Let’s face it. Santa Claus is probably quarantining and won’t be visiting this year on Christmas Eve. You’re worried you’re not feeling the holiday spirit and the one event you’ve been waiting for all year now seems like something you’re going to end up disappointed with. Your mind is feeling more “Scrooge” as it gets closer and closer.
It doesn’t have to be this way, though. Here’s how to spend your Christmas Eve in 2020 that will still leave you feeling jolly and singing those timeless carols.
Okay, so there’s no way you’re going to make it to your mom’s for her good home cooking this time around. Do you starve instead? Absolutely not. You take matters into your own hands and whip up an itemized list of your favorite festive foods for Christmas Eve.
There is no better time to make an epic meal than for this special occasion. This is the perfect opportunity for you to start learning family recipes for yourself and to also discover new ones. Even if you’re spending the holidays alone, your meal prep is going to last you the following few days if you make enough delicious options.
Cooking is not only a creative outlet, but it’s a way to connect you to your holiday spirit. Picture it now: you’re whipping up those mashed potatoes you only seem to eat in December, and Mariah Carey’s voice echoes throughout the kitchen. It’s nostalgia at your fingertips and is a staple when it comes to holiday traditions.
If you’re feeling extra generous this year, you might consider cooking for your neighbors. Even if you end up spending Christmas Eve alone, you can still share sweet moments with the ones around you. After all, giving joy and kind acts of service are what it’s all about this season, right? Share the love and indulge in your favorite meals to celebrate.
Pandemic or not, nothing would change when it comes to binge-watching your favorite Christmas specials. You still have a cozy seat waiting for you while you watch the Hallmark channel with loved ones or check out what’s on-demand on those streaming services. Are you a sucker for classics? Pull out those DVDs and get to it!
If you are stuck and unsure of what will get you in the Christmas Eve spirit, check out Freeform’s 25 Days of Christmas. There’s always a variety of programs from family features to holiday comedies. You can’t go wrong with the “Home Alone” series, which show repeatedly on this channel, and I’m most excited for some new debuts this year, including “A Wrinkle in Time” and “Black Nativity.”
Want to make things more interesting? Turn your favorite movies into drinking games. Anytime someone says “Christmas” or “holiday,” take a sip. You can do this virtually, alone, or with loved ones. Also, since you cooked so much food for this moment, you don’t even have to leave the couch if you’ve prepared the spread nearby.
In addition, this is also a great opportunity to watch movies you may not have seen before. Those holiday recommendations from your Aunt Judy she raves about every year? Humor her. You’ll soon find that watching the right movie can instill that warm and fuzzy feeling you used to have when celebrating Christmas Eve.
2020 taught us that even if we are alone, we don’t have to suffer in loneliness. This applies to your holiday season. Thanks to Zoom and other video chat apps, connecting with loved ones has never been easier. This year, consider throwing a virtual party to kick off the big day.
A virtual party is only as exciting as the host makes it out to be, so this is your time to get creative. Make invitations from scratch and mail them out ahead of time to friends, family, coworkers, or loved ones. Have them RSVP and encourage them to wear their best Christmas pajamas for the occasion to be in good spirits.
For the party, be sure to prepare some fun activities for your guests to partake in. Remember, there’s nothing fun happening after an hour of small talk on the screens. When planning out games, try to find ones that are competitive for everyone to participate in.
Holiday trivia is a great option for this to get everyone in the holiday mindset. You might also opt for any sort of “pictionary” activity, or something that involves timed drawing scenarios. Doodling is one thing, but doodling for a camera is a fun challenge for everyone involved.
Christmas Eve is all about creativity and what better way to celebrate that with some at-home crafting. Put that jigsaw puzzle away because you’re going to want to work on something you can build or put together from scratch. This is also a great outlet for those who are spending the holidays alone.
When it comes to this time of year, you’ve got some fun options going for you. Creating ornaments can be a continued tradition or even making gingerbread houses. Spend the day recreating moments you would normally do in seasons past. This is a great time to reconnect with your inner child. Making garland from popcorn and cranberries like you did as a kid will bring a smile to your face.
Need the scents you miss from past Christmas Eves? Consider working on cinnamon-scented pine cones. Need something cute for your walls? Paper cut-outs of trees and reindeer are perfect for this. Feel like putting your knitting skills to the test? Work on a beautiful blanket for yourself or as a gift for a loved one.
The most important thing to remember with crafting is that you want it to be nostalgic. Think about past traditions from family members that you can put fun twists on. Even decorating on Christmas Eve or earlier can build up the feeling of waking up on Christmas Day to lights and stockings. You need a full vibe this season and having the right aesthetics can make this happen.
Treat yourself! If there was a special time to do so, let it be this year! Wrapping presents and mailing gifts can be a hassle. Partake in an online shopping spree on Christmas Eve for those specials that creep up just before Christmas Day. There are so many sales during this time, that you can self-indulge without giving the holiday blues to your wallet.
There is nothing cozier than having your laptop with you on the couch and a cup of hot cocoa by your side (if it’s egg nog, even better). If you want to plan ahead for this, consider asking for only money or gift cards from friends and loved ones. This way, you can save those for this very moment.
If you’re feeling extra generous, you could even surprise others with post-Christmas gifts. In my mind, after all, Christmas continues after the 25th until New Year’s Eve. Otherwise, you could classify your purchases as future birthday gifts. The choice is yours to make.
There’s so much to do to get in the holiday spirit! What are some ways you plan to spend your Christmas Eve this year? Are you celebrating alone or with loved ones? Let us know in the comments section!
Featured Image Source: https://weheartit.com/entry/350037911?context_page=6&context_query=christmas&context_type=search
Scott Hill is a former middle school educator and current poet with multiple self-published collections. He has a degree in English Literature and Psychology from the University of Houston and resides nearby where he can be seen tending to plants at his job, snuggling with his dog on the sofa, or spending time with loved ones. He enjoys whiskey and wine nights and loves writing about other poets, personal life experiences, mental health, food, and sometimes Taylor Swift. Feel free to follow him on Instagram @scotthillpoetry!