2020 Christmas In July Week 2 5th-11

Join our amazing community
Share what you know, learn something new!
register

AuntJamelle

Well-Known Member
Premiere Member
Oct 22, 2007
3,981
1,745
113
South Bend, IN
Will you change your Christmas plans this year in view of Covid-19? - Most likely, yes. It depends on what things are looking like. But if we are still without a vaccine (which is probably a given) and still even at the levels we are seeing right now - Christmas will be very different.

I wouldn't throw our annual party for friends - which makes me want to cry. Visits to/from family members would either be skipped or ...I don't know what really...


Will there be a Plan A and Plan B or even a Plan C? - Plan A is doing everything mostly like normal. No trip to see Santa though! Which at 10 I don't think will be a huge deal - although DS definitely still "believes" so I'll have to figure out how to handle THAT one!

Plan B - We could possible do our party with a smaller group. It would be IDEAL if weather was nice and we could use the deck instead of being inside but there is no way to predict that. We have also been hosting all the BILs and their wives one night in Dec each year - could potentially still do that - once again sitting outside weather permitting. Which tells me this year we're going to have record cold spells...lol And we could still drop by MIL to give her gifts - open hers - wearing masks - and not stay long :( As long as people were open to it I would still gift my normal cookies, etc. I don't "think" my sister and fiance would consider traveling back this year (they moved to UT) but depending on the situation we might still have them come stay with us for their annual visit.

Plan C - Total lockdown - no parties/dinners hosted. No baked goods given. Zoom meetings to visit and "open gifts" Bah humbug.
:confused:

Will you create new traditions centered around at home activities? - EXCELLENT question and one that needs serious consideration while I have time. I want it to be as magical as possible for DS!!!!

What Christmas tradition must be kept no matter what? - I think most of our traditions are things that are not threatened by lockdown - driving around to see the lights, certain foods, watching movies together, gingerbread house, Pajama Elves box - all still possible!

I may want to give making my own gingerbread a test run - who knows if the premade houses will be available this year??? Same for stocking up ahead on things to make our seasonal favorites! And with how long it takes to order things online these days, if I order DS his new PJs now they just MIGHT be here in time! hahahaha


What are you willing to give up this Christmas? - Trip to see Santa at the mall. Large parties/get togethers.

What can you do to make a sheltered at home Christmas stand out? - I'd like to figure out ways to liven things up more. Little surprises, big surprises. Things/activities - whatever!

Will you shop Black Friday? Or will it be Cyber Monday all the way? - Depending on how things are looking I "might" go to Meijer at 6AM IF they are having their sales this year. Sales have been very different or non-existent since this whole thing started and I can't help but wonder what BF is even going to look like. I think the emphasis will be heavily to the online. Which I've always done but knowing the volume of people that will be doing it this year makes me anticipate hassle, overloaded websites and cancelled orders - i.e. you think you got something only to get an email later that it wasn't really available. So the jury is out on that one!

Will you clean less because your house is in order for all the stay at home time you have had this year? Or will you follow one of the organized Christmas plans. If you follow a plan will it be easier because of all you accomplish during isolation. - I think that in times like these it is both good to be prepared for anything and to keep a connection to the normal rhythms of life/seasons as possible. So yes I will be doing the HGP with a little CC thrown in for sure. Being home I can fit in small tasks on my lunch - no commute time before or after also makes a difference!

In summary - I'm going to try my best to approach the whole situation with as much humor and compassion as possible. I don't want to make anyone uncomfortable - I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings - but that may be unavoidable as many have different standards. Despite all the things to worry about I am thankful to look forward to spending the holiday with "my boys" and we will be all the closer for it. As of right now our jobs are stable - we are a lot better off than so many in the world. I will remind myself of that when I want to start complaining :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: PamelaG

PamelaG

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Premiere Member
May 27, 2011
3,088
2,275
113
Washington, the Evergreen State
What can you do to make a sheltered at home Christmas stand out? - I'd like to figure out ways to liven things up more. Little surprises, big surprises. Things/activities - whatever!
Get an Elf or some other character that pays a daily visit. I had a blast looking for new and unique ideas and Sophia, even when she was in college, always got a good laugh out of Edward's (the Elf) antics.
 

Miss JoDee

MHH Member
Premiere Member
Apr 22, 2011
2,187
1,817
113
Gurnee, IL
What can you do to make a sheltered at home Christmas stand out? - I'd like to figure out ways to liven things up more. Little surprises, big surprises. Things/activities - whatever!
I was going through some of my Christmas boards and came across this pin. This could help make a sheltered Christmas a little more fun.
 

Ahorsesoul

Santa's Elves
Premiere Member
Oct 13, 2007
13,242
1,597
113
In front of my computer
Fun games!
 

AuntJamelle

Well-Known Member
Premiere Member
Oct 22, 2007
3,981
1,745
113
South Bend, IN
I was going through some of my Christmas boards and came across this pin. This could help make a sheltered Christmas a little more fun.
That is exactly the sort of thing I was looking for! THANK YOU!

I've been continuing to brainstorm and ponder over the various aspects of this whole topic...have put together some notes:

Cooking
  • Identify the must have seasonal recipes and then what ingredients that could be stocked up on now
    • Discuss with DH
    • Will we want a turkey? A roast? Other? Meat prices might mean buying now to freeze for later
Baking
  • Identify the must have seasonal recipes and then what ingredients that could be stocked up on now
    • Keeflees = Pecans
    • Gobs = Mounds
  • Stock up on basics now
    • Flour
    • Sugars
    • Butter
    • Chocolate
    • ???
Gifts
  • Encourage those that use Amazon wish lists to update early this year due to longer turnaround for shipping
  • Order early!!!!
  • Instead of taking DS to Target to look at toys he might like - do the same thing online - or YouTube videos??
  • Order gift(s) he chooses for DH with him online - then have him participate in wrapping/hiding them
  • For gifts shipped TO us, determine how to handle opening - should gifts that have been untouched inside a box for over a week be germ free?
  • For those where gifts and/or baked goods are typically shipped - touch base to make sure they are A) Comfortable with receiving gifts (see last point) and B) comfortable with baked goods this year
  • For those where gifts were usually dropped off - touch base to discuss how they prefer to handle this year - plan A and plan B if we are in lockdown
  • As we get closer to December touch base with co-workers to see if they are comfortable with sharing home baked goods (unless work policy officially announced)
Stocking Stuffers
  • Ask immediate family what kind of stocking stuffers they like best and focus on those - buying as early as possible
Advent Calendar
  • Spend some time brainstorming possible ideas for this year
  • If ordering items order early
  • If making items get started soon
    • Elf Magic Beans = M&Ms (get small pack from check out lane)
  • Consider taking a different approach: Instead of the usual advent calendar put in clues on where to find that days treat. In some cases require a Christmas task to do first like singing a Christmas song while hopping on one foot, spelling Jingle Bells backwards, etc. Get the laughter going!
PJ Elves
  • Order Christmas PJs for Pajama Elves box early!!!
  • Review plans and get any other planned items as early as possible
  • Make a special clothing label to sew into the PJs saying made for DS by the Elves...
Gingerbread House
  • Research ideas for gingerbread house “hacks” - i.e. using thick pretzel rods to build a “cabin” or using graham cracker sheets, etc.
  • Consider testing out a true gingerbread recipe including the icing that is the glue
  • Plan for needed decorative items, buying ahead
    • If making just for fun and not to eat I have plenty
    • If making from scratch and will eat - use only fresh decorations
Seasonal Activities

Create a Fun Large Calendar to post things on? Or just map it out for myself? Loosely!
  • Determine how to handle explaining that we will not be going to see Santa this year
    • Send a letter from Santa with decided on explanation
    • Use font, postmark, etc. to make it look authentic
  • Schedule time to write letter TO Santa
  • Drive around to look at lights - even IF it doesn’t snow!!! Plan the snacks/drinks!!!
  • Jingle Bell Jaunt? Turn dropping off gifts for friends into an outing - sneak up to leave box on porch - knock or ring and run away - create fun tag for box - balloons? Other?
  • Bake cookies together!
  • Make a craft! Maybe one to use as decoration? Paper chains? Snowflakes for windows? Popcorn garland???? Make a 3-D paper star(s) and use glow in dark paint - hang in room
  • Harry Potter Christmas Puzzle!!!!
  • Silly Photo Shoot - Dress up in various Christmas hats - silly outfits and take pictures
  • Play Christmas music at breakfast time!
  • Choose a Christmas story or two to read parts of each night before bedtime
  • Christmas movie nights!!!
    • Home alone - Make Kevin's battle plan and wet bandit posters. Do a home protection back pack and do child friendly traps around the house. Finish off the day with a movie showing Serve cheesy pizza
  • Make a theme for dinner - whether just a random nights in December or for Eve/Day
    • Snowman Party
    • Grinch Theme
    • North Pole/Polar Express Theme
    • Reindeer “Bar”
    • Use extra and often unused decorations to jazz up the table and kitchen island for the event
    • Play themed music
    • Eat only by the Christmas lights and candles
    • Wrap tiny little gifts for each place setting
  • Make a Christmas card for a soldier? Research places that do this online!!!
  • Christmas Scavenger Hunt (do at breakfast time - final prize being a few new types of cereal wrapped up like presents)
  • Gather up food items that will be donated to food pantry (DS helps pack and load/I drop off)
  • Pick one or two short Christmas stories to read at bedtime here and there
  • Read Twas a Night Before Christmas - Have a really pretty picture book of it ...somewhere!!!
  • Have day where we wear silly Christmas socks and PJs all day!!!
  • Take family selfie
  • Have DS write special messages in certain Christmas cards
  • IF IT SNOWS
    • Build a snowman (have “kit” ready)
    • Make snow angels
    • Make a snow castle (check Pinterest for ideas)
    • Have a snowball fight
  • Minute to Win It Christmas Games!!!! :cool:
 

halimer

Well-Known Member
Premiere Member
Aug 30, 2008
4,269
1,113
113
Long Island, NY
AJ - Incredibly detailed and well thought out list!
 

PamelaG

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Premiere Member
May 27, 2011
3,088
2,275
113
Washington, the Evergreen State
AJ - What an amazing list! I've seen the cabins made with thick pretzel rods, so cute. There was even a chimney stack made from a Payday candy bar - the peanuts looked like stones pressed into the chimney.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Holiday_Mom

sweetpumkinpye

Well-Known Member
Premiere Member
Apr 23, 2008
10,966
5,355
113
55
Canberra, Australia
I think that after reading through all the lists and ideas that the main thing is to order or purchase early.
If you have an idea of what you need in the way of gifts of ingredients and you can possibly get those items now and store them I will consider doing so.

There are some amazing ideas on here of how to celebrate Christmas this year and I am certainly going to look at implementing some of them.
 
  • Like
Reactions: PamelaG

Holiday_Mom

Well-Known Member
Premiere Member
Sep 12, 2009
1,865
1,685
113
AJ. I love these ideas. I've got a mixed range of ages these days and I think that even the college students would like some of these ideas if only for a change of pace from what's being calling "COVID fatigue." I'll have to give this some more thought and make a list of things I'll need to make it happen.

Katrina, I agree with the order/purchase early idea. It's been difficult find summer fun things because we're all in the same boat. Bubbles, pools, chalk, etc. have been hard to find in the stores and online. I'm beginning to see that planning has to kick in even earlier if I want to get certain things for the upcoming holidays.
 
  • Like
Reactions: PamelaG

ejagno

MHH Member
Aug 31, 2010
1,553
83
48
SW Louisiana
Like many of you, the unknown and uncertainty of today's world events has me really struggling to find alternatives to tradition. These stay at home, social distancing, masks, everything being closed or stocks severely depleted, and all social events cancelled has been just horrible. I live in an ongoing hotspot. I saw all of my children and grandchildren for the first time since last Christmas just this past week. They all live within 40 minutes of my home but I work for a nationwide pharmacy (also a Covid 19 testing site) where being subjected to sick people has me not only working my essential tail off but not wanting to carry anything to my children or grandchildren. It's just depressing as can be and when I think of this years holidays it's scary to think that experts are saying that it will get worse. I'm at the point that I'm afraid of planning anything for fear of getting my heart broken. Between the job and Covid I just can't seem to get in my much needed and wanted family time.
 
  • Like
Reactions: PamelaG and luludou

Miss JoDee

MHH Member
Premiere Member
Apr 22, 2011
2,187
1,817
113
Gurnee, IL
ejagno, first of all Thank You for all you are doing during this pandemic. Praying you continue to be safe and healthy. So glad you finally got to see family.

Sounds like you need an "old fashion" Christmas. Simple. Just time with family and enjoyment in the opportunity to do so. I know you plan so much fun memories for you family and grands. This year will be different that's all. There is nothing wrong with different it is refreshing.
If you need ideas, we are all here to help. That's what family does.
 
  • Like
Reactions: PamelaG

sweetpumkinpye

Well-Known Member
Premiere Member
Apr 23, 2008
10,966
5,355
113
55
Canberra, Australia
If you need ideas, we are all here to help. That's what family does.
Jody, well said.
 
  • Like
Reactions: PamelaG