There’s nothing better than having an entire week off for the holidays. After all, it’s that wonderful time of year to wrap presents, deck the halls with festive decor, and enjoy hot cocoa by the fire. Even though this season will look different due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, you can still have the best Christmas week plans if you’re off, in the safety of your home or car.
Since the coronavirus pandemic is an unprecedented daily reality, it’s important to think outside the box and switch things up when it comes to Christmas fun and traditions. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests keeping plans to just your immediate household, so consider opting for some virtual activities to do with friends and family during your week off. Whether you host a virtual Secret Santa with your best friends, watch Christmas movies with your pup in matching pjs, or make gingerbread houses with your housemates who you’ve been quarantining with, you’re sure to fill your week with all the seasonal vibes.
As soon as you turn your "out of office" email on, it’s time to get the jingling good times started. Whether you kick the week off with mastering a holiday TikTok challenge or making a hot cocoa bomb, any of these 10 activities will make your calendar merry and bright. After all, you’re totally free and deserve to sleigh the most Christmas-y week of the year.
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1. Get Together With Friends For A Virtual White Elephant
Even though you’re not traveling this year or seeing anyone outside of your quaran-team, you’ll still want to catch up with friends. You might even have a tradition with your hometown besties to do a gift exchange. This year, Zoom this tradition to another level and plan a virtual white elephant.
White Elephant Online makes things super simple for you to organize a gift exchange via Zoom. All you need to do is sign up and link to the gift you bought for this virtual event. By purchasing online presents such as subscriptions and gift cards, you can easily exchange gifts without having to mail anything.
2. Add One Final Ornament To Your Christmas Tree
By now, you may already have your Christmas tree up and fully decorated, but there’s always room for more. Make it a holiday tradition to add one new ornament to your tree every year. It should be an ornament with something memorable from that year, like a “break in case of emergency” toilet paper ornament for 2020 ($10, Amazon). On Christmas Eve, add the finishing touch to your tree, sit back, and admire the beauty.
3. Watch Christmas Movies In Holiday Pajamas While You Wrap Presents
Wrapping can actually be a lot of fun, especially if you make it into a full-on festive activity. You can get creative with your wrapping by using things you already have in the house, such as brown paper bags, some paint, colorful bows, or even yarn.
Make sure you put on a classic Christmas movie or holiday rom-com to watch as you wrap away. Don’t forget to rock your favorite set of holiday pjs for peak coziness.
4. Plan A Drive-Thru Christmas Light Experience
There’s something so special about a neighborhood or downtown area that’s decked out in Christmas lights. This year, many towns and cities are hosting drive-thru Christmas light experiences that’ll safely bring the magic of the season to you while you’re in your own car, either solo or with your immediate housemates.
Find an event in your town, or just drive around neighborhoods that are festively decorated. Don’t forget to fill up your travel mug with hot chocolate and create a Christmas playlist that’s ready to sleigh.
5. Take Pics Of Your Holiday Confections
It wouldn’t be Christmastime without cookies. You’ve probably been eyeing several delicious and unique holiday cookie recipes on Pinterest. Well, now is the time to try them all and document the sweetness on your Insta feed.
Plan a cookie night with your housemates and make every cookie you’ve been dreaming of. If you want to turn it into a game, get everything you need for decorating and have a cookie contest. The cutest and most Instagram-worthy cookie wins.
6. Get Some Matching Pajamas For You And Your Pooch
You have the week off, so get cozy with your pooch. You both deserve to snuggle in bed as long as your hearts desire, as visions of sugar plums dance around in your heads.
To celebrate the time off, get a set of matching pjs for you and your pup to wear. Target has great throwback jammies like this holiday dinosaur set ($20, Target) with a matching pet version ($10, Target) for your cat or dog.
7. Turn Your Backyard Into A Winter Wonderland
Bring that winter wonderland look to your own backyard. You can do so by hanging up icicle lights ($13, Home Depot) and getting an indoor/outdoor blanket ($165, In2Green) to wrap yourself up in. Light a few candles that smell like Christmas trees ($34, Grow Fragrance) and fresh snow ($18, DW Home). You’ll have that cozy Christmas cabin feel in no time.
8. Challenge Yourself To A Holiday TikTok
Have some major LOLs trying out any of the trending holiday TikTok challenges with your housemates. If you’re a foodie, try making your very own hot chocolate bomb. Or, if choreography is your strong suit, you’ll totally nail the dance challenges like #HereComesSantaClaus and #ItsBeginningToLookALotLikeChristmas.
9. Make The Ultimate Holiday Playlist
The day after Thanksgiving officially starts Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” season. You love to jam out to that festive hit, plus holiday bops by *NSYNC, Britney Spears, and Ariana Grande all December long. Put together your favorite songs, new and old, in a Spotify playlist. Share your holiday tunes with your friends, and have a virtual Zoom party rocking around your Christmas trees like no one’s watching.
10. DIY Your Own Ugly Christmas Sweater
If you’re a holiday sweater fan, you believe there is no such thing as an "ugly" Christmas sweater, because they’re all beautiful. Get your craft on this holiday season by DIY-ing your very own Christmas sweater.
Take a cue from Lily in Netflix’s Dash & Lily, and make a Christmas tree sweater with metallic tinsel garland ($4, Target), pom poms ($3, Michaels), and LED lights ($5, Target). Once your masterpiece is created, set up a self-timer and capture some Insta-worthy shots of you in front of your Christmas tree ($24, Etsy).
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