For most of us, the holidays are looking a little different this year, but that doesn’t have to mean worse. Living out of state from both sides of our extended family, this will be the first year that my immediate family will actually spend Christmas in our own home. While we’ll be sorry to miss out on bigger family time, I am looking at this as an opportunity for a really relaxing holiday. It’s also a chance to get a little creative with the ways we are celebrating the season.
Here are a few ideas I have planned, and some trends I’ve noticed around our neighborhood and elsewhere:
1. DECORATE EARLY + OFTEN
We’re all spending more time at home, so why not dress your house to the nines for all the holidays? We hung our lights before Thanksgiving and have been enjoying them immensely. Not only do you get to enjoy them for longer, hanging them earlier meant we were able to choose a nice mild weekend to do it – no frozen fingers while trying to wrap and hang lights. I’ve noticed a lot of our neighbors have jumped on this as well, and it’s not just nice for you – the neighborhood kids love it too. As a mom of small children, I’ve found myself extending evening car rides on a regular basis to loop through neighborhoods that have already put together strong light-displays.
Nite Ize Pro Tip: Use Gear Ties to secure your Christmas lights in awkward places or spots that you wouldn’t want damaged by nails or staples.
2. THROW A HOLIDAY PARTY FOR TWO (OR FOUR + SOME STUFFED ANIMALS IN OUR CASE)
I have always loved throwing a Holiday or New Year’s Party. So, despite not inviting “traditional” guests, I’ve decided I’m not giving this one up – at least not entirely. I am throwing a holiday party for our immediate family. And we are dressing up. And there will be eggnog. And we will have fun! …And we may zoom the rest of our family to join in after a few drinks.
So, the following is my advice for throwing your own household party. Pick a weekend night in the middle of December when there’s not a lot going on and when in a normal year, you probably would have had a work party or something fun and festive to attend. Tell your household ahead of time. If you have kids, let them make some invitations and pick out holiday clothes to dust off. If you don’t have kids, tell your roommate, partner, or best zoom-friend what time to be dressed and ready. If you like to cook – great! If you don’t, pick a special restaurant to order take-out and make some festive beverages. And lastly, plan an activity. Make it feel like more than a nice meal by adding a special activity. Buy a gingerbread house kit or have a cookie decorating contest with a prize for the winner.
Nite Ize Pro Tip: Grab your favorite holiday beverage and wrap it in a red, green, or blue SlapLit LED Drink Wrap for instant-festiv-ication!
3. CREATE A NEW TRADITION
There are a million fun ways to celebrate the season. Add a few new traditions to your family’s repertoire to make the season extra special at home. Here are a few ideas to get you started…
- Build a gingerbread house, or a gingerbread palace. If you’ve got some time to kill at home, make a legitimate one from scratch. Make it a contest within your house or via Zoom if you desire. It can be a project that spans multiple days – just keep adding to it (or eating from it), then you can enjoy looking at it for the rest of the month. I am certainly no Martha Stewart, so for tips on this one, I’ll direct you to this two-minute video of the real Martha Stewart’s “Steps For Making the Perfect Gingerbread House”.
- Start a candy-making night – have fun making and eating it, and you’ll have some delicious treats to give as gifts.
- Haven’t tried Elf On The Shelf? This might just be the year to start. A fun at home activity that sparks a little excitement for the kids every day. For a Nite Ize Twist, check out our version of BugLit On The Bookshelf (and other suggestions for entertaining the kids at home!)
4. TAKE YOUR CELEBRATION TO THE STREETS
Let’s adapt caroling to be even brighter and more fun. Spread cheer in your neighborhood by doing your own colorful holiday bike parade around dusk. You can coordinate with neighbors for a socially distanced parade, or just head out with your family, a speaker, and some Christmas tunes on full blast to bring smiles throughout the neighborhood. Light up your bikes with SpokeLit Wheel Lights and See ’Em Mini Spoke Lights, and wrap them with a battery-powered strand of holiday lights if you want to get really crazy.
Nite Ize Pro Tip: Gear Ties will definitely come in handy for wrapping holiday lights on things like bikes, strollers, and cars to hold strands securely in place.
5. GIFT BIG & GIVE BIG
It’s been a year. If you’re looking for a little pick-me-up, help pick someone else up. Helping others has been scientifically proven to make people happier. So, if you can, donate your time to a local organization. And if your finances haven’t gotten too dinged up, then take the money that you would have used traveling or partying for the holidays and put it towards brightening someone else’s season. There are many fantastic organizations out there that can help. Participate in a local food drive or “adopt” a family to help provide presents and meals for their Christmas. Check in with your local Toys For Tots or Salvation Army to find a program in your area.
The holidays are a special time of year, and we want to say thank you for being a part of our community and making it brighter. If you have more creative ideas to light up the season, please share them in the comments section below. Happy Holidays from all of us at Nite Ize!