New Holiday Traditions: Having Fun During COVID-19

Mike Kraus
6 min readMar 23, 2021

New Holiday Traditions: Having Fun During COVID-19

IT’S THE HOLIDAYS! Time for cocoa, celebration, and getting away from work. During the difficulties of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it’s a good time to reflect on the things we appreciate. To celebrate old traditions in new ways. A moment to return the kindness we’ve received from others.

1) Home Decorating — Half the fun of the holidays is making your home festive. Here’s a few ideas:

-Make a paper countdown chain. It’s a fun way to get kids even more excited for the holiday.

-Find or make a new ornament. A decoration that commemorates something special to you this year.

-Prizes! Hide a decoration and the person who finds it gets an extra gift.

-Cover the outside of your house with lights!

  • If you have a large yard, turn it into a holiday maze or other experience for your neighbors.

2) Virtual Lighting Ceremony — Rockefeller Center will be broadcast on National TV ( on December 2nd at 7pm. But, there are countless cities and other organizations that will be hosting online events.

Virtual Menorah Lighting ceremonies are also taking place (

Virtual Kwanzaa Celebrations are also taking place (

3) Holiday Hike — My wife and I always look for an excuse to get into nature. Find a festive hike. It could be as simple as walking around your neighbor to look at decorations. It could be finding some place with snow. What location puts you in the holiday spirit?

4) Online Games — Join friends and family to play games. Some good ones are: SongPop, Heads Up Houseparty, Ticket To Ride, Animal Crossing, Mario Kart Tour, Coin Master, Harry Potter: Hogwarts mystery, Exploding Kittens, Words With Friends, Werewolf, Jackbox, Scrabble, Clue, Marvel Strike Force, Fortnite, Golf Battle, Quiz Up, Scattergories, Fishdom, and so many more!!!

5) Unite Family and Friends With Video Chat — Use Zoom, Skype, Facetime, or other video chat service to talk with family and friends that are near and far. Start a “room” where people can join you for the day. Let them come and go as they please.

6) Have Your Favorite Foods — Be as traditional or unconventional as you like. But think about the meals you’d like for the holiday. Maybe cookies and snacks for the other days to make it feel festive. Make warm beverages to share at night.

7) Random Act of Kindness — We all know someone experiencing some form of difficulty in their life. The illness/death of a loved one, job loss, etc. Do something nice for them.

8) Volunteer — What is important to you? There’s so much need in the world. Spare a moment to help and organization that will make the world a better place.

9) Gratitude Call — Zoom or call a friend, family member, co-worker or other person that you’re grateful to know. Tell them you appreciate for them. And why you care for them.

10) Even Santa Loves Zoom! — Santa Claus is taking COVID precautions. And this is easier that going to the mall. And you can record the conversation. Call Santa at:

11) DIY Holiday Cards/Letter — Make your own cards to give to loved ones. Or write a letter updating friends and family about your life. Make something personal and tell individuals why you’re grateful for them. Create something public and share it on social media.

12) Thankful Expression — Everyone has some form of creative outlet: drawing, singing, dancing, woodworking, etc. Make a gift for someone special

13) Support Local Businesses — Many local businesses offer curbside pick-up, delivery, and other COVID-19/Coronavirus safe options for their products. Supporting small businesses struggling in your community will help your neighbors have a good holiday too.

14) Christmas Light Drive-Thru — Various farms, zoos, neighborhoods, individuals and others create amazing holidays displays. And they want you to see them. So pack your household in the car and look at the flashing lights, inflatables, music choreography, and so much more.

15) Holiday Music — There’s so much holiday music and so much you can do with it. Listen to a radio stations, make your own playlist, make a mixtape for someone, write your own song, etc.! Music is a great way to get in the holiday spirit.

16) Share Memories — Ask questions like “what was your best gift?” “what is your earliest holiday memory?” and “what’s the strangest thing you’ve experienced during the holidays.” Get things started and it can provide you fun entertainment.

17) Share Memories Online — Post a holiday photo and tell us a story about it. Let us know who was there, what you’re doing, when this happened, where it was, and why it was special. Then invite your friends and family to do the same.

18) Holiday Movies — Make a list of all the holiday movies you’d like to watch. Make it a full “movie night” with popcorn and hot cocoa. Use Netflix Party ( and watch your favorites with friends and family.

19) Get Dressed Up — Want to make a moment feel special? Wear something fancy. We’ve all been home wearing pajamas and being lazy. Do something fun, eat a nice meal, and take photos while looking stylish.

20) Treat Yo’ Self — The holidays are stressful. So, find something for yourself. What will put you in the holiday mood? Is there something that will help you relax? It’s okay to take care of yourself too.

21) Write Thank You Cards — It’s easy to become jaded from the holidays. Think of how much time, energy, and money someone spent on you. Let them know how much you appreciate having them in your life. Reflecting on that kindness will make you feel good too.

AND DON’T FORGET TO HAVE FUN! And, please feel free to contact if you have any questions or suggestions!

More Having Fun During Coronavirus

Health and Safety Considerations for gathering:

1) No indoor activities

2) No sharing bathrooms

3) Wash hands before and after gathering. Don’t touch your face.

4) Bring your own food, snacks, drinks, and utensils.

5) Do not attend if you have asthma, heart disease, diabetes, overweight, have/survived cancer, or 50+ year old.

6) Do not attend if you have or have had Coronavirus or showing symptoms (

7) Wear a mask and practice social distancing (

8) Limit attendance. Check local health department for guidelines and restrictions.

9) Talk with everyone about comfort levels. Expect and allow non-participation and last minute cancellations.

Mike Kraus was born on the industrial shoreline of Muskegon, Michigan. After earning his Fine Arts Degree from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, he attended Grand Valley State University for his graduate degree. From there, he gained varied experiences from the Chicago Architecture Foundation, Art Institute of Chicago, Hauenstein Center For Presidential Studies, Lollypop Farm Humane Society, and the Children’s Memorial Foundation. And every place he worked, he had his sketchbook with him and found ways to be actively creative. In 2014, Kraus became a full-time artist by establishing Mike Kraus Art. Since then, he has sold hundreds of paintings that are displayed in nearly every state and dozens of countries. Currently, Kraus lives in Rochester, New York with his beautiful wife and goofy dog.

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