Christmas Traditions During a Pandemic

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7 traditions to celebrate christmas during a pandemic

I love Christmas – all the lights, the joy, the feeling, the traditions. And I’ve shared some of our favorite traditions before. But not all of those are possible this year. My favorite Christkindlemarkt is closed, and there won’t be any standing in line at Christmas festivals to let Cam high-five Santa (luckily he’s never been into sitting on Santa’s lap!). So here are some ideas for Christmas traditions during a pandemic; ways to keep the holiday interesting and fun for the kids and yourself!

Family Pajamas

christmas traditions matching family pajamas 1

Family pajamas are a fun tradition any year, but especially this year. You’re stuck at home more; why not spend more time in your pjs? What if every Saturday in December was family pj day? You could all wear the same set of matching family pajamas, or switch it up (pull out last year’s too!).

Make sure you take some fun photos, too! Our favorite family pajamas are IFFEI family jammies. Last year, we wore bear ones and I still love that the pajama pants had BIG POCKETS! That’s a huge bonus for me, because most women’s pjs don’t have pockets, and definitely not deep pockets.

This year, we chose the gingerbread man ‘oh snap’ pajamas with cute buffalo plaid pants. Because, have you met me? I’m obsessed with buffalo plaid. They’re really lightweight; I think I was kind of expecting a heavier material. But I’m glad they’re lightweight, because it means we can wear them all year long!

Family pajamas are one of my favorite traditions during a pandemic and otherwise too. It’s the best to get all dressed up together, and Camden LOVES dressing like his daddy so it’s a big deal for him.

Put the Tree Up Early

toddler putting star on 1

This year, there are no ‘rules’ about when the tree should go up. November 10th is a great day to put the Christmas tree and decorations up, because why not?

We’re putting up our King of Christmas tree – if you don’t have one yet, why not?? – and we’re making it a whole ordeal for Camden this year. He helped us do outdoor lights, we put his little tree in his room, and tomorrow we’re going to drink hot chocolate, eat a Christmas-y treat, put on a Christmas movie and put the Christmas tree up.

I’m sure putting up a tree is tradition at your house, but putting it up early is a great way to pump up Christmas traditions during a pandemic.

Advent Calendars / Countdowns to Christmas as Traditions During a Pandemic

I love advent calendars and countdowns on a normal year, but on a year where there are no fun Christmas events every weekend? Yes, please!

Some of my favorites: a 12 Days of Booksmas countdown, an Acts of Kindness countdown, Aldi’s cheese advent calendar, and the Disney books advent calendar. Plus, how about a whole list of advent calendars for preschoolers and/or toddlers?? We all need a little extra fun this year, and this is one place I’m finding it.

Grinch Party or Polar Express Party at Home

pancake family breakfat matching pajamas

We are going to have Cam’s cousins over for a Grinch party in December. We’ll have Grinch hot chocolate, Grinch treats, and we’ll do a Grinch game or activity. Then Cam wants his cousins to read him ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas,’ followed by watching the movie (probably the Benedict Cumberbatch version, because Cam is obsessed with it).

I also am super sad that we can’t take him on the local Polar Express train this year, so a Polar Express party would be sooooo fun too. Hot chocolate, jammies, golden tickets. Read the book together and then watch the movie!

Walk Through / Drive Through Christmas Lights

holiday lights walkthrough christmas traditions during pandemic

This is actually a tradition for us every year. We have a couple neat places to go walk the lights – whether or not they’ll be open this year, I don’t know – and we have some houses that we know are worth a drive through.

Pack up some hot chocolate or apple cider, load the kids in the car, blast the Straight No Chaser and Pentatonix Christmas music, and start some new Christmas traditions during the pandemic!

A No-Gift Secret Santa Within Your Family

If we had (a) more than 1 kid, and (b) older kids, this would be a fun idea. I’ve seen people do this before. Everyone draws someone’s name and then does something or makes something for them. You could set a number, like 3 things for each person.

And then they can do things like: clean the other person’s room, do one of their chores, make them a card or a recipe, etc.

I think this would be a great way to do ‘gifts’ within your family every year, not just as Christmas traditions during a pandemic. That way kids don’t have to spend any money and they still get something really fun!

Virtual Christmas Bakeoff

Get all your family together for a virtual bakeoff! Plan a recipe – or two- and have everyone get the ingredients. Pick a day and a time and hop on Zoom to bake your holiday treats together. Vote for who made the prettiest/oddest-looking treats. Then sit down to enjoy your treat together and have a virtual family game night!

Virtual Gingerbread House Decorating Contest

Or do a virtual gingerbread house decorating contest and then have the rest of the family vote on which one is the best!

Honestly, this year looks so different from anything we ever could have expected. And more and more things get cancelled every single day. But there are so many ways to still have holiday fun – these ideas for Christmas traditions during a pandemic are only the beginning!

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