The SOVA Project is happy to feature this blog post written by one in our team of fantastic SOVA Ambassadors—these are young people who help create meaningful blog posts from adolescents’ perspectives. We hope you can use their post to start a conversation with your adolescent.
I’m not sure if it is just me, but NOTHING can ruin my mood around the holidays; in particular Christmas, and really the entire month of December, if I can be honest. I am very into keeping traditions, having a lot on my calendar during the holiday season that I do year-to-year: dinner with family, Christmas caroling with neighbors, Christmas card photos, decorate and make cookies to gift out, the whole nine yards.
The best part of the season to me is a combination of everything really between traditions, and also the idea of holiday spirit. The holidays allow me to keep my spirits up and shows me the power of giving. I make an effort to volunteer during the holiday season primarily with my time. For example, I usually volunteer in-person in order to serve Santa breakfasts, go to nursing homes to provide gifts, go to Ronald McDonald House charities to host a meal for the families, and lastly even assist at community fundraising events.
With the pandemic, we can all agree that the holidays will definitely feel different, but that doesn’t mean we have to let that get to us. This year allows us to still create a fun filled holiday season with new and old traditions.
For example, every year I make the family Christmas dinner, but we will unfortunately need to split up due to the pandemic – that is okay, because I am still thankful to be with family and stay safe, along with cooking our Christmas dinner traditions. I normally Christmas carol with all my neighbors and afterwards have a party together. With the pandemic, we are still caroling since we can socially distance, but are opting to have a hot chocolate event outside instead of a party afterwards. I am not able to volunteer at my usual in-person service opportunities, but I can opt in for virtual offerings or service initiatives that I can mail, ship, and drop off!
Here are a few ideas of socially distant, but still holiday spirit boosting service opportunities that you can try this year!
- Write Letters From Santa
- Check out if your local community can organize a mailbox in a public spot (community center, library, or even post office) that has a drop off box for children to write a letter to Santa. Then, the service opportunity is that some people in your community and yourself can write back to the children as if that you are Santa.
- Donate canned goods and perishables to a local food bank or charity in your community.
- Make handmade Christmas cards to give to a nursing home in your area!
- Host a virtual class at your public library for Christmas storytelling to children.
- Do a random act of kindness this holiday season (pay for the order of the person behind you in the drive thru, donate spare change to Make A Wish while at the store, etc).
- Snow shovel your elderly neighbors driveway and sidewalks.
There are a lot of great ideas online as well 🙂
Even then, think about new and old traditions to have some fun this holiday season. For example, we can still go ice skating, still can do gift exchanges, drive around to see Christmas lights, and even make cookies!
Hopefully these ideas will inspire you this holiday season, along with get you in the spirit for the holidays.
Let me know how you plan to keep up your spirit during this holiday season.
What are your holiday traditions that you do with your family? How have they changed this year? Has your child’s mood changed at all recently as the holidays have begun? What are COVID-friendly activities that you think your child would enjoy doing for the holidays?