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8 New Traditions to Try This Holiday Season

A family video chatting with distance family members at the holidays.
Halfpoint/Shutterstock

Thanks to social distancing guidelines, this year’s holidays will look different. However, instead of feeling down about the traditions you can’t do this year, why not replace them with some exciting new ones?

Whether you’re spending the holidays alone, or with a household of family members or roommates, there are lots of ways you can stay connected and spread some holiday joy. And no—none of them involve yet another mundane video call.

We’ve rounded up some of our favorite “new tradition” ideas to inspire you. They’re all so good, you might just keep them going for years to come!

Plan a Pajama Holiday

For the most low-key of holiday traditions, have everyone in your household gift each other new pajamas. Then, spend the holiday wearing them while exchanging gifts, cooking, and enjoying the most comfortable holiday meal ever.

If you live alone, you can still gift yourself pajamas and spend your solo holiday in comfy style! They’ll help you fully enjoy your peaceful alone time, whether you spend it calling loved ones or binge-watching your favorite series.

[Via CBS News]

Give Festive Gift Bags

One of the best things about the holidays is bringing joy to the people in your life. Making gift bags for local friends and family is the perfect way to do this, while remaining safely distanced.

So, fill some gift bags with small presents, edible treats, or whatever you think your recipients will love most. Don’t forget to include a card or note to let them know you’re thinking of them!

Then, walk or drive around your community and do contact-free drop-offs. This is also a great activity for kids. They’ll love decorating the cards and/or bags, and crafting some unique little gifts.

[Via CBS News]

Video Chat with Santa

If your kids are missing their annual photo op with Santa, make it up to them with a fun Santa video call. Just visit Santa’s Club to book the virtual experience.

The site has a few different options, including a live video conversation ($49.99) or a prerecorded, personalized video ($34.99). Choose the one that’s best for your family, and then break out the hot cocoa and candy canes and watch your kids’ faces light up.

[Via Good Housekeeping]

A Seasonal Treat Hunt

Why let Easter have all the fun? An Easter-egg-style hunt for candy canes and other festive treats is perfect for the holidays, especially if you have young children.

If the weather’s nice enough, take the hunt to the yard or park. If it’s cold and snowy, though, this idea will work just as well indoors.

[Via Good Housekeeping]

Sing Holiday Karaoke

A woman sitting beside a Christmas tree, singing karaoke.
Alliance Images/Shutterstock

If you live with others, holiday karaoke is the perfect way to make the day festive! Just pick up a karaoke mic that pairs with a phone app to easily create your own at-home karaoke bar.

Queue up some holiday classics or your fave chart-toppers, make some drinks and holiday snacks, and party!

[Via Good Housekeeping]

Make Snow Paintings

Snow can be an endless source of joy. Sledding, snow angels, snowmen, and snowball fights might be enough to keep your household busy over the holidays. But for something new and different, try making some snow paint!

This super-easy paint is made of nothing more than water and food dye. Grab enough spray bottles for everyone, mix up an array of colors, and create temporary art projects in the snow!

[Via Good Housekeeping]

Eat Something Different

With fewer people, holiday food traditions like turkey and ham might be too much this year. Even with a large group, you’re usually left with a ton of leftovers. Plus, they both tend to require many tedious hours of prep and cooking.

Make your holiday meal more fun this year by trying something new. Whether it’s duck, rabbit, seafood, or Tofurky, they’re all great options for small households or solo diners.

Alternatively, you can go even more nontraditional and order takeout. No cooking, plus supporting a local restaurant? That’s a win-win, for sure! And don’t forget to make your delivery driver’s day with a holiday-sized tip.

[Via Mashable]

Schedule a Socially Distanced Potluck

Want the full holiday meal experience without the hours of cooking? Easy! Plan a safely distanced potluck with a few loved ones in your community.

Have everyone choose a dish and make a large batch. Then, on the holiday, you’ll all drop off portions at the homes of everyone in your potluck group. This way, everyone gets all the sides and desserts with none of the extra cooking stress!

[Via Food Network]


Each household is different, as is every person’s preferences for a socially distanced holiday. Luckily, there’s something on this list for everyone. These fun, low-stress ideas will make this year’s holiday season feel connected and special, no matter what!

Elyse Hauser Elyse Hauser
Elyse Hauser is a freelance and creative writer from the Pacific Northwest, and an MFA student at the University of New Orleans Creative Writing Workshop. She specializes in lifestyle writing and creative nonfiction. Read Full Bio »

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