We’ve all had to adjust this 2020, and the holiday season will be no different. It might not be the best of times, but observing the yearend’s holidays may be even more important than ever. It’s that time of year we spend with our loved ones, family, and friends - precious moments that should be celebrated no matter what, lockdown or not.
We need to stay connected with each other and remember what we’re staying at home for. If we can’t have our old traditions this year, then let’s create new ones. Here are some tips for celebrating the holiday while still keeping safe and healthy.
Shop from home (as much as you can)
As much as possible, keep yourself – and your loved ones – COVID-free by minimizing the shopping trips to the mall and replacing it with convenient online shopping. Many brands have online shops that you can browse from, including the small and medium enterprises available in your area. Ask if they offer gift-wrapping services so that you can ship the gifts directly to your friends and reduce your carbon footprint at the same time. Try to shop (and ship) as early as possible to avoid getting stuck in the inevitable avalanche of deliveries this season.
Countdown to the holidays with music
Creating a virtual countdown can help lift people’s spirits and give them something to look forward to every day. A holiday playlist is a fun way of sharing your favorite tunes with your loved ones, and it gets everyone in a festive mood.
Meal prep together
Most of our holiday celebrations aren’t complete without the group gathering in the kitchen all day before the great feast. In these unusual times, you can create a virtual meal prep experience by planning the menu over a conference call or sharing recipes with each other in your group chat. If it’s available to you, you can set up a video group call in your kitchen and cook or bake goodies together online. Or you can choose someone’s recipe and have the owner teach it on the call, like a live cooking or baking class.
Virtual holiday parties
Let’s maximize the use of technology as a means of connecting with our family and friends. Schedule video calls with your loved ones for special holiday gatherings. You can even create a program around it, put up online games (trivia night is a great game that can easily be transferred online), or “share” food by ordering from your favorite restaurant and sending it to your friends. For movie buffs, apps like Teleparty will let you watch films and shows together virtually while in the same chatroom. It will definitely not be the same experience as before, but the time you spend with each other will be worth it.
Online Secret Santa
Set up an online gift exchange with your friends and family. There are online Secret Santa organizers like this one all over the internet. Choose one that will work best for you and gift away! If you’re feeling creative, you can have a white elephant gift exchange, where participants can “steal” the gifts they want. Each guest should have a link or image of the gift they intend to give during the virtual party, but will only reveal what it is when their gift is chosen. Each present can only be stolen three times during the entire game and the guest who steals it the third time gets to keep the item.
Support local and small businesses in your area
Among the businesses struggling to stay afloat in this pandemic, the small, local companies are impacted the most. You can lend them a helping hand by supporting their products. Purchase books from your local, independent bookstore and give them as gifts, order a special holiday dinner from the family-owned restaurant nearby, or just shop at your neighbourhood grocery for stuff to use for your socially-distanced holiday party. Give them a shout-out on social media as it will help them reach more prospective customers. Every little bit you can do to help will make your community stronger, especially after this pandemic is over.
Choose meaningful gifts
This season, why not try sending presents that benefit more than just your “giftee?” Look for items that support a cause, or better yet, support the causes themselves. You can join us in our 20,000 acts of kindness goal, where every product you purchase on Evio will be matched by a donation to organizations like The Canadian Women’s Foundation, Woodgreen’s Homeward Bound program, and others. You can also donate to your chosen charities in the name of your friends, and ask them to pay it forward. It will definitely be a unique holiday gift - the kind that keeps on giving.