Most of us are celebrating the holiday season differently than we’re used to this year, which means we might have to put in a little more effort to stay connected with our loved ones, find creative ways to spend time together, and enjoy the holidays. Luckily, there are still ways to enjoy our festivities in ways that are fun and meaningful.

We asked our Thrive community to share with us the creative ways they’re celebrating the holidays this year. Which of these will you incorporate into your festivities? 

A FaceTime karaoke night

“Music is a powerful way to connect to one another. I love the idea of doing a karaoke night over FaceTime, where you get together virtually, and let each person pick one song. Let’s savor the moment of hardship with the conviction that better times are coming, and although we are not together, we can always play a song that unites us and makes us feel closer than ever.”

—Giancarlo Molero, happy innovator, Miami, FL

A virtual handmade gift swap

“This year, our family wanted to bring more meaning into our usual gift exchange. We decided to draw names and make handmade gifts to send to one another.  It’s easy to go online and purchase a present, but if it is handmade, you have to put thought behind what would be meaningful for the recipient.  We will then send them out and have a virtual gift exchange to see what everyone made. Our family is having so much fun with the creative process. We may continue this tradition even when we are able to exchange in person again!”

 —Jenni Riley, financial management, Sun Valley, ID

A gingerbread house competition

“This Christmas, since no one is getting together in person, we are doing a gingerbread house making competition and presenting them on Christmas Day over Zoom. I haven’t made a gingerbread house in years, and I can’t wait to channel my inner child and enjoy the fun of making a gingerbread house.”

—Sarah Rudman, operations manager, Boston, MA

Shipping your celebrations 

“During the pandemic, a certain tradition fell by the wayside at our company: our monthly birthday celebrations. These celebrations have always allowed the team the chance to come together and foster cohesion and closeness. Although we can’t celebrate our teammates’ birthdays in person, we treasure that closeness and caring, particularly now. That’s why we’re sending out nearly 100 cakes to our team in time for a special Holiday Fireside Chat. We’ll offer a tangible and tasty reminder that despite the craziness of 2020, we are a team and are here for each other.”

—Dr. Ari D. Kalechstein, president and CEO of Executive Mental Health, Los Angeles, CA

A socially distanced volunteer day

“We had a food drive in support of a local food pantry that benefits women and children who are victims of domestic violence. We spent a few hours on a Saturday volunteering in a socially distant manner, and the donations we were able to provide to the food pantry were overwhelming. These events allow us to reconnect and serve our community — both much needed in these unsettling times.”

—Marianna Goldenberg, financial advisor, wealth management founder and CEO, CDFA, Langhorne, PA

Eight Zoom game nights for Hanukkah 

“My son and daughter-in-law are hosting Zoom game nights for each of the eight nights of  Hanukkah. They asked my husband and me to invite some of our family friends who they don’t get to see often to join us for one of the nights. We’ll light the menorah, eat latkes, and drink wine while we play and laugh. Even my husband, who isn’t much of a game player, is up for this!”

—F. Diane Barth, LCSW, New York, NY

Finding local rituals that bring you joy

“Unfortunately, my husband and I can’t travel to see our loved ones this Christmas due to travel restrictions and they can’t come here either. We’ve decided Christmas will still go on — through spending time with local friends, and enjoying the regular routines we love, like our exercise routine. The holidays are about appreciating the small things in life and remembering to be grateful for what we have, and not what we don’t have at this moment. My husband and I will be focusing on a Christmas full of gratitude.”

—Amanda Edmanson, primary teacher, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

A Zoom wine tasting event

“Every year, our firm hosts several events that we anxiously look forward to. Unfortunately, we had to cancel the events we had planned for and find a new way to bring our community together. We held a virtual wine tasting event where we hosted fifteen of our clients and treated them each to three bottles of wine and a group Zoom with a sommelier. We all had such a wonderful time together.”

—Marianna Goldenberg, financial advisor, wealth management founder and CEO, CDFA, Langhorne, PA

What’s one creative way you’re spending the holidays this year? Share your idea with us in the comments! 

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  • Marina Khidekel

    Chief Content Officer at Thrive

    Marina leads strategy, ideation and execution of Thrive's content company-wide, including cross-platform brand partnership and content marketing campaigns, curricula, and the voice of the Thrive platform. She's the author of Thrive's first book, Your Time to Thrive. In her role, Marina brings Thrive's audience actionable, science-backed tips for reducing stress and improving their physical and mental well-being, and shares those insights on panels and in national outlets like NBC's TODAY. Previously, Marina held senior editorial roles at Women's Health, Cosmopolitan, and Glamour, where she edited award-winning health and mental health features and spearheaded the campaigns and partnerships around them.