Creating New Traditions During an Unusual Holiday Season

Creating New Traditions During an Unusual Holiday Season

Have you caught yourself wondering how to make this the ‘best holiday season ever’ – simply to combat the hum drum of being at home so much these last months?  Or have you been pondering how you can keep your family’s holiday traditions alive – especially those that are comforting and important for your family–as you wrap up a year that has been very different than usual and ring in the new?

To give you a little boost if you are thinking about making some new traditions or to elevate your ideas around your usual traditions, we have put together this little holiday-how-to list. It’s not a to-do list or a bucket list. Just a list of ideas. Pick one and try it out, or try two if you are feeling especially daring.

Ultimately, even if this holiday doesn’t feel exactly like holidays past, it’s always been and always will be about making the most out of the holidays – whatever comes your way.  Happy Holidays!

GIVING

Gifting can still be elaborate or you can make it really simple this year. You may need to just switch up your shopping routine a little bit. Here are some ways to keep everyone safe while you still get your gift giving on.

Look for your favorite local retailer’s online store. The City of Eugene has a great Holiday Guide to help find that special gift.

Try shopping from your own home – like giving a special scarf that you don’t wear or a plant cutting from your favorite houseplant.

KITS has a list of Ways to Give in Lane County 2020

Make your own gifts this year. Many of these projects need objects you can find at home or you can easily pick up at the market when you go grocery shopping.

  • A unique Homemade Bird Feeder to give bird loving friends or relatives. Make a few extras to decorate a tree outside.
  • Upcycle those old Christmas sweaters.
  • Fun Hand Warmers for all the people on your list.

This list of gift ideas for Hanukkah is also inspiring as a gift guide for any family.

DECORATING

If you love decorating – take on a new look and feel with found objects and handmade additions. Kids love offering their hands – encourage children to help you make or place the objects around the home. Many of these could double as gifts for neighbors (dropped safely on their doorstep).

Take a nod from nature. Try making Dried Fruit Ornaments, or a Cranberry and Pinecone Garland. This shimmery glittered citrus added to wreathes and boughs is a fresh way to celebrate.

Bring holiday decorating to any room with this sweet idea that’s easy and affordable.

Try Fuss Free decorating for a more simple nod to the Christmas Season.

Check out these awesome and creative decorations your kids can make that you will use for year to come.

FOOD

If you usually travel and don’t have much time to cook during the Holiday Season or find yourself longing for that homemade pumpkin pie, this is a great time to turn on your oven and make some kitchen-inspired memories! Children can help with gathering supplies or cutting up foods. They also make excellent soup stir-ers and cookie tasters!

Make traditional favorites and deliver to your loved ones to enjoy food with you at a safe distance. Set up a virtual dinner party to enjoy one another’s company while socially distanced.

Many local restaurants are offering takeout and delivery – great for when you are craving your favorite eat-out foods or wanting to provide something special for your table.

Have each family member pick a favorite cookie to bake. Lots of recipes can be made ahead and frozen until ready to use. Or try something new and flood your sugar cookies with Royal Icing.

Make a toppings bar for your latkes.

Need a fun spin on the classic gingerbread house? Why not try making a gingerbread-chicken-coop this year to celebrate the gifts from your chicks?

Check out these Kwanzaa feast ideas all in one place. This Jamaican Jerk Chicken recipe sounds fabulous or make it just to have the leftover chicken salad!

ACTIVITIES

When school is out there are a lot more hours to fill the day and coming up with creative ways to keep kids off their devices seems to take the last of your energy. That’s where fun-spired activities come in! Invite cousins from afar to join in on the epic fun virtually. And there’s no need to wait until the Holidays hit, you can start a new tradition anytime of year.

This article has 20 great games ideas for families. We are especially excited about this oven mitt game!

Go on a Scavenger Hunt — make your own or here’s a free printable

Have some virtual fun:

  • Family Bingo. Have your children help you make the BINGO card. Or here’s a free printable from the web.
  • Family minute to win it games are so fun. Send your family members a list of what they need to participate when you send the invite.
  • A virtual 5K run with your far away family and friends.
  • Virtual dance parties can really get the kids moving and offers a memorable fun experience with one another.

Sign your office team up for some virtual holiday team building.

Slow things down by taking a Holiday Light Tour on foot this year. Or give points to each house you pass and reward your favorite with a card and trophy you leave on their doorstep.

Does your family typically enjoy going to the Nutcracker performance at your local stage? Look for your favorites being aired online and set up a home theatre experience by wearing your fancy clothing and making tickets for the event.

HEALTH

Everything we’ve been hearing about this holiday season points to staying closer to home and to in-person celebrations with only those under your own roof. There are a lot of reasons to feel anxiety and worry. Here are some ways to assess your risk and some thoughts on coping as an adult and helping kids handle the stress as well. Plus some great resources for your family lovingly curated by all of us here at KITS.

Here’s a simple list to help you assess your COVID risks for this Holiday Season

And a great list of coping strategies: holiday traditions – coping with COVID.

Are your kids worried about Santa getting the virus as he goes from chimney to chimney? Check out Santa-anxiety-kids-covid-19

KITS has a list of Resources for Families in Times of Covid-19 – KITS (kidsintransitiontoschool.org). It includes local food banks and support for the Holiday Season.

Text: © Kids In Transition to School 2020

Image: © Golubovy| Dreamstime.com

 

Rachel Morris
Rachel is a Coach for the KITS Program. She started with KITS as the Assessment Coordinator in 2010. When not juggling coaching and schedules for KITS, she can be found in her garden or playing with her kids and dogs.

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