Christmas was meant to be a joyous occasion but over the last several decades Christmas has become over-commercialized. Thousands of retailers look forward to this time of year because profits are good and gift-givers can usually score deals. As parents, we tend to feel more and more pressured to give our kids a grand Christmas and this year isn’t any different considering the current circumstances. Christmas doesn’t have to be this way and there are so many other things we can do to have a meaningful Christmas during a pandemic.
Christmas is supposed to be filled with loving and helping others. Instead, we often feel as if we are supposed to attend every holiday party or give gifts we can’t afford to buy. By the time Christmas holidays are over, it isn’t any wonder why people are left feeling down in the dumps or become depressed. With COVID-19 numbers continuing to rise, now is a great time to refocus on adding new ways to have a meaningful Christmas and return to the days when Christmas wasn’t over-commercialized.
Here is a list of things that you can do to make Christmas more meaningful during a pandemic.
Help a Family In Need
This year, due to COVID-19, there are more families in need this Christmas due to high unemployment, job loss, or lack of daycare for the younger children. You can either adopt a family you know, adopt an Angel Tree child, drop toys off in donation drop offs, or contact a local church. Even if you can’t fulfill the entire family wish list you can get together with several people/families or donate what you can afford to give. A family in need will be thrilled with any help that you can offer.
Connect with Family
Due to COVID-19 restrictions this year, catching up and connecting with family members can be a challenge. But with technology, you can still connect with your family via Zoom, FaceTime, Facebook call, Google Hangouts, or another video chat service. Simply call them frequently and include them in your favorite family traditions such as decorating the Christmas tree, baking cookies, etc.
Make Lunch Bags to Hand Out to the Homeless
Wintertime can be very difficult for the homeless population and often they are left on the streets for Christmas. Instead of buying gifts for each other, take the money, and spend it on sandwich fixings, chips, snacks, and toiletries. Crank up the Christmas music and make lunch to pass out to the homeless community. They will appreciate the meal as some of them have no idea when they will eat next.
Write Letters to Military Personal
There are always military members who are deployed over the holidays and are separated from their families. Deployments are not easy and while there is usually support for the family members behind, service members typically rely on each other. Many service members aren’t able to spend the holidays at home and being away from family can be lonely. Technology does make it easier to stay connected but some personal can still be restricted depending on their mission. Take a few moment to send a letter, postcard, or even a small goodie box to a soldier this Christmas. Check with your local USO chapter to get a list of places that you can send your note to a deployed service member. They also will be able to provide you with a list of items that can be mailed such as deck of cards, wet wipes, toiletries, certain food items including candy, etc.
Take an Elderly Neighbor a Meal or Basket of Goodies
Do you know of an elderly neighbor that doesn’t have any family nearby especially this Christmas? Many churches have a list of elderly members and can help find someone in need if you don’t personally know someone. This time of year can be especially lonely for the elderly and with COVID restrictions, social distancing puts a damper on inviting them to dinner with your family. Instead, you can cook them a meal or drop off a basket of goodies on the doorstep. They will enjoy the lovely surprise and feel loved this Christmas season.
Watch Your Favorite Christmas Movies Together
There is nothing better than sitting down together as a family and watching Christmas movies together. You can pick a movie a week or have a Christmas movie marathon before the holidays. The Polar Express and The Grinch are just a few of our favorite Christmas movies.
Christmas should leave you filled with happiness but it is easy to lose sight of the real reason why we celebrate Christmas. This year with the pandemic, things have been everything but normal. As we are navigating finding our new normal, lets make this Christmas more meaningful during a pandemic.