How to Host a Quarantined Easter

Easter is a time of the year that brings the whole family together. It is fun with egg hunts, kid-friendly activities, and quality time with loved ones. However, with the pandemic at hand, this is going to be a very different Easter than usual. Churches are closer, social gatherings are dwindling, and home lockdowns are going into full effect. So how do you celebrate this time with others when you are forced to stay at home by yourself?

Sunday Service

If you go to church on Easter Sunday, consider that plan to be canceled. However, many services are still live-streaming or creating pre-recorded sessions. You can now enjoy your Sunday Easter Service in the comfort of your own home.

Family Time

These new times demand innovative gathering solutions. Many families are staying connected through Facetime, Zoom, and other virtual calling apps like HouseParty. You can facilitate these plans with your own family for Easter. Make something unique where you can have a family game night or an activity to partake in while video chatting. This activity is a great way to have family time still, even when you cannot all be together.

Easter Dinner

Just because your friends and family cannot join you, does not mean you cannot dine like a king or queen. You can still have some of your favorite holiday, traditional meals this season. You may need to have your groceries delivered, yet a half ham or turkey will go great with other mini Easter dishes as well. Simply create your own mini feast for the ones in your home. If you live alone, still enjoy your dinner yourself!

It can be challenging to celebrate a holiday alone or without your typical holiday plans. However, do not hope in this uncertain time. The holiday is still here, and it is an opportunity to celebrate it in a new way. Make sure you still enjoy this day by making it special. It can be hard to get everyone excited in the house for the new, changed celebration, yet the opportunity to enjoy the day is still there! Do not lose sight of the holiday.

Use All Five Senses This Holiday Season

tangerines-1087060_640Most of us are pretty good about decorating for the holidays. We may hang wreaths, put up lights, and maybe a tree. Candles always add ambiance, and there may be some heirloom decorations to pull out and share with family and friends.

But when you’re planning to make your home ready for the holidays, be sure to involve all five senses: sight, sound, taste, touch and smell. Sight is easy, but here are some suggestions for pulling in the other four.

Sound: Holiday carols always add a nice element to gatherings of family and friends. But consider focusing on specific musical finds. With today’s options, you might play blocks of theme holiday music, such as a retro hour with Bing Crosby or Elvis Presley. Or you could look for carols by a brass quintet. Different styles and moods keeps the music front-and-center.

Taste: Cookies are always a hit, but look for other traditional offerings. For example, spiced cider offers a warm inviting choice while also adding to another sense…

Smell: Cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, cloves, baked goods all say happy holidays. Stop at a florist or nursery and pick up some fresh pine boughs to add that sharp winter scent to your home.

Touch: This is a great time to add several hand-knitted throws to your sofa and easy chairs. Pull out a favorite teddy bear or two while you’re at it for guests to cuddle while chatting. Before you know it everyone is more comfy. Think about texture along with color when you plan your holiday decor.

By planning for your holidays with all five senses, you will create a mood in your home that people will remember well into the new year.

Post-Holiday Organizing

You can make next year’s holiday season easier if you think through the process of clearing up after this year. Here are a few organizing ideas for this week.

Put next year’s holiday card list together: Go through all of those envelopes to make sure no one has changed their address in the past year, and see who you may need to add or subtract from your mailing list. You may also want to pick up some cards on sale so you’re ahead next year. If you’re not up for the post-holiday sales, check online for discounts on holiday products.

Let go of unused holiday items: Are you finding that some things in those holiday boxes never get out? If you are not using some of your holiday finery – whether it is home decorations or that snowman sweater that makes you feel stupid every time you wear it – get rid of it rather than packing it up for another year.

Consider a light upgrade: LED lights are safer, very pretty, and use much less energy. On top of that you can string many of them together without creating a fire hazard. It may be time to move on to this newer light technology. The cost of these lights keeps dropping, which means that there’s a good chance that the warehouse and discount stores will have even more reasonably-priced options next year. You may even be able to pick up some that change color – quite a sparky option for your front yard!

Pack and label holiday items: Do you have to sort through the ornaments to get to your holiday plates? Is it a struggle to untangle your favorite bead garlands every year? It may be time for a holiday intervention. Consider containers, packaging and effective arranging to bring you holiday cheer next year when you unpack everything again.

Make next year’s holiday a little bit easier by planning ahead this year, creating a merrier season for you in 2013.

Holiday Safety Tips

Happy holidays can quickly disappear when safety is not given priority. Just a few precautions can keep your holiday celebrations merry. Here are a few basics.

Trees: If you want a live tree, choose one that is very fresh and free of mold. Before you buy your choice, shake the tree gently. If green needles fall, the tree is too old already. Also check the trunk for signs of mold and check for a musty smell. Sometimes storing them for too long or in less-than-optimal conditions leads to trees that are dry enough to be fire hazards. If you find more than one or two trees with these problems, find another lot. To keep your tree fresh for the rest of the season, cut at least one inch from the bottom of the trunk, and make sure your tree holder can handle at least a gallon of water. Check and fill the water daily.

Lights: Never put electric lights on a metallic tree. Never string more than three sets of lights together. Throw away any light sets or extension cords that are damaged or worn. Consider LED lights because they are cool to the touch. Make sure cords don’t become tripping hazards.

Decorations: If your household has children or pets, pay attention to the ornament and decoration choices. Small glass balls look tempting and can draw the attention of children. Tinsel can also prove a real risk to pets that will eat anything that looks interesting.

Take a few minutes to factor safety into your holiday plans and you and your family can have a holly jolly time!

Start Planning for the Holidays

We’re headed for the holiday season, and it’s easy to get caught up in everything you want to do until you’re overwhelmed. One helpful approach to make sure you are ready to make your holidays merry and bright is planning. Take the time now to create the framework for making holidays fun this year.

Budget your dollars: Many people end up in January with more bills than they expected. To head off this situation, spend time with your spouse or family agreeing on a budget. Be sure to include food, entertainment, cards, and any decorations as well as gifts. Add a cushion to cover unexpected expenses.

Budget your time: You may want to bake holiday cookies, decorate with abandon and write long notes to friends. Add that full-family Thanksgiving, volunteering and attending everyone’s holiday parties and you may end up too tired to enjoy everything. Combine some favorite events and projects with some time to recover and just have fun and the season will be pleasant instead of hectic.

Work ahead: Do you love homemade Christmas cookies? How about mixing up the dough and freezing it for later? Grab your cookbooks and recipe box and develop your menus for Thanksgiving and beyond. Plan for each event with grocery lists and all the recipes organized in files.  If you are going to ask Aunt Margaret to bring her sweet potato casserole, now is the time to call. Pull out your holiday card list before it starts to get hectic and address envelopes and write that newsletter. You don’t have to send them yet but wouldn’t it be nice to be ready when the time comes?

Take a few hours to plan your holidays this weekend, and you will help ensure a holly jolly time for everyone.