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Sharp Health News

Creative ways to celebrate the holidays

Dec. 1, 2020

Ornaments on beach with child in pajamas in background

The events of 2020 have left many people rushing to leave this year behind. But for most of us, there’s one last “hurdle” of the year left to navigate: the holidays.

While COVID-19 will undoubtedly change many families’ annual holiday traditions and plans, with a little creativity, it’s still possible to celebrate the joy of the season this year.

Here are 10 unique ways you can safely stay connected and celebrate this December:

1. Drive-thru holiday light shows. Many neighborhoods put on beautiful holiday light displays that you can view from a safe distance in your vehicle with your immediate family. Put on your coziest PJs and play some holiday music to crank up the festive feelings.

2. Virtual gift opening. Longing to see the joy on your loved ones’ faces during gift exchanges? Pack up those presents, ship them to your family and schedule a time to open them together — virtually!

3. Beach bonfire. Take advantage of the mostly deserted beaches this time of year with a bonfire. Bring extra blankets and hot cocoa to make it a cozy winter outing for your household.

4. Virtual tamale making. Gather your ingredients and schedule a fun virtual afternoon with family members while making tamales in your own kitchens. You can even consider sending tamale-making kits to your older or more vulnerable family members to save them a trip to the store.

5. Take a horse drawn-carriage ride. Bundle up with your special someone and book one of many horse-drawn carriages in San Diego. You can check out the city lights and snuggle close to soak in the quiet moments of the season.

6. Host a virtual Seder. Send out virtual invitations to family with the Seder plate menu, a curated playlist and the Haggadah. You can even reimagine games like finding the afikoman using the “20 Questions” game instead.

7. Gingerbread house contest. Invite guests to a virtual party to decorate gingerbread houses together. Each participant can arrive to the online party with their own store-bought kit, and you can chat and visit while you work on your masterpieces together. At the end, you can give out prizes in the form of e-gift cards for the most creative, most traditional, or even the worst!

8. Holiday scavenger hunt. Need a festive activity for the kids? Create a holiday scavenger hunt list with some common things you may expect to see around your neighborhood this time of year, such as a Santa decoration, multicolored lights, a wreath, etc. Take a long walk and check each item off the list. Follow it up with some hot chocolate to create a fun holiday memory.

9. Outdoor movies. San Diego has a variety of outdoor movie-watching experiences — from drive-in theaters to cinemas under the stars. Pack up your household, grab some snacks and catch your favorite holiday flick outdoors this year.

10. Give back. While 2020 has taken a toll on just about everyone, our most vulnerable populations have been hit the hardest. Consider “adopting a family” this year and purchasing them some much-needed items on their wish list. You can put feelers out to find a family in need on social media or your local Buy Nothing group on Facebook. Giving back to your community is the perfect way to practice gratitude this holiday season.

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