FREE: How to Have a Quality Quarantined Christmas

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The holiday season can be a magical time of light displays, cookies, and family traditions, but it can also be stressful. Maybe this is your first Christmas without a loved one, or your to-do list is still a mile long; add in a global pandemic and this holiday season may not seem as magical as it has in years past.

Maybe instead of all the hustle and bustle, this is the year we slow down a bit. Rather than packing the calendar full of holiday activities that leave us feeling exhausted and drained or spending all of our time shopping for the perfect gift, we can embrace the positives of a quarantined Christmas. Maybe we can rest in this season and spend meaningful time with the ones we love.

No one’s coming over this year! So, instead of preparing a picture-perfect holiday meal that requires your kitchen to be a kid-free zone, make something simple and let them help! Let them stir too hard and spill some of the mashed potatoes. Let them help you wash the dishes and get their sleeves wet. Perfect is a lot less fun than messy.

Money is tight for many of us this Christmas, so if you still need a last-minute gift, make homemade cards or crafts to exchange. This is another great way to get your kids involved. You can use materials from around the house. For example, an old toilet paper roll covered in peanut butter and then rolled in birdseed or cereal becomes a beautiful homemade feeder. Glue dry food items to your cards to add texture. Cheerios make great ornaments on a tree. Glue down sugar or flour to make snow!

Homemade bird feeder Tree cookies

If you’ve already completed your holiday gift list, consider dropping off your homemade cards or crafts at a local nursing home or on the porch of an elderly neighbor or family member. We may not be able to visit, but we can let them know we still care about them during this pandemic.

If you do nothing else this quarantined Christmas, I hope you spend time doing activities that don’t require anything but time. Turn off all the electronics and sing songs together as a family, read a favorite book out-loud, or play games like charades. Look each other in the eye, talk, laugh, and listen. This may not be the perfect holiday season we hoped for, but some of the best memories are made in imperfect moments.

From all of us at N.C. Cooperative Extension, we wish you a very happy holiday and hope for the New Year. Stay safe Montgomery!