Christmas and COVID: 3 Ideas for a Stay-At-Home Holiday

Christmas and COVID:

3 Ideas for a Fun Stay-At-Home Holiday

This holiday season has been unlike any other in recent memory. Christmas has always been about the experience of being together, and this year could be a challenge with so many of us celebrating apart from family.  Memories of traveling to grandparents’ homes and the special moments sitting together enjoying food and gift-giving are significant.

The biggest missing piece will be the personal connection and the closeness we feel this time of year with the change. While we social distance for physical safety, many more are struggling with emotional and mental distance. This is especially true for children and teens.

This year, it is more important than ever to create Christmas connections and community. With a little effort, we can still make Christmas feel special to our families and our communities. So consider these three simple ideas to create safe Christmas (and fun!) memories for your family, your neighborhood, and beyond. Here are 3 ideas for a fun stay-at-home holiday.

1. Neighborhood Light Brigade

After decorating your house and tree, you probably have a few boxes (maybe more than a few boxes) leftover. It’s the ones that you pull out, open, and then close back up until next year. You think you will use them eventually, so you don’t want to throw them away. Instead of putting them back in storage, keep them out. Grab all those extra lights and decorations, and head out into your neighborhood. Think about older people or those who can’t decorate the outside of their home due to illness or personal situations.

Knock on the door or give them a call in advance to tell them your family is on the way. Step back to keep your social distance and let them know that your family wants to bring Christmas cheer and lights to the neighborhood. With their permission, decorate a bush, light pole, or another outdoor spot, to add Christmas love to their home.

If you can’t find a neighbor, find a neighborhood park or public space (with permission), and bring some holiday cheer by decorating an area. It is a simple way to bring joy to others while making memories for your own family.

2. Christmas Pageantry Posting

Everyone loves the cute Christmas pageants this time of year. Dozens of adorable children singing Christmas songs too loud, trying to recite lines, and forgetting that everyone is watching while they do something embarrassing is a crowd-pleaser.

This year, since schools and churches have canceled those beloved pageants and musicals, create your own for everyone to see digitally. As a family, choose a few songs, a Bible verse to memorize, and maybe even a Christmas story to read. Practice in advance and then use social media (Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, or YouTube) to post your presentation. You could also send invites to extended family and friends in advance and then go live on a specific day and time.

If you have older kids, they can get in on the fun, too. Have them practice and perform an instrumental piece, sing a favorite carol, recite a poem, or even create and share their own spoken words of encouragement. The world needs more joy, hope, and even a bit more cuteness this holiday season!

3. MaskCarAde Christmas Parade

Who doesn’t love a parade–especially at Christmas time! In addition to decorating your house, decorate your cars, too—even just for a night. Use all of your leftover decorations or pick up a few new ones, including some battery-powered lights or a set of those reindeer decorations for your car. While you are shopping, purchase some candy canes or other fun Christmas candy to give away, too.

Let people know you are driving by or surprise your neighbors as you roll down the windows and crank up the Christmas playlist through the car speakers. As people come out to enjoy the parade, wish them a Merry Christmas! If you bought candy, go full parade fun and throw out handfuls of candy to the kids (and maybe the adults, too).

If you want to go big, invite other families in your church or neighborhood to get involved, as well. Create a multiple car-event of honking with “safe, physical distance” Christmas excitement!

Whatever you do this Christmas season, get creative while you stay safe. If you can’t gather indoors or miss the usual events that were canceled this year, find creative ways to bring holiday happiness to whoever you can.

Dan Istvanik has been working in youth ministry for 25 years, serving in churches in Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Washington DC.  He is a speaker, ministry coach, writer, and contributor to other ministry resources. You can contact Dan at, where he shares student ministry resources.

M2P Members, grab your Christmas and New Year’s resources in the Toolbox: Holidays.


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