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Celebrating the Holidays Apart but Together
Posted by Tiffany Quillan | Thursday, November 5, 2020


Statewide lockdowns led many of us to miss spring weddings, Easter gatherings and birthday celebrations with our loved ones earlier this year. It was a bummer, but it also made us feel hopeful that come winter this virus would be just a memory. Fast forward many months and travel has opened back up, but COVID has not gone away.

The holiday season is nearly here and many of us are left wondering how we can make this season feel special, even though we may not be able to gather with the whole family as we usually do. I've put a lot of thought into this question myself and have come up with some ways to make this winter holiday season special - even if it's just my husband and I. If you've got ideas to add, please share the love on any social media channel with #HolidaysApartButTogether.

Celebrating Holidays Without Family

I guess "celebrating holidays without family" is a bit misleading, because distance doesn't mean separate. Celebrating Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, Hanukkah, the New Year (aren't we all looking for 2020 to be over?) and everything in-between without family in the same room is certainly different - but we can still make it special. 

Plan Your Holiday Meals Together

Food is the glue that holds holiday celebrations together. It doesn't matter what you agree (or disagree) on at the dinner table when your favorite family recipe is being passed to you. So maybe mom can't make your favorite dish for you this year - instead you both can make it and enjoy it together (but apart).

Planning to cook the exact same meal miles apart can be a special experience. You'll get to share that secret ingredient you've been putting in your prized dish with your loved ones, and you'll gain some appreciation for not having to cook the items your siblings handle each year. So give it a go - plan your holiday meals together, video chat throughout it and enjoy a good laugh at whoever's pumpkin pie falls flat. Memories are made in the small moments, and cooking is one of them. Post your tasty meal pics with #HolidaysApartButTogether and encourage others to join in on the fun. 

Make it Special for the Kiddos

How does that country song go? "Let them be little, cause they're only that way for a while...". And oh how true that is. This can be an especially anxious time for parents who want to ensure their kids have all those magic holiday memories they grew up having. So for the parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents out there - how can we make this memorable for the kiddos when the whole family isn't gathered around them like they normally are? I don't think we'll find the answer in consumer culture. Toys will be tossed, clothes will be outgrown and fads will wear out. But what about an experience designed just for them that the whole family pitches in to create?

Do you remember when Make-A-Wish created a special Bat Kid experience for a very adorable young batman fan? Why not create a themed scavenger hunt or treasure hunt based on your kid's favorite movie character? Parents can hide themed objects around the house and family members can video chat in with clues - costumes optional but highly recommended. Your grandson isn't going to remember that you bought him another Lego set for the holidays that one year, but he will remember that you dressed up like a Ninja Turtle and led him on a virtual hunt to find his very own prize! 

Throw a Virtual Family History Trivia Night

Video chatting is a great way to catch up - but it can feel difficult when you have a huge group of people online all trying to talk at once. Organizing a trivia game is a great way to ensure conversation flows smoothly and everyone gets a turn to talk. Cater the trivia questions to inside family jokes, memories from past holidays and important family history. You'll have a blast reminiscing about the turkey that Aunt Jane burnt to a crisp, the unmentionable present that landed in the wrong hands and the special memories you share of great grandparents. Adults can pickup some eggnog and take a sip when they fumble on a question. Trivia Maker is a great option for an easy online trivia maker that you can share during a video call. 

Escape to a Romantic Retreat

One of the best parts about seeing family on the holidays is traveling, especially as a couple or a family with children. I can recall so many road trips to grandma's house - some of my most precious and priceless memories being the hilarity that ensues after spending hours in the car. There's something about a change of scenery that helps you store memories in a special part of your heart. That magic is alive and well this year - and all you need to do is plan an escape to a romantic retreat for the holidays. Picture a snowy cabin in the woods at Mt Hood - complete with a cozy fireplace and gorgeous views. Holidays here will conjure up memories of hot cocoa, family game nights and snowball fights for years to come. 

Find a Romantic Retreat

Enjoy Each Other's Travels Virtually

Your choice to escape to a vacation cabin won't prevent you from making memories with your brothers, sisters, parents or extended family either. Create all of those virtual activities you just read about and enjoy your mountain escape. Your family might also love a tour of your Mt Hood cabin. Just earlier this year I was disappointed that my aunts and uncles couldn't attend my wedding-turned-elopement at a gorgeous vacation home... so my mom gave them all the virtual tour instead. Being able to see what your family is doing and experiencing through your own eyes in real time is a great way to keep the conversation going - and it feels more authentic then the edited version of ourselves that we so often post on social media. 

Plan Your Mt Hood Getaway

We hope your holiday season is filled with magical moments and cheer no matter the location and with whomever you celebrate. We've got just what you're looking for if a cozy cabin at Mt Hood sounds like it might make your holiday brighter. Browse our rentals today and start planning your holiday apart but together.

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