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COVID Christmas Survival Guide

By the time you read this, who knows what the COVID situation will be like in Colorado. Perhaps cases will have dramatically dropped and your Christmas will feel a little more like normal. Or we could be under another quarantine. Some Christmas, huh?

Regardless of whichever scenario we find ourselves in, there is one thing that remains constant: God wants your Christmas to be full of joy and renewal. Instead of fretting about the Christmas that could have been, why not make Christmas extra memorable this year by trying something new? Now is a time to be intentional about what we do and enjoy the company of our loved ones. 

While the usual Christmas activities may not be happening as normal, there can be a wealth of options if you get a little creative (and yes, in some cases, utilize the wonders of the internet). Here are a few ideas to make this COVID Christmas season one for the books.

At home

Cozy up with some books
Reading is something we should all be doing more of, especially in a time when attention spans are at an all-time low. Make yourself a nice cup of tea (or a hot toddy if you’re feeling adventurous), light the fireplace, cover up with a cozy blanket and grab those books you’ve been wanting to read but “haven’t had time for.” You won’t regret it.

Family game night
With Christmas parties cancelled, you’re going to be stuck with…well, the same people you’ve been stuck with since March. A little bit of friendly competition might liven things up a bit. Break out a deck of cards and play some Rummy. Partake in a marathon session of Monopoly. Get a heated game of Candyland going. Best of all, it’s an excuse to be present with those you love most.

Classic Christmas radio shows…on YouTube
Remember the good ol’ days when families would huddle around the radio and listen to their favorite Christmas story together? Well, thanks to the internet, a similar experience (albeit not quite the same) can be had in 2020. Search “Christmas radio shows” on YouTube, find your favorite Christmas story, then close your eyes and pretend like it’s the 1930s all over again. 

A home meditation on the Christmas story
When was the last time you read the Christmas story closely? With the normal hustle of the Christmas season virtually gone this year, maybe now’s the time to open your Bibles to the book of Matthew and/or Luke and meditate upon the Christmas story. This can be done individually or as a family. 

Outdoors

Go Christmas light-seeing
Putting up Christmas lights early this year was a simple way to spread joy, and we’re willing to bet people will leave them up longer than usual, too. If you find yourself with nothing to do one evening, make a fresh batch of hot cocoa, load the family in the car, and go find the house most worthy of the coveted Clark Griswold award. 

Socially-distanced family caroling  
Spread some Christmas joy in your neighborhood by going caroling with your family, COVID-style. Don your masks, make a sign that says, “Open your window and we’ll sing you a song,” and start knocking. It’s bound to put some much-needed smiles on your neighbors’ faces.

Build a snow Nativity scene
Have you ever seen a Nativity scene built out of snow? It seems like a no-brainer, but we don’t recall ever seeing one. This could be a great way to tell the Christmas story to kids in a way that they’ll never forget.

Visit a church
Even though Masses aren’t happening at full capacity, many churches are still open to pray in. Making a mini-pilgrimage to a church you’ve never been to is a great way to pass the time and offer special intentions to the Lord this Christmas season.

For others

Feed the hungry
Lots of people will be struggling to feed their families this holiday. Give to a food bank, prepare some meals for your parish, or freeze some meals to give away. A little goes a long way.

Give drink to the thirsty
Clean water is essential to human life. Locally, you can donate packages of bottled water to homeless shelters and food banks. Globally, you can donate to organizations that build wells for those in need.

Shelter the homeless
A chief calling of Christians is to help the poor. This doesn’t mean giving money to panhandlers, though that is an option. Rather, donating to homeless shelters, whether it be finances or material necessities such as blankets, socks or underwear is a crucial way to help those who are homeless.

Help the sick
Visiting those who are sick is not really an option right now, but there are ways you can still help. Donating blood and bringing meals to those who have COVID or are more at risk are two ideas.

Aaron Lambert
Aaron is the Managing Editor for the Denver Catholic.
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