Traditions are so important this time of year. It doesn’t feel like Christmas if we don’t do the things we usually do.
The key word is pivot.
We can still observe our traditions. We just need a little creativity to keep everyone safe.
A few ideas:
• Watch church services together. Many places of worship are livestreaming services, perhaps on their websites, YouTube or Facebook Live. By now, you likely know how your church is operating on this matter, but if you’re more a Christmas and Easter church-goer, it’s not hard to find the information. Hold a virtual watch party.
• Once you’ve practiced video calls, consider getting the whole family together for a family worship service. Do your own Advent candle lighting ceremony, or read the Christmas story from the Bible together. Missing a candlelight service? Do your own. A plus: No stern warning from the usher about keeping wax off the pews.
• Hold a family virtual watch party of your must-watch Christmas movie. Say all the favorite lines together. (“Fixed the newel post!”)
• The pandemic has been a months-long family game night, and you’re probably getting pretty good at group games like charades by now. Get the extended family in on it.
• Hold a singalong. Share the lyrics around beforehand. (Because no one should be expected to know the third verse of “The Holly and the Ivy.”) Press the pianist or guitarist into service if your family’s musical. If you’re not, consider kazoos and try not to laugh.
• Gather the children for a video call and read “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” the poem you might recognize from its first line: “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” It was published in the early 1800s and is where many traditions about Santa in American culture began.
• If you’re local, caravan to a Christmas light display. Stay in your own vehicles, but start a video call and interact as you drive through together. Grandma and Grandpa, even if they’re not local and can’t see the displays, might just love seeing the expressions of wonder on their grandchildren’s faces.
• And, of course: Ship or drop off Christmas gifts ahead of time, and open them on a video call so everyone can see the reactions.