It’s starting to look a lot like NOT Christmas. This holiday season is going to be different, that’s for sure. What can we do to survive a socially distanced holiday season? I’ve been wondering the same thing and came up with a few ideas.

Be Responsible

If you’re planning on meeting family in person, first you need to ask, can you? Know what is going on in your region and if you can’t meet with family outside of your household, don’t! If you can, then at least try to gather outdoors when possible, keep celebrations short, don’t do meals or if you do – don’t do buffet style. And, of course, the usually – masks, wipes, hand wash, disinfect. You know the drill. Don’t get complacent with this stuff.

Send Cards

For the first time in forever, I’m on board with this. We all love getting a bit of snail mail. Not being able to see my aunties, uncles and cousins makes me want to kick it old style. Also, it was a bit of fun setting up a photoshoot with the kiddos in the back yard.

Meal Passport

I stole this idea from a smart community member over in the Burlington Together Facebook page. My mom doesn’t want any “stuff” and supporting local restaurants is extra-important this year, so check this out! I bought a faux passport and a bunch of passport stamps and am having her pick 12 food joints. Once a month I will treat her to a meal at a different local restaurant and she can stamp her passport. It’s genius, really!

The Gift of Tech

Maybe you have an elderly relative who doesn’t yet know how to Facetime or join a Zoom call. Set them up with the tech to do so and try to coach them from afar on how to use these resources so that everyone can feel connected during this weird and potentially lonely holiday season.

Photo Albums & Scrapbooks

Can’t think of a gift to give a loved one? There’s never been a better year for creating photo albums or scrapbooks! Make them, gift them and give someone the gift of looking back at old memories when everyone could actually hug and be close.

Find a Family Project

So maybe the kids will be a little sad not hanging out with the cousins and friends this holiday season. Now might be the time to finally build that ice rink in the backyard, get ridiculous decorating the house for Christmas or take up a new family-friendly activity like cross country skiing.

We’re all navigating uncharted territory this holiday season and just doing the best we can. Got some ideas? I’m sure we’d all love to hear them!

Julie Cole is a recovered lawyer, mom of six and co-founder of Mabel’s Labels. She has helped her company bring their product to a worldwide market, gain media recognition and win countless awards. Julie is no stranger to the media, having appeared on NBC’s The Today Show, HLN’s Raising America, Breakfast Television, The Marilyn Denis Show, CP24, among many others. As a blogger and writer, her articles have appeared in The Huffington Post, Today’s Parent, The Globe and Mail, Profit Magazine, Working Mother Magazine, Chicken Soup For the Soul - Power Moms and numerous websites. When she’s not juggling her busy family and professional life, Julie is an active volunteer and engaged community leader, who is passionate about women’s issues, mentoring young entrepreneurs, poverty alleviation and social justice.

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