How to Get Creative and Keep the Holiday Cheer Alive
Written by: Sahil Dhaliwal
As we begin to close out and reflect on yet another year, many of our opinions fall unanimous in that 2020 was such a profoundly difficult year, ranging from incredibly inconvenient to absolutely traumatic. However, by navigating through such stark changes in our daily lives, many have become attuned to what is really important in their lives, how much we take advantage of unknowingly, and just how much we have to be grateful for. Though the roll out of vaccines is enough to restore hope for the new year, the holidays are now full swing ahead — and many of us will be tasked to reconcile our usual enthusiasm and cheer with our new reality. It is said adversity breeds creativity, and whether we cannot have as large of gatherings this year or see all of our loved ones – there are plenty of ways to stay connected.
Gift giving is arguably one of the largest aspects of the holiday season. We’re inundated with end-of-the-year sales, and the expectations for better gifts tends to grow as we get older. This year, however, the industry has noticed an apparent shift in the way holiday cheer is shared.
Since many Americans are unable to physically share the holiday experience with their loved ones, the act of gift giving has now become more focused on consideration, intent and thought. Gift giving has actually seen an incline within the industry, but consumers are opting for less superficial decor and more meaningful gifts that either give a personal touch or provide a practical use. For loved ones that live far, online shopping sites like Etsy have made it easy to send loved ones personalized, handcrafted gifts right to their door. For loved ones that are nearby, homemade baked goods offer personal touch and delicious alternatives to standard gifts!
Rethinking Family Gatherings
Many of us have become quite closely acquainted with Zoom and other virtual conference rooms to remain connected for work or personal matters. Though the thought of repeating such festive holidays on a screen isn’t exciting, there are ways to spice up the ordinary with some holiday joy.
For those of us refraining from any travel this year, a great way to remain connected with loved ones is through virtual gift exchanges. In classic fashion, all participants become a gifter to their randomly assigned giftee, and once all gifts have been shipped and received, you and your loved ones can opt for a virtual reveal party for free with a basic Zoom package or Google Hangouts call. Get your best eggnog, holiday themed backdrop, and Christmas sweater for a fun filled gift sharing session with friends and family.
Another great way to stay connected with family is through interactive online games on Zoom. This may take some slight preparation and clueing in family members on how to play, but once everyone is on board, games are a great way to bring laughs, a competitive edge, and some holiday cheer out of everyone involved.
As Covid-19 cases continue to increase to unprecedented rates throughout our country, it has been advised repeatedly by officials to forego as much holiday travel as possible this year. However, for special cases that warrant travel, the CDC has offered travel risk guidelines that break down the risks associated with activities like transportation, lodging, food, and more.
We’ve all had to endure more than we’d ever expected, but our current reality won’t last forever. There’s light at the end of the tunnel and trying times are nearing their end, so long as we, as a community, take the proper precautions for a little while longer. 2020 has made clear what we really value and though we hope we don’t have to experience such a unique holiday season as this again, let’s try to make the absolute most out of it.
Also published on Medium.