The logistics of celebrating Christmas as a family during a pandemic put some extra restrictions on activities, but these new twists on classic holiday traditions will help everyone keep the cheer.

family shopping online; christmas decorations in background
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Many families are seeking novel Christmas ideas for 2020. Despite the negative experiences of the past year, most families really yearn for the holidays to help affirm life through celebrating family and friends. The logistics of celebrating family during a pandemic are challenging but there are many unique ways to continue tradition and also create new ones.

Ways to Stay Connected with Santa

The general CDC guidelines for navigating the pandemic requires standing at least six feet away from others, wearing a mask, and frequent hand washing. But luckily, Santa is COVID immune, so just because he's not at the mall doesn't mean he won't be out on Christmas Eve delivering presents! Cue up the Santa tracker and plan to do these other fun Santa experiences perfect for 2020:

  • Send an extra special letter to Saint Nick. COVID can't stop the USPS! Have kids write a letter to Santa and know they'll get a guaranteed response, pandemic or not.
  • Stream Santa's reindeer live. Introduce them to the reindeer cam. This year will be a very hard year for Rudolph and the gang, so they need all the virtual support they can get!
  • Explore the magic of Macy's from the couch. Take a virtual visit to Macy's famous Santaland which has been totally reimagined for the year of COVID-19.

Christmas Food Classics, Reinvented

Most Christmas family dinners are known for turkey with stuffing, ham, roast beef, mashed potatoes, vegetables, and Christmas pudding for dessert. This year's celebration will be different, and for sure smaller, so why not go heavy on a few fun, festive apps, and lighter on dinner? Here are two ideas:

Creative Activities for Christmas 2020

Our nation's health experts have advised against large family gatherings and travel this holiday season—aka there's never been more of a need for fun Christmas activities for kids to do at home.

  • Make the countdown extra special. Buying a new advent calendar for 2020 is a must, and we're not above recommending every family member gets their own this year! Not only will it break up the monotony that is COVID life, it will get everyone hyped for the big day. Check out a few of our favorite advent calendars for 2020 here.
  • Add some holiday flare to your face masks. Everyone has to wear a face masks when out in public this year. How about making or decorating Christmas face masks together as a family? Here are a few cute tips when it comes to fun face masks for kids.
  • Go on a candy cane hunt. Hide candy canes throughout the house, then get extended family members on the line to read the clues for your kids via Zoom, FaceTime, or other medium. This is an excellent way to have fun with loved ones who can't be physically present.
  • Map out your own holiday light show. Christmas lights and decorations are a big part of the holiday season. Once your house is decked out, load everyone in the car for a social-distanced drive through a neighboring community to take in all the sparkle and cheer.
  • Sign up for free mail. Register for your kids to receive free stuff via mail all December long. Maybe they are little gifts from Santa's elves? Kids will anxiously await the postman every day to see what goodies are in store.

New Traditions to Start

The year has been very hard and many of us would rather forget it. However, the best family experiences, regardless of circumstance, are chronicled to create lasting memories. Christmas 2020 should be no different. We can use the season to salvage some good memories by using the unique circumstances to create new ones.

  • Create a Christmas 2020 scrapbook. Use this year's season as the chance to start a scrap booking tradition.
  • Cue up an epic Christmas movie lineup. Make a list of must-watch Christmas movies for the family. This year's twist? Include extended family members in this family activity via Zoom. For more fun, include extended family members in the movie compilation. This ensures that there's something for everyone.
  • Camp out under the Christmas tree. Have a staycation one night under the Christmas tree and enjoy the lights while sipping hot cocoa before bed.
  • Go virtual with your Christmas greetings. Everything else is already virtual, why not Christmas cards? Record videos, include a TikTok, and even shots of the family pets. These will be a source of love, warmth, and hilarity for years to come.
  • Try a Christmas cookie swap. Get a couple of family members in on the plan, then mail cookies to each other.