After such a hectic year — spent mostly at home — how do you make winter break feel like an actual break? Check out these 5 tips.
It’s been a long year.
You’ve been working from home for a while, and the kids have been going to school virtually. Everyone’s ready for a break.
But how can winter break this year feel like a real break? With many locations reinstating lockdowns and curfews, and officials urging against holiday travel, what can you do to make winter break special, relaxing, fun and memorable?
Check out these winter break activities.
Spend Some Time Outside
If you’re trying to decide what to do over winter break, rest assured that most traditional outdoor activities are still on the table. Bundle up the kids (prepare your pets, too!) and take everyone out to the backyard for a snowball fight or to a local hill for some sledding. In many areas, ski resorts are expected to operate this year, although it’s wise to check for updates before planning a day on the mountain.
Time playing outside will help everyone get fresh air and exercise, and the sunshine can help combat seasonal blues you might feel from staying indoors all day. When the kids come inside, you can help them create fond memories of warming up by the fire (make sure it’s been cleaned recently) with a mug of cocoa.
If you’re working from home, schedule your meetings and other important tasks so you can get out and spend some time with the kids while the sun’s still shining. If you can, use up the rest of your PTO days so you can all spend some time recharging together.
Do Holiday Activities as a Family
There are so many special things to do over Christmas break — things you just don’t get to do at other times of the year. Caroling might be out this year, but you can still enjoy special holiday activities as a family.
Go out together and cut your own Christmas tree, then bring it home and decorate it as a family. Sit down with the kids and craft some inexpensive holiday decorations together. Make keepsake 2020 ornaments that you can hang on the tree for years to come. Assemble a gingerbread house together, bake and decorate Christmas cookies, and watch holiday movies together as a family.
Connect with Distant Family Members
The holidays feel different when you can’t spend them the way you’re accustomed to, surrounded by your loved ones. Many households are planning to remain socially distant this holiday season, as infection rates spike in communities.
Just because you can’t be physically close with grandparents, aunts, uncles or cousins this holiday season doesn’t mean you can’t include them in your celebrations. Use Zoom, Skype, FaceTime or another video calling platform to invite relatives into your home virtually. Grandma and Grandpa can still watch the kids open their presents on Christmas morning. It might not be quite the same, but it’s worth it to keep everyone safe.
Visit a State Park
Sometimes a break isn’t really a break until you can get away. If you’re looking for things to do out of town over winter break, consider a socially distanced visit to a state park. In many areas, state parks remain open for camping and hiking in spite of the pandemic, and while you may want to avoid using communal facilities at campgrounds, there are ways to make camping in a state park relatively safe. If you’re looking to get out of the cold, a family road trip to a southern state park could be just the ticket.
For example, if you rent an RV, you can avoid the communal toilet and shower facilities, reducing your risk of infection. Many state parks also offer cabin rentals, and the cabins aren’t necessarily rustic. Disinfect flat surfaces and high-touch areas before settling your family into a cabin. When traveling, wear masks in service stations or rest areas, maintain appropriate social distance, and wash or sanitize your hands frequently.
Take Some Time to Decompress
The end of the year is always a time to reflect on the events of the previous 12 months, celebrate connections, and look forward to the future. This year, we’ll all need some year-end time to decompress much more than we usually do. Make sure everyone has time off from work or school, with no obligations other than relaxing, enjoying time together, eating delicious food and observing the holidays in whatever way you see fit. Look into ways to relax during your winter break staycation — you never know, you could create a brand new holiday tradition!
When everyone’s working and going to school from home, winter break might feel like more of the same. Plan ahead to make sure your family gets the most of winter break this year and uses it as an opportunity to reconnect, recharge and decompress.