With COVID-19 affecting families across the globe, it may seem like this holiday season will be a little gloomy. Even if you can’t travel to visit your loved ones, or you have to keep your distance, it doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy a merry and festive holiday. Whether you’re staying home for the holidays or planning to postpone your gatherings for a later time, there are plenty of things you can do to keep the season cheerful while following CDC guidelines and recommendations. Read on for a list of 7 helpful tips to keep the holidays merry during a pandemic.

1. Shop for Last-Minute Gifts Online

The wild holiday shopping stampedes certainly look different this year. However, you’d be surprised at just how many amazing last-minute gifts you can find online and have them shipped to loved ones. Online shopping is at an all-time high during the pandemic, which means you’ll probably find some incredible deals. Choose to have your gifts shipped directly to the recipient to save you time and to prevent you from having to stand in line at the post office.

2. Try Some Creative Decorating

Decorating your home for the holidays is a great way to merry your mood. Even if you’re not entertaining anyone this year, it’s important to create a home that’s as cheerful as possible. If you can’t get to the store to buy holiday decorations, come up with some new and crafty ideas you can try DIY. Making homemade decorations is fun, fulfilling, and a wonderful way to bond with the family as you make your own custom seasonal décor.

3. Celebrate Together (at a Distance)

Gathering together for parties and dinners to celebrate isn’t likely to happen for most people this year. However, it doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the company of family and friends. Set up a date and time to host a virtual holiday party. You can use a variety of online options now to send out invites, and enjoy seeing everyone’s faces as you mingle from the comfort and safety of your own home.

4. Learn New Recipes

Being stuck inside is an awesome opportunity for you to try your hand at some new dishes. Get creative in the kitchen and come up with a few delicious holiday recipes you can make at home. Now that you have more free time, it’s a perfect opportunity to practice your cooking and baking skills. By next year, you’ll have delicious goodies that will be the hit of the holiday party.

5. Go on a “Light Tour”

Another way to keep the holidays merry during a pandemic is to go on a light tour! While most gatherings are prohibited due to CDC and local guidelines, you can still get out and enjoy the bright holiday lights. Gather the family together and drive around your neighborhood for a fun holiday light tour. It’s a great way to bond and spend time together while taking in the beautiful sights. Plus, you’ll never even need to leave your car!

6. Help Those in Need

The holidays are the perfect time to help others in need, and during a pandemic, that need is greater than ever before. Considering donating something to local pandemic efforts or another non-profit organization that you care about. If you have the means, spend some extra time putting goodie boxes together that you can give to a local charity to brighten someone’s holiday this year. Care packages for soldiers overseas is another excellent way to reach out and show you care.

7. Play Some Holiday Games at Home

Since everyone is stuck inside, it’s a good time to play games and have a little bonding time. Make the holiday merry by finding a few holiday-themed games you can play together as a family. A festive scavenger hunt, holiday bingo, or a winter board game will make hanging out at home a lot more fun. Make your game night complete by serving delicious holiday cookies and hot chocolate.

Even though COVID-19 is making celebrating more difficult, you can still keep the holidays merry during a pandemic with these easy tips. From learning a new recipe to getting creative and crafty with decorations, there are plenty of ways you can stay cheerful and busy throughout this time of year. Don’t forget to schedule a fun virtual party with family and friends to make your holidays complete. For more information about the current safety guidelines and tips to stay healthy this holiday, visit the CDC’s website.

From our ScoreShuttle families to yours, happy holidays!

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