Ten Tips for Creating New Holiday Traditions

The holidays are going to look a lot different this year thanks to COVID-19. Instead of focusing on all that we will miss out on I challenge everyone to think of different ways to celebrate, and the new traditions we can create. Below are a few suggestions.

  1. Use technology-Share your holiday meal with family or friends via FaceTime, Zoom, or another outlet. Even though we can’t physically be together this year, we can still see and hear each other from afar.
  2. Make cards for local first responders. Unfortunately many of them are used to not being able to spend holidays with family. If you have kids, get them involved and continue this tradition for years to come.
  3. Share family recipes and give your best effort to recreate your family’s famous stuffing, pecan pie, or cornbread, etc.
  4. Sign up for a virtual Santa Shuffle, Jolly Jingle Bell Jog, or Ugly Sweater 5K. Not only does this help burn calories, boost your metabolism, and get you moving; it may also benefit a local charity.
  5. Try new recipes, with less people to cook for try halving your recipes or choose new recipes that prepare less food. Or experiment with a holiday breakfast instead of the usual holiday dinner of Ham, potatoes, stuffing, pie, etc. Click here for some recipes for two!
  6. Deliver meals to friends/family in a safe and contactless manner. If you know of individuals that live alone, this holiday season may be especially lonely for them. Safely plate a portion of your meal and drop it off on their front porch and then call/text them to let them know it is outside.
  7. Purchase holiday gifts that promote a healthy and COVID-19 friendly lifestyle. An added bonus is if you can support a local business.
  8. Have a Holiday Movie marathon, caroling, or game night with your immediate household or again utilize technology to enjoy with extended family/friends.
  9. If you are going to a friend/family’s house follow the CDC’s guidelines and check COVID numbers in the area you are visiting, wear a mask, and stay 6 feet apart as much as possible, also pay attention to the number of guests, and the duration of time you are in close proximity of others. Wash hands often and have hand sanitizer available everywhere! Consider having one individual do all the serving and only one household to prepare the food rather than a potluck style. Also, consider enjoying the meal outside with blankets or a fire to keep you warm.
  10. Call or text a friend or relative you haven’t spoken to in a while or a drop a note off to a neighbor that you know is spending the holidays alone.

Trying to focus on the positives in our lives versus the things we are missing out on can change our perspective and bring us all some holiday cheer.

Emily Decker, RD, LDN, CDCES