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A Guide to Celebrating the Holidays in 2020

Everyone has been forced to get creative about celebrating momentous occasions in 2020, whether it’s birthdays, graduations, or weddings. The holiday season is no exception, and it won’t look like it has in years before. Here’s how to make the best of the holidays with friends and family without feeling isolated and lonely:

Decorate your house

Without decorations, it won’t feel like the holidays! Whether it’s a Christmas tree or just some lights, a few decorations go a long way in spreading holiday cheer. Decorating is also a great activity to do with other people, whether you put up lights with your family or start a new tradition with your roommates.  

Although decorating outside your house might be great for your neighbors, decorating inside is special for you and the loved ones you’re celebrating with. 

Secret Santa over mail!

Doing a secret Santa gift swap through the mail is a festive way to get into the holiday spirit with friends, family, or coworkers! There are many apps you can use to randomly generate pairs of gifters and recipients, which is extremely helpful for organizing a long-distance secret Santa – all while still keeping it secret! 

Mailing gifts to each other’s houses is so exciting – who doesn’t love receiving packages? Once everyone has their gift, throw a party over video chat to open gifts together and guess who had who.

Bake holiday treats

Baking treats is a great holiday activity – and so is eating them! You can bake with your family and then safely deliver baked goods to other loved ones. 

Some delicious options are hot chocolate bombs, gingerbread cookies, and holiday-themed sugar cookies.

Plan a Zoom dinner

In order to have a traditional holiday meal, take charge and plan a Zoom dinner with family or friends. The best way to do this is to plan a menu ahead of time and let everyone know; that way, everyone can feel connected making and eating the same foods simultaneously. There’s one silver lining to eating dinner over Zoom – more people can attend, and one host isn’t responsible for all the cooking!

Netflix Party with friends

If you’re looking for another virtual activity to do with friends, Netflix Party is always a great idea! You can watch holiday movies or holiday episodes of your favorite TV shows all day! You can even get creative and wear a pair of holiday-themed pajamas or match with your friends! Netflix Partying will never get old, and there are endless shows and movies to choose from.

Social distance outside

While many of the previous activities are fun, nothing compares to actually spending time with friends and family. However, it’s important to do so safely – socially-distanced and wearing masks! As the weather gets colder, it may be more practical to do outdoor activities during the day instead of in the evening or at night – picnics are a great way to safely hang out with people while still having a blast.

While this holiday season and year look nothing like they have in the past, it’s the perfect time to create new traditions. Everyone will remember this crazy year, for better or worse, so why not do all you can to make it for the better? Take advantage of the holiday season, and find the good in everything; there’s always a way to celebrate with your loved ones!

Abby Blick

U Penn '24

Abby Blick is a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania studying the Biological Basis of Behavior. She is from Long Island, New York and loves her dog, the NY Rangers, and Netflix.
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