Festive Ways to Celebrate Christmas in 2020


"I'll be home for Christmas" is hitting a little harder this year, but there are still plenty of ways to make the season bright, even if it looks a little different than years past. This time of year is all about making memories with the ones you love, and we've got some suggestions for safely spreading Christmas cheer!

 Family decorating a Christmas tree with white lights under a staircase

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has officially recommended that holiday social gatherings be limited and traditional gatherings be modified to reduce the spread of COVID-19. We are not medical professionals, and as such, defer to their expertise. You can read more about the CDC's recommendations for holiday celebrations here.

Chat with Santa

Those crying-kid-on-Santa's-lap mall photos are CLASSICS, but unfortunately, this tradition is probably not the best one to keep up this year. That's okay! Santa's gone virtual, so you and your kiddos can video chat with him instead.

Sites like JingleRing will let you schedule recorded messages or live video chats with Santa for a fee. Sessions can be customized with different languages (including ASL), ethnicities, and faiths, so everyone can have a special experience with the Clauses. You'll also receive a video recording and a photo from your call.

T-Mobile is offering free video calls with Santa to anyone (including non-customers!) from December 10 through December 23. Afterward, T-Mobile will send you a video of your call that you can share with friends and family! You can register daily at Santa Calling - new reservation slots open at 12pm ET.

Send Out Christmas Cards

Sending out Christmas cards is one of those great holiday traditions that seems to happen less and less as the years go by. Why not rekindle it this year? I don't know anyone who doesn't love getting mail (real mail, not like bills and credit card offers) and I personally love picking out card themes each year. You don't have to get family photos printed unless you want to - Target always has boxes of cute classic cards, and Minted offers beautiful photo-less personalized options designed by independent artists!

Plus, sending out cards is a great way to support the USPS, too!

Decorate Cookies

It's tradition that Santa gets a plate of cookies in exchange for stopping by with gifts, but kids of all ages love cookies, and baking & decorating cookies is a great family activity. Yes, this one will probably get a little messy, but don't sweat it, mom. Think of the memories!

If you don't already have a cookie recipe you love, or if you just want to try something new, we suggest these Peppermint Chocolate Crinkle Cookies, Shortbread Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting, and Christmas Sugar Cookies.

Make Your Own Ugly Christmas Sweaters

Family craft nights can be a lot of fun, and one of our favorite craftivities is making our own ugly Christmas sweaters. Sure, you can buy ugly sweaters everywhere nowadays, but this is more fun and way more unique. All you need are scissors, fabric glue, blank sweatshirts (or long sleeve tees if you prefer!) and decorations! You can use literally anything to decorate your shirts, but a few of our favorites are...

  • Tinsel garland
  • Felt
  • Mini Ornaments (the unbreakable kind!)
  • Jingle bells
  • Gift bows
  • Pom poms

Go Christmas Light Hunting

Some of the best parts of the holiday season are all the decorations! We love to walk or drive around the neighborhood checking out all the light displays - some of our neighbors really go all out! Wear your ugly sweaters, blast some carols on the radio, and just head out (distanced, of course) for the evening. You can also make a game out of it - look for houses with the most inflatables, or who use the most lights. You can even rate and critique the neighbors' displays like you're hosting an episode of The Great Christmas Light Fight - just maybe keep the final scores to yourselves.

Settle Down on Christmas Eve

You've made it. The night before Christmas. Tomorrow's the big day, and Santa's main elf has been working hard to get everything ready. But the family's too excited to sleep - what to do?!

One of my favorite Christmas traditions is gifting the kids an early Christmas present. On Christmas Eve, they get to open one gift - a box that contains matching pajamas, homemade hot cocoa mix, and a holiday movie or book. Everyone settles in together to relax and unwind before the festivities of the next morning. It's a wonderful "little moment" that I just love!


I hope these ideas help you and your family have the best 2020 Christmas possible. Stay safe, and make lots of memories!

- Cheryl