We’re nearing the holidays and currently, Toronto and large areas of the GTA have been labelled red and grey zones. For those labelled red zones—Durham, Halton, and York regions—stringent measures have been put in place to lower the possibility of community spread. And in grey zones—Toronto and Peel region—maximum measures have been put in place including closing many businesses.
It’s not the reality we were all hoping to be experiencing for the holiday season, but here we are. And even though we are now in month ten of the pandemic, we’re not ready to give up on finding fun ways for our families to celebrate the milestones we once saw as run-of-the-mill.
There are ways we can celebrate Christmas and the holidays with friends and family while still doing our part to flatten the curve. Would we much rather have our standard holiday party complete with hugs, hot coco, and sitting on Santa’s lap? Of course. The holidays may look a little different this year but they can still be full of love, joy, and happiness.
Physically distanced Secret Santa
Secret Santa is one of my favourite holiday traditions—I have done it in countless classrooms, offices, and friend groups over the years. And luckily with a bit of ingenuity, Secret Santa is a great holiday celebration that can happen while being physically distanced. Get a group of your kids’ friends together, set a gif budget that all parents are happy with, and draw names. I love using Elfster to make drawing names simple.
Once you’ve drawn names, you can decide how you want to deliver gifts—if you are all in the same geographical area, you can do multiple small gift drops throughout the weeks leading up to the final day. If you are more spread apart, you can do one big gift sent via mail.
On the selected party day, gather everyone on Zoom to open their last gift and guess who their Secret Santa could be!
Get a little help from the pros
Virtual parties have become popular over the last 10 months and a lot of businesses have stepped up to provide online party packages and solutions that make it easy and fun for kids to gather together virtually.
Bibbity Bobbity Princess Parties brings a princess to your party, through your screen. Each party includes 45 minutes of princess time with singing, dancing, magic, storytelling, and more. We think Elsa is the perfect choice for a holiday/winter-themed party!
Artistic Way is offering Pottery To Go—kids can pick out their piece to paint and have it delivered right to their home. Each kit comes with pottery, paint, and instructions so you are all ready to get creative on the day of the party. There are lots of great winter/holiday/Christmas themed pieces available, but kids can also opt for whatever pottery speaks to them!
Glama Gal Kids Spa has a whole bunch of different holiday-themed online party packages available. From creating your own candy cane scented unicorn poop (aka slime) to crafting your own winter wonderland charm bracelet, there are a lot of great options to choose from.
Check out more virtual party providers here.
Participate in a drive-by Christmas event
This year, so many cities and municipalities have decided to forgo the normal holiday celebrations in town and instead create drive-thru winter experiences that can be safely enjoyed from your car.
Turn this into a fun party for the kids by rounded up some friends and all driving through together! Make it even more special by grabbing a few sets of walkie talkies so that the kids can chat and feel more like they are sharing the experience with each other.
Watch a Christmas movie together but apart
There are so many amazing holiday movies out this year. It’s the perfect opportunity to get a group of kids together to watch a film, celebrate the holidays, and spend time together. And while having 10 of your kid’s nearest and dearest friends over to your house isn’t currently an option there are a lot of great services that let you watch a movie with your friends online.
Host an online holiday baking party
Who doesn’t love holiday cookies, cakes, and sweet treats? An online baking party can be a great experience for everyone involved. If you are looking to have someone lead the class, Rooks to Cooks offers a Cookie Party package for kids 7+ that would be the perfect fit for a holiday get together.
If you want to DIY it, one of the easiest ways to get into the holiday baking frame of mind is to decorate gingerbread houses—either have each parent pick up the needed items or drop them off at their homes before the party. Kids can hang out via Zoom, Skype, or your favourite video conferencing service and show off their decorating skills.