Cozy at Home for the Holidays
By KEEN fan, mom, and physician Dr. Felicia Wong
This season, “home for the holidays” is taking on a different meaning. With the United States in the middle of the most significant surge of COVID-19 infections since the beginning of the pandemic, and many hospitals nearing or at capacity, we are following public health guidance and staying at home in order to protect ourselves and those we love, and to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
While cancelling or postponing gatherings this holiday season is the safe choice, these are difficult and disappointing decisions to make, especially on top of all the other pivots and challenges we’ve been through since March.
We’ve been brainstorming some ways to keep things special this season. Maybe we can’t do all our old traditions, but it’s a great time to create some new ones. Here’s how we’ve been making our own joy and finding wonder during the holidays.
Outside is magical
Even in the places with stay-at-home orders, outdoor recreation is still being allowed, as nature and exercise are recognized as important for our physical and mental wellness. Although we have cancelled many bigger trips this year, we have greatly enjoyed exploring our local parks and recreating responsibly. One of our favorite things to do is to go on an afternoon hike so we can enjoy some fresh air and catch the sunset before heading back home. Sometimes we’ll drive to a park near our house to recreate a camping experience with outside dining and a campfire. A great backyard option, too, if you have the space!
Most people think of s’mores as a summer tradition, but they’re super fun and special to make in the winter as well!
Although many holiday celebrations have been cancelled, we’ve enjoyed finding beautiful light displays on neighborhood walks or in outside shopping areas. Something new for 2020 are pop-up drive-through holiday lighting events, and our kids ooohed and ahhhed as we made our way through some enchanting displays, and I’ll admit I enjoyed it quite a bit as well!
Inside is cozy, too
Pre pandemic, we were always pretty busy with this or that extracurricular activity or meeting. One of the silver linings of this pandemic has been more time at home with family. We’ve had so much fun pulling out classic games like snakes and ladders, uno and monopoly and playing them together as a family. Or pulling out the tent and “camping” in our living room.
By focusing on what we do have control over, we’ve been able to make the most of the days and create some awesome memories.
Instant adventure! Plus easy access to bathrooms, and your fridge stocked with food.:)
There’s been more time to bake, too. And one of our favorite family traditions is to make sprinkle cookies together. We love this recipe because a) I have never met a person who doesn’t love sprinkles, and b) even the littlest kids can help by dipping the dough into sprinkles.
There have been and are so many things out of our control this year, and it can feel overwhelming. But by focusing on what we do have control over, we’ve been able to make the most of the days and create some awesome memories. Sure, we’ve had to skip some usual traditions, but we’ve had fun creating new ones. We try to remember that every day is a gift and there remains much to be thankful for.
Better days are around the corner. We will and can get through this together.