Covid Christmas Celebration Part 2

Want help creating a safe and celebratory Christmas? This episode finishes our exploration of Covid Christmas Core Values and gets your creativity flowing with practical and fun ideas for a great celebration, even during a pandemic. Be sure to get the resources from  at on the podcast page for this episode. Happy Holidays, friends!


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Episode Transcript

Hey friends! Welcome to the second bonus episode of the Boss Yourself First Podcast. We’re taking this “between seasons” time to talk about a Covid Christmas Celebration. If you missed our last episode, go back and have a listen to hear the first part of our discussion on the core values of a Covid Christmas – they are – Connection, Clarity, Courage, Kindness, Creativity and Celebration.  Last episode we discussed connection, clarity, courage and kindness,  while today we’re focusing on creativity and celebration.

I’m dropping these two episodes together so that you can take them on all at one go if you wish, or you can choose to separate them. Also because today’s episode has a gift for you listeners, that I couldn’t wait to give you. It is my Christmas present to each of you who take the time to hang out here with me. I think of you all the time and am so grateful for you!

Remember our core values are beliefs that guide our thoughts and behaviors so that we show up in life the way we want to show up and create  impact that feels authentic. In this extraordinary season, where our pandemic concerns are in conflict with our deep desire for the comfort of family and traditions, we are leaning into the core values of connection, clarity, courage, kindness, creativity and celebration. The most important aspect of learning to lean into core values is to keep them front of mind. So, I hope you are embracing them, posting them in a way you’ll see them regularly, and talking about them to make them yours – really appropriate them and apply them.

We talked a little in our last episode about reframing connection – getting to the real foundation of connection and getting creative about how to achieve connection in a new way that fit’s with everyone’s idea of Covid safety.

Technology (Video Calls) It goes without saying, but I’m saying it anyway – use technology. Even without a pandemic, technology is an integral part of our daily lives so of course, let’s leverage that to build connection in new ways. Video calls – most of us have experienced an abundance of video calls over the last months whether it’s for work or school so much so that we become a bit weary of them. So yes, let’s use them but let’s use them creatively to build connection and create an experience that feels different than our ordinary work or school calls. First, keep in mind that while many of us have become seasoned with the technology of video calls, some members of our family or friend groups may not be so comfortable with them,  so a few practice runs with your less experienced members can set everyone up for success on the actual calls. And not everyone may have access to a computer with a camera and wifi but most people have phones and Zoom invites can include a dial in number for calls. It’s not the same as video but it’s still connection.

(Ideas)Ideas to make your calls different? Host a Christmas Zoom scavenger hunt with each participant on the call racing around their houses to find different Christmas related items and share their photo of it or the item itself first. Then move on to the next item or members could win by producing the most items on a scavenger hunt list. Items like cookie cutters, Christmas socks, candy cane, hot cocoa mix, Christmas mug, favorite ornament, a wrapped gift, a Christmas card. You get the idea. You could have everyone make their favorite beverage and share it on the call then everyone drinks while you take turns reading favorite holiday stories. You could have an ugly sweater contest and everyone votes on a poll for favorites in different categories. Sweater with most lights, ugliest sweater, I might actually wear that sweater – different categories are fun. If you have a lot of young children in your family, they could have an art show of something that shows their favorite thing about the holiday. You could have older members share about Christmas in other historic times – during a war, during the great depression, after 9/11 or just a personal past time that necessitated being away from home for Christmas. Another great way to work with this historic situation is to ask each family member to create a contribution for a  Covid Christmas time capsule. Give them some advance notice and let them choose an item they would like to include, then set up a call to explain to your current and  future family members why each item was and what you’ve each  learned from living through a global pandemic. Be sure to record this call, then download a copy to a flash drive to include in your time capsule. You can take the role of capsule coordinator and have everyone mail you their item and set a couple of times when you’ll open the capsule. Maybe next year, when the pandemic has lifted or maybe a few years down the road and then seal it back up to be opened maybe 10 years in the future when those who young now will not remember much about a Covid Christmas. You could host a round of online Christmas trivia. Honestly when you embrace creativity and connection, options are endless.

(Pass the Tin)Another great idea, I’m taking from the show The Kitchen on Food Network. They suggested that if you’re usually a part of a Christmas Cookie Exchange, consider a Covid Christmas variation. Make a batch of cookies, pack them in a tin with the recipe and send it to someone who would normally attend your exchange or just a cookie loving family member. Then that person, empties the tin, refills it with another batch of cookie and sends it to someone else. Great idea!

Since, for some of us, gathering to exchange gifts may not be a part of this Covid Christmas, so consider a few options –  remember we can get creative to build new approaches for old traditions or we can get creative and pause our traditions and go opposite in this upsided-down time – or some hybrid of the two approaches. What I’m asking you to do is lean into the Covid Christmas Core Values, which ever approach you take. When you do that, you will open up to new possibilities instead of being stuck in what you’re not experiencing this season.

(Money Options) If you’re not gathering to exchange gifts, think creatively about what to do with the money you would usually invest in the gifts. Options might be to pool your resources and support a charity during what can be a very lean season for some. Agree to each open a savings account with your gift money to finance a trip together and plan a Christmas day Zoom call to brainstorm where to go, and what to see and do. Spend you gift money sending each other small gifts throughout the season. Then plan a Christmas day call to express gratitude and explain why you chose the gifts. You could add a weekly theme to the small gifts to give everyone an extra challenge.

(Christmas Full House) I’m going to share what my family is doing for a Covid Christmas Celebration and  here is where my gift to you comes in. My family is doing a Christmas Full House. Now normally full house would imply we are gathering together. Everyone spends the night at my home, my parents all the way down to my grandchildren. And we spend most of Christmas day in pajamas eating, opening presents, playing games and laughing. Most of us dress and reconvene in the dining room for a big meal around 4pm. Where we eat and then play more games, some of the family goes home that evening and some stay through the next day. This year, because we have several high-risk members and a couple of strongly risk-averse members, we are choosing to not gather. It took me a while to get my head around that and the result of my own processing and helping my clients process through their Covid celebrations is the content of these bonus episodes and the Christmas Full House plan that I’m gifting to my family and to you.

Christmas Full house is similar to Bingo but you fill the whole page not just five in a row. We’re choosing to allocate some of our gifting money to support this family season-long activity. The game card is made up of a grid with different celebration related activities. The goal is to be the first to complete the page, we’re competing for an outrageously decked out trophy. But you can make your’s a competition or just a group activity. You can also send this out and invest a bit in sending supplies for activities or let each individual come up with their own supplies, so no real investment is neaded from you. I’ll share a few of the activites on the full house card. The added bonus of doing this is you can build a  few video calls around the activities and do them together. On two of the squares, the activity is making ornaments. I have sent each family the supplies to make a couple of different ornaments and we will zoom together while we’re making them. I’ll include the instructions for those ornaments in a download as well as the Christmas Full House game card for you on our website in the podcast section under this episode. Probably one of my favorite activities and this is one you don’t even have to do the Christmas Full House card to add it to your family celebration, is contributing to a family Christmas playlist. You create a playlist on Spotify, share it with family members and ask them to add a couple of songs that mean Christmas to them or is meaningful to  whatever holiday you’re celebrating. Then set up a call to talk about why they added those songs. You will share things and connect in ways that you wouldn’t have without Covid.

(Resources) Be sure to grab your resources on the Boss Yourself First website in the podcast section under this episode and join the Boss Yourself First Facebook Group for live chats with me about celebrating a Covid Christmas. I’d love to connect with you!

This season will be different. Relax and let that settle into you brain, then stop fighting it, and lean into the Covid Christmas Core Values to help you navigate the changes and create amazing experience for yourself and your families. May you each have a joyful and blessed holiday season. So much love and good thoughts are coming your way, I’ll talk with you soon!

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