In a year characterized by the unexpected, one thing has come to be expected: change. As COVID-19 numbers rise across the nation, it has become more of a reality that the typical large family gathering during the holidays may not happen. While Christmas will undoubtedly look very different this year, that doesn’t mean that you can’t celebrate with a few adjustments. Here are some things you can do to keep the holiday cheer!
1. Balboa Park "Taste of December" Nights
This is one of the most popular holiday events in San Diego, and it has been modified in order to have 20 vendors and food trucks from past December Nights. Vendors will be selling small dishes ranging from roasted corn to filet mignon. You can order and pick up your food in a drive thru in Inspiration Point parking lot. Vendors include House of Bao, Dang Brother Pizza, Handel’s Ice Cream, and Bachi Bus.
2. Recreate your best Great British Bake-off baking competition
-This is a great way to keep busy in the kitchen, and you can drop off your treats to neighbors or friends in a socially distanced way to spread holiday cheer. Here are some of my favorite recipes!
3. Drive Through Christmas Lights
-If you’re local to San Diego, this is another fun thing to do with family from the safety of your own car. Popular locations in San Diego count include:
-Candy Cane Lane (Poway) on Hickory Court, Hickory Street, off Twin Peaks Road and Silverset St.
-Christmas Card Lane (Rancho Penasquitos) on Ellingham St. and Oviedo St.
- Belardo Lights (Tierrasanta) on 5306 North Belardo Dr.
-Garrison Street (Point Loma)
If you want to go all out, visit Noah Homes’ annual Enchanted Village in Lemon Grove, which features over 500,000 lights and interactive displays like a drive thru candy cane light tunnel, themed zones, and an 18 foot Christmas tree. Proceeds support the residents of Noah Homes, which is a nonprofit that provides housing, advocacy, and services to adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
4. Zoom Christmas
-The holiday season is all about tradition, but with a little creativity (and a strong wifi connection) you can pull off your favorite holiday celebrations virtually! Send a festive online invitation to all your friends or family, set up some decorations or a virtual background to spice things up a bit, and decorate cookies so everyone can celebrate together. You can even have an ugly sweater contest and make festive cocktails!
5. Watch the best (and worst) Christmas movies
-There is something so bad about Hallmark Christmas movies that makes them so good. For every A Christmas Story or It’s a Wonderful Life, there are dozens more low budget D-list, made for TV holiday films. Bad holiday movies are truly an event. With Hallmark busting out an impressive 40 holiday films a year, we are truly living in the Golden Era of Trash TV. Turn your brain off, use Netflix party (a Google Chrome browser extension) to watch it at the same time as your friends, and forget that the real world is somehow more insane than the impossible lot lines that fuel this genre. My personal favorites include Elf, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, Love Actually, and Home Alone.
Blast your Mariah Carey Christmas playlist at a deafening volume, and remember, things that go wrong often make the best memories. This holiday season will probably be more memorable because it is so different from previous years. We just have to find a way to make the most of it.