There are many, many different reasons to consider a reduced Christmas this year. Do not worry, you can make memories, share experiences and enjoy the holidays in a different way. Here is how to plan a small Christmas.
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. We are also affiliates for others and only endorse products we support. You can read more about our disclosure policy here.
Sometimes in different seasons of life, you might find yourself alone (or just you and a roommate, you and a spouse, you and your dog) for Christmas. For whatever reason, you might have a low attendance and still want to create a magical and meaningful experience.
During the 2020 pandemic, this is especially true. Many states and local municipalities have shut down, travel is restricted, etc. You may also be required to work on Christmas Eve or Day. Regardless of your situation, you can still put together a wonderful Christmas. Here are some tips on how.
State of mind
Luckily, you can change your state of mind surrounding Christmas. If you cannot or will not be near family or even friends during Christmas, you are essentially celebrating it for yourself. If this year that seems just too overwhelming, then go about your day like a normal day off.
Wake up as you would, maybe avoid too much social media (and TURN OFF that comparison trigger in your brain, they are not you or living your life). Create something you enjoy, listen to music you like, splurge on food you didn’t have to cook whenever you get off work and take a nap.
If, however, you still want to celebrate Christmas, try to create a space of connection between you and your surroundings. What does that mean? Decorate, celebrate small moments with Christmas movies, embrace higgle.
It might be that normally you might fill these days or times with planning a trip to see your siblings, parents, friends, etc. But now you do not have to spend that time doing that. Let’s talk about how to spend your time.
Time during Christmas
Likely to have equal or less money than you had last year. So spending more money is not in your wheelhouse. If are a farmer, healthcare worker, zookeeper, janitor, fast food worker, etc. you might work on Christmas Day. What can you do to make it special?
Christmas is filled with expectations, planning, prep, instagram ready pictures. But that is not the only thing you can do.
Things to do alone
- If you are Christian, read or re-read the Jesus birth story from Matthew, Mark, Luke and John
- Light advent candles, say prayers of the liturgical season
- Design, fill in and then unwrap a special advent calendar
- Download a mindfulness app and try it for 30 days
- Your own advent calendar (or countdown calendar) with a small gift each day
- Handwriting letters to family and friends (in addition to video chatting)
- Read a Christmas love story or book
- Commit to learning one skill, especially one that takes cognitive thought as well as creativity, like baking, making soap, etc.
- DECORATE! Nothing makes a space feel cozy, Christmas-y and warm like a complete decoration of your home. Go all out and include outdoor, indoor, car, home office and bedroom in your decorations.
- Puzzle and music. Turn on some good classic Christmas music, pour some wine and sit down to enjoy.
- Make your own gifts for your family!
- Celebrate every single one of the 12 days of Christmas
- Buy your self small presents that result in a big one just for yourself
- If you have pets, buy or make them presents. Think of creative ways to reveal it to them.
- Make your own decorations! It takes time, imbues meaning and helps the holiday to DIY your own decorations
- Take a free course on something your interested in at coursera
Things to do with a household
Most people live (72% of Americans) live with other people. These people may not be living with relatives but anyone with a household can grow connection. Below are some ideas on how to create a meaningful Christmas even with just two people
- Decorate together. Be creative and think outside the box. Agree on a Christmas tree, lights, homemade salt dough ornaments, liquor bottle advent calendar. It can be very festive.
- DIY a project. If you would normally be traveling, take on a project you might enjoy. Redo a room in your house or finally fix up that sink you’ve been meaning to get to.
- Christmas movie nights. Take turns picking the movie, commit to it even if its cheesy. It definitely helps it feel for Christmasy
- Hike. Go out in nature. You might not be able to fly, or shop at your favorite stores, or see the Nutcracker right now. But you can definitely see a trail.
- Gather and decorate with nature. On your hike, pick pinecones and evergreen branches, small twigs, and make a wreath for your door.
- Structured memory making. Maybe try elf-on-the-shelf, 12 days of Christmas, advent calendar with your family. If every day has a special ritual you can participate in.
- Cut or pick your own tree. There are lots of Christmas tree farms around the US you can go together to do this particular event and enjoy as a small family unit.
Meal prep for a few
There are many people who only cook from scratch during the holidays. This adds their extra special touch to a plate they love. When different seasons in life, or in the current pandemic, forces you to cook a lot MORE from scratch you might be intimidated. I have a few tips for you RIGHT HERE. Especially because in calculating the effort versus output you might be bummed that there is so much that goes into cooking but only results in one meal for just you or you and a friend/partner/dog.
But just think about it. Just take a second and think about the most decadent, elaborate, special, high end restaurants. The chef is literally preparing meals for individuals. Whole plates are specially formulated for the customers. Do yourself a favor and treat Christmas dinner as your own personalized, home chef experience. Splurge on the little extras that are usually reserved to the most expensive meals.
Get the caviar, learn the plating. If you’re used to baking huge meals for Christmas you can slim it down to the most loved foods. During Covid19 pandemic, I only made a turkey, potatoes au gratin, green bean casserole and a dessert for my family. Just 4 people eating a delicious 4 part meal. You can definitely make a worthwhile Christmas dinner for two!
What do you have in mind for Christmas?
Pin for later: