January through November is my second favorite time of year. Why? Because it makes December feel even more special.
Oh, Christmas. That magical time of year where everything smells like cinnamon. The houses glow like colorful stars at night. And, thanks to Christmas activities, the family feels a little more familiar.
There’s even that myth of the soldiers during WW2 briefly pausing the war to honor Christmas.
Sadly, even before COVID my family didn’t have many Christmas traditions. I don’t know why I’m the only one who seems to cling to traditions. I guess it’s because I want to be remembered when I die. It would be so nice to have someone go “At Christmas Karianne would always ______, and now that reminds me of her.”
I have tried and failed to keep any Christmas traditions. I just don’t get around to getting out. Now, COVID has forced me to think of ways I can keep the Christmas spirit alive while not going anywhere.
So I present to you my spiffy COVID Christmas traditions list!
Each week has a food and drink to try, movies to watch, and activities that are actually do-able.
FOOD: Christmas Popcorn Balls
The recipe is so simple, just popcorn, butter, marshmallows, vanilla, and of course some Christmas themed sprinkles.
DRINK: Southern Comfort Traditional Egg Nog
I’m a bit of an egg-nog-snob, and this one is the best I’ve had so far. And now that I’m older I sometimes add a teeny-tiny bit of Southern Comfort whisky. But it’s great with or without.
- Listen to Christmas music
- Purchase advent calendars
- Decorate gingerbread houses
FOOD: Candy Canes
Before this post I had never looked into making candy canes. They’re just things that have always existed and their natural habitat is Walmart, like peeps.
DRINK: Hot Chocolate
There are 9 recipes in the link you can try. Or, “hunt” for some boxed hot chocolate from a store while you get the candy canes.
- Mail Christmas cards
- Read “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens
- Donate food or money to your local animal shelter
FOOD: Oreo Truffles
I’m drooling already. My ex’s stepmom made these every year and something about these little globs of goodness adds to the Christmas joy.
DRINK: Mint Cocoa
This will be my first time trying this recipe. LMK if you try it too.
- Driving Christmas light tour
- Build a snowman
- Donate toys, books, and clothes
I made scotcharoos so many times last Christmas my family actually got sick of it. Literally every party or person near me got a bag of scotcharoos. The recipe in the link has the best descriptions, but don’t be alarmed by the amount of text. It’s super simple and so easy. I dare you to try it out.
DRINK: Spiced Cocoa
This will be my first time making this as well. What better way to end this year than with a spicy, cozy drink?
- Read the nativity story in Luke 1-2 (or listen to the audio here)
- Ugly sweater photo shoot
- hand-made ornament exchange
See? Each week is pretty simple, but I desperately need simple right now. If you would like more Christmas movies, my list on letterboxd has more suggestions to help you find the Christmas spirit or that classic film you were looking for.
It would mean the world if you joined me, or share your comment with your favorite tradition.
Karianne is the founder of Windmill Ways. She plays the cello professionally and currently works as an Art Director for a charity. Because she loves animated shows and movies, she studies 3D animation and graduated with a BFA with the unfortunate class of 2020. Her dream vacation would be just staying home, but "home" being a glamorous cabin somewhere in the mountains surrounded by forest.
Favorite band: Lord Huron
Favorite book: This Present Darkness
Favorite quote: "Get all the advice and instruction you can, so you will be wise the rest of your life. You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail." Proverbs 19:20-21 (NLT)
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