Yes, the holidays are going to be different this year. The pandemic has become a part of our everyday life and large gatherings are not recommended. Don’t let this take away your holiday spirit and let it be a time to create new family traditions.

We always have great aspirations of keeping the holidays simple, don’t we? Then when they get here it can be a different story. What is important to remember is that we are in control of our own environment and mindset. If those around us choose to make the holidays overly crazy and tiring, you don’t have to choose that. Simplicity is a choice, although not always an easy one. Here are a few things you can do to make this holiday season a little more stress-free and simple while keeping in the holiday spirit.

Get crafty. Get the kids together and make hand-made Christmas cards for the grandparents or make ornaments for the tree. Pinterest is always a great DIY resource for ideas.
Go for a drive. Pack a thermos full of hot cocoa, crank the Christmas tunes and drive around town to enjoy the holiday decorations. Make it fun with a scavenger hunt for the kids. You can always drive through Candy Cane Lane or Country Christmas.
Gift of time. The holidays do not have to be about the biggest and best present or the brightest decorations. Remember the true meaning of the holiday and think outside of the box for gifts from the heart. For example, give the gift of time: Babysitting services, yard work assistance or a wonderfully home cooked meal.
Zoom, Zoom. Hop on Zoom with the family and host an ugly sweater contest, sing Christmas carols or play games.
Time to let go. Whatever you choose to do is enough. Sometimes we feel we must keep up with those extravagant traditions. After a while they simply become too much to continue year after year, and yet we continue to do them out of guilt. It might be time this year to make a change. What change will you make?
Exercise gratitude. Focus on the blessings you have in your life. Become mindful each and every day of the blessings that you have and carry the spirit of gratitude into the New Year with you. You can even start a gratitude jar as a family.
Stay positive. Allow yourself to focus on everything that we can still do and put energy into them.

The changes this holiday season are allowing us the opportunity to be creative or are a perfectly good reason to scale back. Enjoy the time you have with your family and cherish all of the new memories you will make. Who knows? Maybe you’ll discover a new way of celebrating that will become a family tradition post-pandemic.