The holiday season is traditionally a time when we get together with family and friends, but with COVID-19 cases rising, in-person gatherings are increasingly risky. But before you say “Bah, Humbug,” I put together a few suggestions for how to celebrate the holidays safely! Have fun, and let’s all welcome in 2021 with the biggest cheers ever!

       1. Secret Santa

You can do a Secret Santa gift exchange and stay safe by meeting up outside or ordering gifts online and having them delivered directly to your friends’ houses. My friends and I had a great time doing this recently. We were a little chilly, but it was great to spend time together!

        2. Zoom Holiday Cookie-Making Session

You can make cookies from scratch or simply buy pre-made cookie dough and icing from the store, then decorate them over Zoom with your friends. If you choose to bake your cookies, I love this classic sugar cookie recipe.


         3. Make Crafts over Zoom

Zoom is also a great place to meet your friends for an ornament-decorating party. I love these paper dreidel templates, this Star of David made from popsicle sticks, and this cute DIY menorah. You can also check out these cute, simple DIY Christmas ornaments.

        4. Netflix Party or Disney+ Party

Invite your friends to a virtual movie night to enjoy your favorite holiday movies! Some favorites are Elf, Christmas Vacation, and Home Alone.

         5. Making Gingerbread Houses

Building gingerbread houses is a fun wintertime activity that you can do with your family or with friends over Zoom. You could even have a contest to see who can make the most impressive gingerbread house!

            6. Ice Skating with Friends

Many outdoor ice skating rinks are still open this year, and are easy to enjoy while taking COVID-19 precautions. Just make sure you wear a mask and don’t skate too close to your friends!

            7. Donating Toys to Children in Need

There are charities across the country where you can donate gently-used toys that your family doesn’t need. You can help make another family’s holiday season so much brighter by donating toys to one of these charities! If you don’t have extra toys, you can write a letter to Santa and drop it off at Macy’s to raise money for the Make-A-Wish foundation!

            8. Cookie swap

To do a cookie swap, get a group of friends to buy or bake cookies, then drop off goody bags with the treats at each participating friend’s house!

            9. Cut out paper snowflakes

Paper snowflakes are an easy-to-make decoration that use materials you probably already have in your house. All you need are scissors and plain paper! They are a lovely holiday decoration to make with your family or with friends over Zoom. Here’s a guide for several beautiful snowflake patterns!

           10. Holiday Car Parade

If you have a car, you and your parents can organize a holiday-themed car parade with your neighbors and other members in your community. Each family can decorate their car to get in the holiday spirit, then drive through the neighborhood for everyone to see!

           11. Look at Holiday Lights or Window Displays with Your Family

If you live in a city, department stores might have interactive holiday-themed window displays that you and your family can viewt. Plan your day so that it’s not too busy and you can have a fun, safe experience. Alternatively, you can drive or walk through your neighborhood and admire the lights and decorations everyone has put up!

All of us at Including You are wishing you a happy holiday season and all the best in 2021!!

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Daisy Hampton is the Founder of Including You, a peer-to-peer mentoring and philanthropic organization which she founded in April 2020 at the age of 11. Daisy is an advocate for disability rights and inclusion as well as tech and educational equity. She is the recipient of a 2021 Diana Award, the NYC Service Mayoral Recognition Youth Impact Award and was named a GoFundMe Hero. Daisy was also recently named a finalist for the Anthem Awards Young Leader of the Year - Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

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