EMP here, wishing you a merry and Covid-friendly Christmas!! This year's Christmas plans are going to look quite different for a lot of us due to British Columbia's restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (cue "Home For The Holidays" by Carpenters). BUT DON'T WORRY, you can still have a fun-filled Christmas while following the rules. If you're unsure how to do this then you've come to the right place! I've compiled a list of my TOP Christmas activities that are also COVID-friendly. So if you're wondering what to do this weekend, keep reading!
You don't know what you have until it's one of the only things you are allowed to do! That's how I feel about walking. Now I TRULY appreciate that fresh air. Go with your household, go on your own with a podcast or music to listen to, and enjoy that crisp, refreshing air! Within Langley my favorite spots to walk are Campbell Valley Regional Park, Brydon Lagoon, and to Brookswood Starbucks (try the Chai Eggnog Latte and a Cranberry Bliss Bar, you WON'T regret it).
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, sort of...
If you live in British Columbia then you have been spending a lot of time with your household or core bubble. Maybe you're becoming tired of the board games, DIY home projects, and finishing Netflix shows too quickly. Well let me invite you to rest in the season of Christmas which is overflowing with festive bonding activities to do within your household. Here are a few things you can do together:
Build a gingerbread house or decorate cookies. Follow these recipes for gingerbread cookie dough or sugar cookies (seriously, the BEST sugar cookies). Get creative and see who can make the best gingerbread house, or put your artistic icing skills to the test with this incredible recipe for sugar cookie icing. "But wait, I've been baking the whole way through COVID-19 and I don't want to eat anymore!!" NO PROBLEM! You can package these cookies and safely leave them on the doorsteps of friends and family to spread some Christmas cheer without spreading germs.
Go crazy with the Christmas decorating! Blast the Christmas music (keep scrolling to see song suggestions below), put some hot apple cider on the stove, and get decorating! Here's a link for 90 Christmas decor ideas to get you inspired!!!
Watch your favorite Christmas movies! Grab some popcorn and Christmas treats and sit down to one of your favorite Christmas movies. If you aren't sure where to start, I recommend Christmas with the Kranks, The Grinch, or A Christmas Prince (click the movie titles to be taken to the trailer).
Get crafty with homemade ornaments or Christmas cards. Use this salt dough recipe to make some blank ornaments that you can paint together to commemorate this unusual year in your lives. Get creative and make your own Christmas cards to send out this year. Visit this link to get ideas for handmade Christmas cards!
Get fancy with your holiday meals. Take turns cooking, plan a fancy brunch or dinner and dress up, or get creative with themed dinner nights (also a dress up opportunity). The options are endless!! Let this time at home be a great opportunity to expand on your cooking skills and try some new dishes. By the time all these restrictions have been lifted, your social circle will be blown away by your culinary genius! If you want somewhere to start, I've linked three delicious options below. Don't worry, I included pictures so you can't resist.
Everyone agrees that this year has been full of ups and downs, and now more than ever you deserve to relax and recharge! I hope I can inspire you with a few of my FAVORITE ways to treat myself:
Order that treat you've had your eye on. For me it's probably something from Lululemon, LUSH, MAC, or Kerrisdale Cameras. Most of us have that mental list of "treat yoself" items so go buy one as a Christmas gift to yourself, even if it's a batman costume to cry in (any Parks and Rec fans out there??).
Order some spa products and treat yourself to a spa night. Browse the LUSH website and select a bath bomb and/or body scrub to pair with a relaxing bath. Pick out some holiday nail polish colours and give yourself a mani/pedi. Don't forget a glass of wine!!
French Toast Casserole
How to make Frittatas (Stovetop or Baked)
Thai Chicken Coconut Curry
Christmas is the time to spread joy and think of thoughtful ways to show people we care about them. With COVID restrictions it may require a bit more creativity, but when I asked my Instagram followers what they were doing to spread Christmas cheer this year, they had a lot of inspiring answers:
1. Dropping Christmas baking at your neighbors' doorsteps.
2. Dropping your friends' favorite snacks on their doorstep as a surprise.
3. Giving hand warmers or other cold weather items to homeless people.
4. Asking the elderly in your life if they need help with anything such as grocery shopping, cooking, etc.
5. Cleaning out your house and donating items, clothing, and shoes for people in need. Click here for a list of places in Vancouver to donate clothing and household items.
6. I Paying it forward in the Starbucks (or other restaurant) drive thru, or offering to pay for the next person's meal if you are picking up food from a restaurant.
7. Singing loud for all to hear!!!
Glow Gardens Drive-Through Light Journey. Located in Langley City and running from December 08 until January 02. Enjoy some stunning light displays from the comfort of your warm car. Bring a thermos of hot chocolate to share in the back seat! Buy tickets here.
PNE WinterLights. Located in Vancouver and running from December 12 until December 30 on select nights. Once again, you can enjoy the light display in the warmth of your car along a 2 kilometre route. Buy tickets here.
Below you'll see an example of just how fun it can be to look at Christmas lights!
If you have musical people in your household then it's so much fun to grab some instruments, print out the lyrics to your favorite Christmas carols, and sing together! Otherwise, if you're looking to set the festive mood or have a household dance party, here are my favorite Christmas songs to get you started. Click the song to be taken to the Youtube video:
Joy To The World
The First Noel
Christmas Isn't Christmas
Dan + Shay
Underneath The Tree
Christmas Through Your Eyes
There's no reason why you can't "gather" with those friends and family outside your household to have a VIRTUAL CHRISTMAS PARTY! So everyone start assembling your charcuterie boards, mix up some festive beverages, put on your favorite Christmas sweater, and hop on one of these social networking services:
Houseparty. Houseparty enables group video chatting on your phone, iPad, or laptop. No need to plan activities as it has built in games such as Heads Up!, Trivia, and a pictionary-like game called Quick Draw. IT ALSO HAS UNO which I am always down to play so shoot me a message to set up a time!
Zoom. You are probably already familiar with this service for group chats. This is a great option if you are doing gift opening with family and friends. If you want to plan an activity for your group, here is a list of 30 fun games to play in groups on Zoom!
f you are looking for the PERFECT Christmas gift that won't require leaving your home, then LOOK NO FURTHER than a gift voucher for Esther Moerman Photo. Your loved ones can use this voucher to purchase a photoshoot with EMP, giving them stunning, updated memories to decorate their walls, social media profiles, and photo albums.
Click here to get a voucher for yourself or a loved one!