Despite everything going on in the world, the holiday season is still a time of joy and magic. There are so many traditions that we won’t get to enjoy this year, but I’ve had a lot of fun brainstorming alternative Christmas things to do, most of them from home. Everything that I’ve come up with is contactless, so no matter what precautions your family is taking there is something for everyone.
Christmas Things To Do in Your Car
Tacky Light Tours – Richmond has a pretty large “Tacky Light Tour” throughout the city and surrounding areas. There is an official map, so you can have a set destination. It’s completely free to drive around and admire the magic. We plan on breaking our tour up into a few different nights after dinner. I will make some holiday themed snacks and hot chocolate for us to enjoy as we drive around to look at the lights. Christmas lights are so magical and a great way to get in the Christmassy spirit.
Drive through Light Displays – Most cities have fun light displays that are a whole drive-through experience. These are usually held in parks or at fair grounds and you pay for a ticket to drive through. There are light tunnels and giant displays made from lights. Richmond’s is the Illuminate Lights Show at Meadow Event Park. I’ve heard the weekends are incredibly busy, but the weeknights aren’t so bad.
Christmas Things To Do At Home
Virtual Shows – The Richmond Ballet performs The Nutcracker annually, and this year they are offering online access to the performance to be watched at home. My girls are too young to see a show like that in person, but I think they’d love to watch it at home. Look into your local theaters and see if they are broadcasting any holiday performances. Not only is this fun for your family, but it will also help support your local arts programs!
Video Chat Santa – There are SO many websites offering the opportunity for kids to video chat with Santa Claus. They can tell him their Christmas list and chat a bit, which is plenty for a magical experience. This is a great idea for Christmas things to do, especially from home. A few that I have heard of are Chit-Chat with Santa, JingleRing, Santa The Experience and Kringle Mingle. I also saw that Macy’s has an immersive Santaland experience. Also, for Sam’s Club members, you can book a virtual 5-minute meeting with Santa for FREE. They even send you a commemorative video and photo. I’m not a Sam’s Club member, but Grandma is!
Neighborhood Activities – Our neighborhood hired a Santa to come through in a horse-drawn carriage. We got to stand in our yard and wave to Santa, which was more than enough for Mara. She was so enthralled to see Santa in her neighborhood. It really solidified for her that Santa knows where she lives and won’t miss our house on Christmas. I found out about the parade by joining our neighborhood’s social events page on Facebook. Check and see if your neighborhood or town has one and if they are offering any fun experiences.
More Family Christmas Things To Do at Home – When everything first started happening and we realized we would be spending so much time at home, we wanted to create a few fun weekly traditions to make home life seem special. We started having Family Movie Nights every Sunday, which kind of stopped when we were staying with family, but are back in full force. Right now, Family Movie Night is a Christmas movie and a holiday themed snack or treat. We currently don’t have an oven, so the treats are things like Muddy Buddies, Rice Krispies and hot cocoa. Mara has been helping me make the treats in the afternoon while Bellamy is sleeping, so that’s makes the experience extra special. I also don’t let the girls watch holiday themed movies year round, so the movies are new and exciting when Christmas rolls around.
We also read a Christmas book almost every night together as a family. I keep the holiday books stored away, so it’s always new and exciting when they come out for Christmas. Many holiday stories can also inspire crafts or special games. My girls have colored pictures of The Grinch, made popsicle stick ornaments and practiced tracing with cookie cutters. These are small little activities but they feel so special.
The extra time at home, not able to do all the usual traditions can feel so sad. I know, I’ve definitely been feeling it. But I’m trying to remind myself that this is probably the one Christmas where it’s just my little family of four, snuggled in our home enjoying a slow, commitment-free holiday. Even the Who’s down in Whoville found a way to celebrate when The Grinch stole their Christmas. We can find the love and light as well.