11 Tips For Making Your Pandemic Christmas As Merry As Possible

by Elizabeth Broadbent
Originally Published: 

We know this will be a hard holiday season. With COVID-19 deaths expected to spike, and some places already tightening restrictions, like Ned Stark says, winter is coming. But let’s get real: those times are just when we need Christmas the most. It’s our season of hope, joy, and giving, The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year. Work it, folks. Scary Mommy gets it: you might not want to get out of bed, let alone haul down the damn tree. But we need Christmas cheer more than ever. So Scary Mommy pulled out our best tips for making a pandemic Christmas one to remember.

1. Keep As Many Traditions As Possible

Most of us will be away from family. Because we’ll spend an isolated pandemic Christmas, there’s a temptation to let beloved traditions slide. Don’t do it. If you always play a certain record while you decorate the tree, or bake certain cookies, keep it up. Don’t let the virus stop you from making your usual Christmas memories. Yeah, you might seem to drag through it. Fake it til you make it, people.

2. Make Pandemic Christmas Ornaments

Making Christmas ornaments is a fun way to get into the Christmas spirit. Your kids can look at them and know they helped contribute to the tree. We like this ornament dough recipe, and a coat of Mod Podge helps them last through the years. Not feeling it? You can always make pandemic Christmas ornaments that say “F*CK 2020.” Make sure you glitter them up.

3. Buy Those Matching PJs

No one’s going to see them? Too bad! You will (and maybe Grandma, over Skype)! Matching Christmas PJs make everyone smile, and they’re a cute Christmas card for next year with the help of a selfie stick or a timer. The kids will look adorable, and they’ll get a kick out of wearing outfits that match a grown-up’s. Anyway, then you don’t have to stress about clothes on Christmas morning, and your Facebook photos will be that much cuter.

4. Pandemic Christmas Craft

Kids love Christmas crafts, and with many still in virtual school, they don’t have teachers handing out cotton balls to make snowdrift pictures. At a total loss? Here are 50 different craft ideas to help get kids (and you) into the holiday spirit. When you magnet Christmas-tree handprints to your fridge, you’ll feel the love. So Amazon Prime yourself some pom-poms and popsicle sticks, dammit.

5. Use The Good China

There’s a temptation to stick to the everyday stuff when you’re only serving immediate family. This may be a pandemic Christmas, but it’s still Christmas, so break out that china! Why have it if you don’t use it? Family china helps makes Christmas special, and this Christmas needs to be especially special. Yes, it’s a pain to hand wash. But make a new hallowed tradition this pandemic Christmas: teach the kids to dry. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

6. Glitter It Up This Pandemic Christmas

Nothing says Christmas more than gold glitter. You can make this Christmas one you remember for years to come when you find golden glitter bits through your house. Glue it to ornaments. Bake it into ornament dough. Use it on your Christmas cards. Let the kids craft with it. Glitter it up!

7. Wrap Your Pandemic Christmas Presents Like Martha Stewart

This pandemic Christmas, turn wrapping (boring chore you hate) into crafting (something you can theoretically love). At a total loss? Here are 51 different ways to make your presents crafty and bright. Just remember: Scary Mommy does not recommend affixing candy to your presents if your household includes dogs. That’s a great way to get those presents opened early.

8. Do Pandemic Christmas Cards

Yes, you need to send Christmas cards this year. We’re all feeling isolated, and sending mail is a great way to combat that. So get yourself some cards, pull out the address book, and get writing. Make your kids sign them, too. Include photographs. Include Baby Yoda stickers (yes, The Child’s name is Grogu. He will forever be Baby Yoda in our hearts, you purists, so live with it). Include gold glitter too, but only to the jerks on your Christmas card list.

9. Don’t Stop Baking

We all know the stale jokes about pandemic snackage. Don’t let a pandemic Christmas stop you from making merry in the kitchen. You need those gingerbread men and snickerdoodles and fruit cake. Keep the sugar-crazed spirit alive this holiday season. Your kids will thank you. So will your sweet tooth.

10. Play Christmas Music


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Usually, we hear Christmas music in stores and on the radio. But this year, many of us aren’t shopping in person, and we’re staying home instead of driving places. So you’ve got to provide the Christmas soundtrack. Don’t deprive your kids of “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer” this year — turn on a Christmas Sirius station, or Spotify yourself a Christmas playlist. Just play it loud, play it long, and make sure you sing.

11. Buy Yourself a Pandemic Christmas Present

2020 sucked all the way around. Make the end of your year better by getting yourself something from your Christmas list. Bath bombs? Makeup? An adult coloring book? Treat yourself. You deserve it after all this holiday merry-making. You’re holding up the Christmas spirit. You deserve a goddamn Yankee Candle in the scent of your choice.

Remember, this Christmas is up to you. 2020 has been a wild ride. Make your pandemic Christmas a familiar season of holiday cheer, even if your extended family can’t belly up to the table and stuff themselves with ham. Your kids will thank you. So will the recipients of your Baby Yoda stickers.

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