As much as we all may hate to admit it, the Coronavirus pandemic is still a serious issue, and many precautions should still be taken to ensure we are doing our part to limit the spread of the virus. With the holidays coming up, this can be a tough pill to swallow, but it’s important to remember that precautionary actions are important. We need to do these things now, so that later, we can get back to our traditions and doing what we love. That being said, there are still plenty of ways to feel the spirit this holiday season while following CDC guidelines and being safe — the goal is to spread joy without spreading the disease.
- Netflix Party Holiday Movie Marathon
‘Netflix Party’ is a Chrome extension that allows you to share a link with your friends and let everyone watch the movie in real-time on your own screens. Pausing, rewinding and fast-forwarding are all synchronized, and you are even provided a chat room so that you can all talk while you watch! My friends and I used this over the summer, and it was honestly a really fun substitute for the movie nights we used to have. Plus, the extension is free, so there's really no excuse not to go for it!
- Drive-By Cookie Exchange
Gather up a group of friends and let everyone pick a unique cookie recipe (or brownie recipe, if you swing that way). Pick a day that works for everyone, bake your treats, and leave a basket outside your door. Everyone can go around and deliver their homemade baked goodies! This is a fun and socially distant way to share holiday treats and partake in one of the most popular hobbies of the season.
- Virtual Gingerbread House Decorating Contest
Create a Zoom call with some friends and watch each other try to construct the next great feat in gingerbread architecture! You can find gingerbread house kits at plenty of grocery or craft stores, and they usually come fully equipped with everything you need. An activity like this is super fun after finals because the craft can provide a lot of stress relief. Kick it up a notch by adding small challenges for everyone, like building your house blindfolded or only using your non-dominant hand.
- Holiday Lights Scavenger Hunt
Driving around to look at all the houses and their lights is personally one of my favorite activities during this time of year; that being said, piling a bunch of people into a car (especially without masks) is not necessarily the safest activity at the time. Instead, try making a list of different things to find (i.e. light tree, lights synced up to music, inflatable characters), and take pictures or videos to send to your group of friends! Make it competitive by trying to collect the most photos!
Given the state of the world right now, it's important to find joy where we can, even if it's in unconventional or unexpected places. As the holidays come and go, remember that you are not alone in the world! Take care of yourself and reach out to your friends — don’t be afraid to ask for help.