Christmas 2020 is upon us, and it is guaranteed to be a year like no other. This Christmas will be full of heightened emotions, new traditions, and a few stopgap measures thanks to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. But many families are determined to overcome the stress and fatigue of curfew and shutdowns this Christmas.

To get in the spirit of a happy Christmas, families are looking for new ideas on how to celebrate. We want to help by offering some Christmas tips on ways to enjoy the holidays and avoid a few headaches. Read on to see our Christmas ideas for:

According to Pewresearch.org, 90 percent of Americans celebrate Christmas, and this year will certainly not be an exception. Families are already donning their Christmas colors and starting to celebrate more than a month in advance.

things to do on christmas

Celebrating Christmas at Home

If there was ever a year for fireplaces and Christmas movies, this is it. This is a year to deck your home in Christmas colors and stay in. To have a happy Christmas, consider new traditions for your family.

  • Shop Online.

Already more than 60 percent of Americans like to buy their Christmas gifts online, and that number will certainly increase this year. Thankfully shipping times for many companies have increased, but you want to plan ahead so that you’re not scrambling trying to find stores open on Christmas Day. Retailers know that shoppers are moving online, so keep an eye out for some truly excellent Christmas sales.

  • Make Shopping a Big Deal.

If you normally make a big deal out of shopping trips on a crowded Black Friday, you can still enjoy the spirit of the hunt using online shopping. Settle down by your fireplace with Christmas movies on in the background. Take notes and use apps to help to compare prices and find the best Christmas sales. Then load up your cart and buy away!

  • Bake Christmas Goods.

This is a year to enjoy some of the simpler holiday joys like baking Christmas candy and cookies with your family. Turn on the Christmas carols, line up the ingredients, and then spend a morning or afternoon in the kitchen making treats. The best part of making a batch of fudgy Christmas candy or a new batch of cookies is you can enjoy eating them as well!  

  • Set up Christmas Swaps and Gifts.

You want to spend quality time with friends and family, but this isn’t the year for in-home visiting. You can still bring joy to your friends, family, and neighbors by arranging Christmas swaps and gift-exchanges. Bake some of those Christmas cookies and put them in a pretty tin. Leave the tin on the doorstep of your nearby friends.

Have your children make ornaments as weekly or as daily Christmas crafts. Then mail the Christmas crafts to grandparents to hang on their tree. Send Christmas wishes to your best friends in the form of food delivery or a bottle of favorite wine.

  • Plan a Christmas Feast.

You may not be having a large number of family members over for the holidays, but you can still plan for a beautiful Christmas feast! Try out new recipes and create dishes that might turn out differently than you imagined.

As you are planning your Christmas feast, be mindful that some online reviews point to issues with long-standing staples in the industry. Among the Pyrex Christmas reviews (#2274104), one customer noted that her new basin was “excellent” but that after “constantly checking water level” she noted that “after only about 45 minutes the lid started to melt.” Fortunately, she was able to rescue her Christmas pudding.

Celebrating Christmas for Less

As per Fortunly.com, In a typical year, 22 percent of Americans worry that Christmas will leave them in debt. However, for many families, this is not a typical year. Even if you have far less cash to spend on the holidays this year, you can still enjoy Christmas for less.

  • Play Christmas Games Outside.

There is no rule saying you should never leave your home. In fact, getting outside and getting fresh air is among the healthiest Christmas tips! You should take your Christmas games outside. If you live in an area with snow, grab your sled and take it down the hill a few times.

Try your hands – or your feet – with snowshoes. Walk around the neighborhood and look at holiday lights. What could possibly be better socially distanced Christmas games than snowball fights and battles? Frosty would definitely agree.

  • Enjoy the Christmas Lights.

Many businesses and families are going big with their lights displays this year. They know that many families aren’t comfortable celebrating inside with large groups of people, so they are bringing the lights and festivities outside. Pull on your coat and favorite Christmas hat. Grab a mug of hot chocolate. Then stroll the neighborhoods or drive to new ones to see how everyone has decorated.

  • Go Ice Skating.

Unless the rink is very crowded, ice skating has all the perks of happy Christmas wishes while providing activity and being socially distanced. Pull on that favorite Christmas hat again, lace up your skates and take a few dozen turns around the outdoor skating rink. Just be sure to keep your distance from others and skip the crowded benches or hot chocolate stands.

  • Create Fun Christmas Trees.

There is no rule saying you can only have a single Christmas tree. Set up small trees in every room and let the kids have a great time cutting out Christmas drawings as decorations. Worried about the cost of Christmas trees?

Check out discount stores for inexpensive small trees or shop at second-hand stores. Many households are upgrading their trees this year if they can afford it, which means plenty of heavily discounted second-hand trees are hitting thrift stores and resell shops.

  • Make Holiday Cards.

If you’ve always been too busy to send Christmas cards, this might be your year. You don’t need to print expensive holiday cards to bring a smile to your family members who can’t come to visit this year. Print inexpensive pictures – some places will even allow you free prints if you pay for shipping – and tuck the picture inside an envelope. Add in a message from you and some Christmas drawings from the kids, and you’ll bring a smile to someone’s face.

  • Take Free Pictures With Santa.

Check out your local papers for outdoor festivals and bazaars that might include a visit from Santa Claus. Or risk an indoor activity, like visiting Bass Pro Shop, where you can take a free picture with Santa. This is a great year to take your Christmas pictures with masks – what better way to stay safe inside and remember the madness of 2020?

  • Enjoy Family Christmas Movie Nights.

We are all taking advantage of streaming services, and companies are releasing shows as quickly as possible. To help celebrate the holidays for almost nothing out of pocket, make a standing date with your family or with a friend to watch Christmas movies. You don’t even have to be in the same place – just start streaming at the same time and share commentary via text.

Just be sure you choose your streaming services at the right time and place. As one person commented in our online reviews, sometimes you don’t get what you expect. Among the Lifetime Movies Christmas complaints (#2283743), one reviewer stated that “Lifetime is advertising 24/7 Christmas movies but overnight they have infomercials that last into the morning. This is NOT 24/7 Christmas movies.

  • Spend Your Money Wisely.

If you’re working with less cash this year, spend some extra time doing price comparisons online before you buy to help save money. If you are willing to go very early to avoid any crowds, you might also be able to snag some terrific bargains in brick and mortar stores looking to sell items at steep discounts to stay afloat. You can even arrange some of these purchases online and then pick up from the store, perhaps even curbside.

  • Gift Memories or Service.

You don’t have to buy an expensive present for everyone this Christmas. The gift of time and your service is also tremendously appreciated by those who are alone or feeling stretched thin. Consider bringing a small baked good gift with you when you shovel a friend’s driveway.

Then visit on the porch for a bit before heading home. Or create a photobook of all the memories from a special trip or with a special friend. Look on sites like Groupon to find ultra-cheap photo book offers where you can have the book made delivered for less than $10.

  • Pick Up Some Extra Cash.

If you are struggling to afford Christmas presents this year, you can pick up some extra cash by taking on some tasks in the food and grocery delivery field or shipping. Companies like Amazon and Fed-Ex might be hiring in your area to help with seasonal deliveries. Grocery stores and services like Uber Eats or DoorDash might make it possible to earn quite a bit to help supplement your Christmas budget.

Stress-free Christmas

Tips for Stress-Free Christmas

American Psychological Association admits that stress and holidays go hand-in-hand. Your busy schedule becomes even busier with celebrations. Preparing for Christmas looks like tasks at work: you need to keep in mind lots of things. So, there are some tips to have stress free Christmas:

Christmas Gift and Gift Wrapping Ideas

You can create beautiful holiday memories with your Christmas gifts and your packages without spending outrageous amounts of money.

  • Establish a definite dollar limit for the individual gifts.
  • Choose a gift card that allows the receiver to pick his or her perfect gift.
  • Shop online as it is faster, sometimes cheaper, and more convenient. But pay attention to scammers. Christmas is a high season for holidays scams.
  • Use price-comparison apps like ShopSavvy, ScanLife, Price.com, etc. which help scout out deals on the holiday shopping season.   
  • Download a map of your local mall’s stores from their website. Think of the paths and make a list of potential presents.
  • Use free gift wrapping with each purchase which many retailers offer as an in-house service.
  • Think of how to make something special. There are many hand-me-down and do-it-yourself items. Tree decoration, homemade ornaments, making paper snowflakes, creating hand-made gifts, baking and decorating cookies – all these help us get in the Christmas spirit, even if you have no money for Christmas.
  • Send a personal note and a signature on a unique card or a letter chronicling family/personal events of the previous year mailed to family and friends.
  • Write a free letter to Santa. And Santa will write back. Santa's Address:

    Santa Claus
    325 S. Santa Claus Lane North Pole,
    Alaska 99705

christmas wish list

Be Flexible and Generous With Your Holiday Plans

If you are an essential worker or one who is working harder than ever during the pandemic, you may not have time to create beautiful meals or create fun Christmas crafts. Consider instead being generous and flexible with your holiday funds.

  • Shop locally

Poke around in the stores you pass on your way to work every day. Or shop from small businesses online. Let others do the Christmas handicrafts, and you can simply buy them to enjoy. Your purchase helps a small business during the pandemic, and you get to enjoy some handmade items this holiday.

  • Enjoy your holiday meals via take out

Eating inside restaurants can be iffy for many folks in the time of COVID, but almost every restaurant is offering take-out. See what is open on Christmas Day in your area.

Arrange delivery or take-out from the restaurant for your big meal. Or spread your holiday dollars around a bit and arrange delivery from multiple restaurants open on Christmas. You can enjoy a different cuisine for every meal and never have to even turn on your oven.

Decorations and Meal Planning

  • Hire a cleaning service.

It can be expensive but may give you extra time for holiday preparation in a beautifully clean home. Who wouldn’t feel more cheerful in a home that doesn’t have to be cleaned by your own hands? 

  • Spread your food preparation over several weekends before the holiday season.

You can make, place in pans and freeze rolls, cakes, muffins, etc., sometime before serving. Jamie Oliver, the culinary superstar, shares his secret,

“I like to get enough work done ahead so that on the day itself, it’s just a matter of throwing it in the oven, some basic timing and letting people help themselves. The week before Christmas Day, I get all my bits and pieces ready and get all my timings down on a piece of A4 paper. We do all the home delivery heavy stuff then too”.

  • Order complete meals in grocery stores and restaurants.

You can find offer holiday specials which you can pick up the day before Christmas. Or better yet, have the meals delivered to you ready to reheat on Christmas day!

  • Share duties between family members.

Make a chart with duties, tasks, and responsibilities of your family members for Christmas, for example, the mother is responsible for cooking, the children – for decorating, the father – for shopping. 

Merry Christmas images surround us at every turn this year. We are determined to have a merry Christmas despite the ongoing struggles of 2020. Fortunately, we are able to spend time with our close family, decorate our homes, set up the Christmas tree, and make new memories and traditions this year. Perhaps having to approach the holiday in a new way this year will give you a chance to create new Christmas ideas for years to come. Merry Christmas!

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