This holiday season is going to look a little different. Many of us won’t be able to travel to visit our families, dinners and gatherings will be limited to a few select people, and New Year’s parties are simply out of the question. So, how do we make sure that our days are merry and bright, while also staying safe? Our Nannies on Call staff have a few ideas!
Virtual gift exchange
Planning a virtual gift exchange with friends is a fun, easy way to celebrate in the spirit of giving! All you have to do is gather a list of participants, pick a date and set a budget, draw names, and then have each participant either mail out a gift or have it delivered directly to the recipient’s home. On the date of the gift swap, everyone gathers on Zoom (or Skype, Google Hangouts, etc.) and opens their gifts together.
Celebrate with family and friends (from afar)
If you can’t spend the holidays in-person with your family this year, you can still celebrate with them virtually! We know seeing your family on a screen is not the same, but you can make the day special by treating yourself at the same time. Put together a holiday cheese board, buy yourself a bottle of bubbly, light some scented candles, and put on some festive music. There, isn’t that better?
Do some holiday baking
Put on your favourite holiday playlist and do some baking in the kitchen. Try a new recipe or bake a traditional family favourite. Your house will smell delicious and you’ll have baked goods to eat all week (or you can share them with friends and neighbours, we suppose).
Decorate your home
This holiday season, you’re likely going to be spending more time at home than previous years. Why not make the most of it and transform your home into a winter wonderland? You can buy decorations or get crafty and make your own. Salt dough ornaments are simple to make and you probably already have all the materials you need. Paper snowflakes are another incredibly easy DIY decoration. Pinterest is a great place to find more holiday craft ideas!
Host a paint and sip event
Get a few friends to join you in a step-by-step painting class from their own homes. The host picks a painting tutorial video online (perhaps something holiday themed?) and each participant purchases the materials needed, as well as a bottle of their favourite wine or non-alcoholic beverage. On the night of the paint and sip, everyone pours themselves a glass and follows along with the video (this can be done through a Zoom screen share or you can each open up the video in your own internet browser). You may not end up with a masterpiece, but you will certainly have some hilarious memories!
A few video suggestions:
- 10-minute snowy tree tutorial (this is a quick one, but you’ll likely be pausing the video as you go)
- Cute snowman
- Northern lights
For Parents and Kids
Take a holiday family photo yourself
You may not be able to go to the portrait studio or visit Santa at the mall this year, but you can still keep the tradition alive by having a family photo shoot at home. Create a backdrop, get the kids dressed up in their most festive outfits, set up the tripod, and make use of the self-timer. Have some fun and let the kids be as silly as they want — with unlimited shots, you’re sure to get at least one perfect family photo!
Drive around to see the lights
Get bundled up and pile everyone into the car to see the holiday lights. We recommend looking into which neighbourhoods and businesses have the most impressive displays beforehand. To add to that cozy, festive feeling, bring along some blankets and a thermos of hot cocoa, and play holiday music as you drive around.
This year in particular, many families are facing financial hardships and may not be able to afford new gifts and toys. Teach your children about the true spirit of the holiday season by getting them to donate their toys (and clothes they’ve outgrown) to those less fortunate. You can sort through items together, have fun reminiscing, and put together a box of donations to be picked up or brought to a local charity. You’ll help make a family’s holiday wishes come true, teach your children a valuable life lesson, and get rid of some of the clutter in your home!
Decorate gingerbread houses
Decorating gingerbread houses is always a fun holiday activity to do at home, whether you’re in the midst of a pandemic or not. If you have excess time on your hands and are feeling ambitious, you can bake the pieces of the house from scratch. Or you can buy a pre-made kit for easy assembly and decoration, such as this one. Just make sure most of those candies end up on the house instead of in your kids’ mouths!
Holiday movie night
The theatres may still be closed, but you can still enjoy some quality time together with a holiday movie night! Set the living room up with cozy blankets, pillows, holiday lights, and festive snacks. Get everyone into their pajamas and put one of your family’s favourite holiday movies on the TV. There are plenty of family-friendly, seasonal movies available on every streaming platform this time of year.
Candy cane hunt
Plan a candy cane hunt for your kids around the house. It’s similar to an Easter egg hunt, but without the melted chocolate mess. Your kids will have a great time searching for all the hidden treats and all you have to do is purchase a box of candy canes.