There’s no arguing that 2020 has been an exceptionally challenging year. Just as we thought that the trials of the calendar year had ended, senators and premiers over North America placed stricter COVID rules for the holiday season. What was originally known as the happiest time of year is now seeming a little less jolly.

The news hits especially hard for those who live alone and those who suffer from mental illness. The lockdown is isolating, and that’s compounded by a time of year that thrives off of human connection.

When the first lockdown hit, many of us couldn’t have imagined that we would be in this difficult position nine months later. With temperatures dropping, it’s no wonder that our holiday spirit seems to be on the decline too…but it doesn’t have to be. The best thing that we can do is stay hopeful and do our part in flattening the curve. Though this news wasn’t on our Christmas list this year, it offers us a new way to celebrate the holidays this year.

Here are some of our favourite tips for surviving a very COVID Christmas::

Attend a virtual gathering

Taking advantage of organized and unorganized virtual gatherings are the best way to feel a much-needed human connection during this time. Meeting with your family over Skype or Facetime is an incredible way to simulate family get-togethers without putting your health at risk. Get creative and host a virtual gingerbread house decorating competition or duet carols through Zoom.

For larger gatherings, groups such as religious organizations and AA can hold virtual meetings to connect people. This is a perfect way to feel centered with your community during this time. Find what virtual events are taking place online and through social media.

Responsibly adopt a pet

There’s nothing quite like the love of a pet! Seriously, as much as you might dislike the lockdown, your four-legged friend will love the extra time that you spend at home. Adopting a pet will help keep you grounded, and there’s no better feeling than waking up in the morning to the love of your pet.

Unfortunately, after the first wave of coronavirus, there was a spike of animals abandoned at the shelter. If you’re considering adoption, make sure that you can care for your pet physically, emotionally, and financially after the virus lets up.

If you have the resources and time to adopt a dog or cat, your local animal shelters are the best place to start your adoption search. Giving a loving animal a home this COVID Christmas is the gift that keeps on giving.

Learn something new

With lockdown restrictions in place, most of us have nothing but time! This can seem frustrating and lonely; However, it allows us to take up hobbies that we wouldn’t otherwise have time to try.

Have you wanted to take up knitting? Put on a nostalgic holiday film as you get the hang of your new hobby. Puzzles and painting are other hobbies that help pass the time and can be done in the comfort of your own home on a budget.

Exercise at home or outside

Getting your blood flowing will make you feel good – mind, body, and soul. Whether this means a brisk walk outside or an at-home workout, it’s a good addition to your daily routine. There are several online workout classes that you can join that will challenge you and help you get in shape during the holiday season.

Not only does exercise feel good, but it’s a combat for the blues. If you find that depression, anxiety, and stress are taking over, exercise will help release the necessary endorphins to improve your mood.

Appreciate your city

Our cities all have hidden gems that we have yet to discover! Whether this is an art walk, landmarks, or Christmas light-up displays, now is the time to explore. Take a walk throughout your city and appreciate the buildings and sights that you wouldn’t otherwise take the time to look at.


If you have the means to donate this holiday season, it’ll have a ricochet effect on your community. Animal shelters and homeless shelters are overcrowded, and funding is limited. Donating to your community is a feel-good Christmas gift that will benefit all around.

The best thing you can do during your COVID Christmas is to stay hopeful. Though this year seems bleak, great things can come out of it.

In the words of Cindy Lou Who, “If there is love in your heart and your mind, you will feel like Christmas all the time.” We might have to dig a little deeper for the holiday season this year, but we’re all in this together.

Article by Celina Dawdy