While I know that some of you will be carrying on with life as usual and having big Christmas celebrations in person, I also know that many of us have to social distance and need some fun pandemic Christmas ideas to keep the holiday season magical.
I wanted to take a moment to let you know that this site uses affiliate links, and this post may include some of those.
Here’s what I’ve come up with so far!
1. Zoom or Facebook Room Party
There are plenty of online platforms to have multi-member meetings these days. They are perfect for having family gatherings at a distance. A few months ago, we celebrated a birthday on Zoom and it went much better than I expected!
I thought it would be awkward and fail to capture the proper mood, but I think it was also better than an in-person celebration. Everyone had the food of their choice, those on a diet weren’t tempted to eat the cake, people actually seemed more comfortable (they came dressed however they wished), and nobody had to pay for flights, miss most of the party because they left home late and got stuck in traffic.
We also avoided that awkward feeling that you are ready to leave but feel bad doing so!
There can be many pros to an online Christmas celebration, some of which you might not realize until you’re actually celebrating.
Here are some ideas of things you can do together at a distance:
- Decorating contest
- Christmas attire contest
- Christmas crafts
We’ll take a closer look at how to make these enjoyable and fun pandemic Christmas ideas!
2. Have A Decorating Contest
Whether you guys choose to decorate a gingerbread house or sugar cookies, get everyone in on the plan early so that they already have supplies. You can work during a virtual party or off-screen. Set a time, maybe a half hour to an hour or so, to decorate and then when it’s time for the grand finale, have everyone show their creation on camera.
If there are a large number of participants, then it’s best to take pictures and put them in a group or word document so that it’s easier to judge.
Everyone gets to rank their favorite (or top 3 favorites for large groups) and whoever gets the most votes wins!
3. Christmas Attire Contest
You can choose from a holiday character contest, ugly sweater contest, or Christmas pajama contest. A Christmas sock contest is also an option, as is doing all of these! Changing clothing during the day can help to break the monotony if you are hanging out with family (and/or friends) virtually throughout the day!
Decide on which contests everyone will be participating in ahead of time, and send reminders so they shop for their best contest entry and receive it in time for your pandemic Christmas celebration.
Once you have selected a winner, be sure to take a full size photo of them for a scrapbook page! Take pictures of everyone’s else contest entry too so you can remember who the losers are for years to come. Ahem.
Who knew a quarantine holiday could be so much fun?
4. Make A Scrapbook
Photo sites like Snapfish and Shutterfly usually offer specials for scrapbooks during the holidays.
Have everyone go on Canva and make scrapbook pages with a photo or two of themselves from your holiday party and have a designated person put them together neatly to make a pandemic Christmas memorabilia you can all enjoy forever.
Each person who wants one will be able to order a copy. Otherwise it should stay with the matriarch of the family, as she’s likely to look through it the most!
5. Have A Karaoke Contest!
I personally LOVE karaoke. It’s not for everyone, but it can be so much fun!
Singing is one of the activities deemed “high risk” during COVID-19, so you probably want to avoid this one, especially if you’re not following social distancing recommendations.
On your video conferencing platform of choice, however, it’s perfectly acceptable to sing your heart out!
Choose the songs (I personally recommend this Alvin & The Chipmunks version of holiday songs) and rock out!
6. Play Games Virtually!
There are plenty of games you can play virtually that you might play in person, yet still have tons of fun! Here are a few that you might consider:
- Hangman (use paint and share-screen, or pen & paper!)
- Chronicle Books Conversation Starters
- Christmas puzzles
7. Christmas Crafts
Decide on some fun crafty things to do together while apart. You might consider making homemade ornaments, sock snowmen, scrapbook pages (physical and/or digital), Christmas decorations, etc.
This is one of my favorite pandemic Christmas ideas because it is super flexible. You can do simple things like draw pictures of holiday characters, make a homemade wreath, or even do fun crafts that aren’t holiday-themed!
8. Watch A Christmas Movie Together
One person can share screen, use an app that allows multiple viewers, watch separately in each home while conferencing, OR watch separately altogether and then come together afterwards to discuss.
There are many ways to watch a movie together from a distance. Make sure everyone is on the same page about which movie you’ll be watching so that everyone has access to it. If the movie is not available on a streaming software, it might require renting, borrowing at the library, or buying the DVD.
9. Go Sledding!
If you live in a snowy atmosphere, and your family and friends live nearby, then this is an activity you can do while keeping your distance!
This includes other snow activities as well, such as snowball fights, making snow angels, and building snowmen!
10. Best Pandemic Christmas Idea: Christmas Dinner!!!
This is one of my favorites! I’ve had dinner over zoom and you can barely tell the difference from being in person. Well, that isn’t completely true.
In some ways having Christmas dinner from a distance can be a positive.
For one, it is easier on anyone with special dietary needs. You don’t have to worry about breaking your diet if you don’t want to. You don’t have to worry about accidentally being exposed to something you’re allergic to. You have complete control over your particular dinner.
Everyone can have what they like for dinner, or you can have a general theme. You can also choose something that each person can make on their own and have ready that everyone will have available.
Don’t forget dessert!
If you have to social distance this holiday season, it doesn’t mean that you can’t have a great time! It also doesn’t mean that you have to spend the holidays alone just because you are physically isolated.
Hop on Zoom, Skype, Video Chat, Facebook Rooms, Google Hangouts, etc. and enjoy the holidays with your closest family and friends virtually!
I hope these pandemic Christmas ideas helped you find a way to have an intimate family Christmas, even when you have to be apart. Look on the bright side and realize that this may help family near and far participate who might not be able to come to a holiday celebration even if there were no social distancing recommendations!
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I’d also love it if you share any fun and unique pandemic holiday ideas you think of with me!