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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UC Irvine chapter.

Let’s be honest, 2020 has brought a lot of chaos into our once normal lives. Therefore, the holidays this year definitely won’t look the same. Many are not able to get into the holiday spirit due to these circumstances and some won’t even get to celebrate the way they want to with the people they love. Navigating the holidays during quarantine is definitely a challenge. However, investing yourself in the holiday season has the power to lift moods and bring people together. We could all use some extra comfort and joy right now.

Christmas has always been my favorite holiday. This year, I somehow find myself more excited for it even though I know it’ll be abnormal. Honestly, I think I’m using the spirit of Christmas as a coping mechanism to distract myself from the state of our nation as well as the dreadful finals week approaching.

In my opinion, it’s never too early to celebrate Christmas. As soon as the weather gets cold, I start channeling my inner Mariah Carey. I don’t think anybody should be ashamed to put up their Christmas lights a little early, especially while in a global pandemic. Sometimes, the older you get, the less exciting Christmas feels. You may not be that same wide-eyed kid on Christmas morning anymore, but that excitement can be reignited. If there’s anything that quarantine has taught me, it is to not take the little things for granted. Staying close to family and friends in any way possible is very important, even if it has to be done virtually. With all that’s happening in the world, it’s important to keep who you love as close as possible.

Since I have decided to fully embrace Christmas this year, I want to encourage others to do so too. Here are some of my Christmas favorites that anyone can enjoy in quarantine.

Watch Christmas Movies

Watching a heartwarming Christmas movie is a way to feel merry. No matter if you’re into cheesy Hallmark movies or the classics, there’s something for everyone. Some of my favorite Christmas movies of all time are:

Home Alone 

Home Alone 2: Lost in New York


How the Grinch Stole Christmas 

This Christmas 

A Charlie Brown Christmas

Listen to Christmas Music 

I’m not afraid to admit that I started listening to Christmas music before Thanksgiving started. There’s no point in trying to deny the fact that “All I Want for Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey is the best Christmas song ever. Thankfully, Christmas music can be streamed everywhere and everyone knows the classics. Here are some albums with more modern renditions:

Everyday Is Christmas by Sia

A Pentatonix Christmas by Pentatonix

Christmas and Chill by Ariana Grande

A Legendary Christmas by John Legend 

Simply Christmas By Leslie Odom Jr. 

A Tori Kelly Christmas by Tori Kelly

people decorating sugar cookies for Christmas
Photo by Pavel Danilyuk from Pexels
Do Christmas Activities

Make your favorite Christmas desserts or try a new recipe. 

Try crafts like decorating your own ornament and making your own Christmas cards or ugly Christmas sweaters.

Host a virtual Christmas party.

Give to a charity or local organization.

Have a Christmas karaoke night or movie marathon.

Do a virtual Secret Santa gift exchange. 

Read a Christmas book.

Reconnect with someone you love. 

Drive around to see the holiday lights in your local neighborhood.

Incorporate some light into your daily life during these dark times in any way possible, whether that be by decorating, wrapping presents or wearing the ugliest of all the ugly sweaters. COVID can be a Grinch but by embracing the love, hope and joy that Christmas is all about, maybe the holidays can be just as festive as they normally are.

Happy Holidays!

Kayla Atkinson

UC Irvine '23

Hello everyone! My name is Kayla Atkinson and I am psychology and sociology double major. In my free time, I enjoy listening to music, binging Netflix and reading a good book. I hope you enjoy my work!