9 Ways to Entertain the Family This Holiday Season

2020 has been a real grinch. Given everything that has happened this year, it would be easy to throw our hands up and just say, “Bah Humbug!”

To top it all off, the authorities are telling us to stay home. 

According to the CDC, “As cases, hospitalizations, and deaths continue to increase across the United States, the safest way to celebrate the winter holidays is to celebrate at home with the people you live with.”¹ 

That’s right. The CDC wants us to stay home (where we’ve been since March) with the same people we’ve spent every day with for almost the entirety of 2020. 

As if the holidays weren’t already challenging enough, now we have to find new ways to create holiday magic for our kids and entertain the family without outside reinforcements (aka grandparents).

But what if this is a blessing in disguise?

Think about it. Every year, people complain about the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. 

The national “Beating the Holiday Burn” survey completed by One Poll in 2018 found, “88 percent of Americans feel stressed when celebrating the holidays.”² 

Three of the top stressors included…

  • Cooking holiday dinner (30 percent).
  • Prepping the house for guests (28 percent). 
  • Cleaning before and after gatherings (27 percent).³ 

Here’s some good news. Since authorities are telling us to celebrate the holidays with the people who live with us, this eliminates those stressors!

2020 has provided an excuse to slow down and enjoy the season, and this year may end up being the holiday season your family remembers the most fondly. 

With that being said, we can still mourn the loss of traditions, feel blue about not seeing our long-distance loved ones, and struggle to stay sane when the kids are complaining of boredom.

Read on for 9 ways to entertain the family while stuck at home this holiday season. 

#1 Keep the Traditions That Matter

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Unfortunately, things will be different this year, but it doesn’t mean you have to say goodbye to all your family’s holiday traditions.

You may need to make adjustments to keep your family safe, but there are ways to keep your traditions alive, such as choosing virtual caroling instead of door-to-door caroling.

Prioritize the traditions that matter the most.

#2 Do a Little More

Without the usual holiday busyness (no school concerts or Christmas parties), this is the year to do a little more.

Never had time to Clark Griswold the outside of your home? This is the year.

Said no to anything extra with Santa because you were too busy? Go all in to make Santa more magical by tracking him on Christmas Eve, leaving carrots for his reindeer, and leaving traces of Santa’s visit behind (such as footprints).

Wished you were home to cook a Christmas morning breakfast casserole? Make it this year.

#3 Host a Gingerbread House Decorating Competition

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Decorating gingerbread houses is a challenging, fun, and time-consuming task, which makes it a must-do for 2020.

You can find gingerbread house kits everywhere, and many big-box stores are also offering add-ons, such as sugar Santas, extra holiday décor sprinkles, and festive icing. 

Added bonus – this is an easy one to turn virtual. Simply ask your long-distance loved ones to pick up a kit (or order one and send it their way) and choose a day to show off your creations on Zoom.

Take photos of each house and ask followers on social media to vote for the winner. 

#4 Bake Lots of Goodies and Taste Test Them All

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Take advantage of the extra time at home to bake lots of Christmas goodies.

Bake and decorate Christmas cookies as a family.

Once all your treats are ready, be sure to taste test them all. 

#5 Spread a Little Joy in the Neighborhood

While neighborhood Christmas parties aren’t advisable, there are still ways to bring joy to your neighborhood.

For example, take a stroll through your neighborhood in your most festive outfits and extend holiday wishes to everyone you see.

Give out awards to the best decorated homes in your neighborhood (for example, leave a prize or certificate on their doorstep).

Decorate your car and start a neighborhood holiday parade.

#6 Have a Christmas Movie Marathon

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Choose a day for your family to stay in pajamas all day and binge-watch holiday movies.

Make the movie marathon even more fun by adding in a few rounds of bingo.

For example, if your family loves Hallmark, use a bingo card generator⁴ to create cards with lists of common features (for example, city girl in the country, mistletoe kiss, holiday-themed last names). 

#7 Set Up a Hot Chocolate Bar the Whole Family Can Enjoy

Pick an evening to make extra special holiday drinks.

Set up a hot cocoa bar where kids can choose the added flavors and special toppings, such as peppermint sticks, marshmallows, toffee bits, and whipped cream.

Adults can make their hot chocolate a little more grown-up with Baileys Irish Cream, peppermint-flavored vodka, or Kahlua.

#8 Make Your Own Ugly Christmas Sweater

Instead of buying an ugly Christmas sweater, this is the year to make your own.

Gather up all the extra ribbons and bows (and leftover fabric from masks) and pull out your hot glue gun.

Let kids decorate to their heart’s content – the uglier, the better.

#9 Play Games Together

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Bring out the board games and play some of your forgotten favorites.

Teach your kids how to play different card games.

Spend a day playing holiday-themed games, such as charades or Pictionary. 

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  1. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays.html
  2. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/season-of-joy-actually-season-of-stress-for-88-percent-of-americans-300758622.html
  3. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/season-of-joy-actually-season-of-stress-for-88-percent-of-americans-300758622.html
  4. https://myfreebingocards.com/bingo-card-generator


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