can be a great cure for the holiday blues. After all, what’s more uplifting than lights, candles, and mistletoe? Crank up the volume on your favorite holiday playlist and decorate your heart out. You can even FaceTime your family or friends and let them join in on the fun.
At-Home Spa Day
The dry, cold winter air can do a number on our skin and hair. An at-home spa day offers an hour or two of rest and relaxation. Start by taking a nice hot soak with your favorite bath bomb or bubbles. Consider following up with a face mask and a manicure – you know those cuticles could use some oil.
Donate Treats To Frontline Workers
Remember those treats you made? Consider making an extra batch to donate at your local hospital or firehouse. Frontline healthcare workers are stressed out too. If baking is not your thing, consider having treats delivered from a local grocery store or sweetshop. Here are a few additional ways to show your appreciation for frontline workers.
Homeless Shelter Care Packages
As the weather gets colder across the country, those without homes and permanent shelter need help more than ever. Consider showing your support by assembling care packages and donating them to local homeless shelters and food banks. There are plenty of resources available online with recommendations of what to include, such as socks,wet wipes, self-contained but easy to open foods like tuna (in a bag), trail mix, and granola bars.
Support Small Local Businesses
The pandemic has especially impacted small businesses, but you can still show your support. Before going to a big chain for dinner or clothes, do a Google search to see if you can find a small business selling the products you need.
Exchanging meals with friends and family can be a great way to share a few of your own traditions with others. Maybe it’s a dessert, an entree, or even a festive cocktail! Who wouldn’t love a tin of holiday cookies? Coordinate a date for swapping – it’ll warm your heart to know that you shared a dish with others.
Volunteer At A Soup Kitchen Or Food Pantry
Consider volunteering at a food pantry or soup kitchen in your area. This is a great way to help those who need it most. Even if you can’t volunteer, call your local pantry and see what they need as another way to help. Feeding America has a list of food items to donate as well as what items to avoid.