5 Ways to Make the Holidays Special This Year

The holidays are going to look different this year but you can still make it great with these five simple ideas.

In a year like no other that we’ve seen, with our governor urging us all to do our part to keep our hospitals from being overwhelmed with coronavirus patients, we have some decisions to make about celebrating. Instead of focusing on what we can’t do, this is a perfect time to focus on what we can do to celebrate the true meaning behind all of the holidays this month: Family, love, kindness, unity and blessings.

1. Random notes of kindness

Want to spread a little merri-MINT? Use candy canes to leave notes of encouragement and kindness wherever you go. Candy canes are the perfect treat and pair well with kindness. Let the kids create the notes to make it even more special for the random receivers. Starting this as a tradition now when they are young may have them doing it every year.

2. Head out to a tree farm

There’s truly nothing like the adventure on a chilly day to head out to one of the many Michigan tree farms to not only select, but to actually chop down, the family tree. And oh, the smell of fresh pine and spruce! This is a perfectly acceptable socially distant way to create and enjoy a family Norman Rockwell moment (at least that’s the hope anyway unless the kids get cranky and the tree saw is dull).

3. Go on a family holiday scavenger hunt

The holiday scavenger hunt list on a teal background

Do it as your own family, organize it with your neighbors or compete with family members far and wide (and claim bragging rights over Zoom). As luck would have it, we have created one for you to download at MetroParent.com.

4. Make your own unique ornament for that new tree.

Detroit mom Cheryl Robinson, crafter extraordinaire, shares a fun DIY that will remind the kids of summer while adding memories to that tree. She calls them Ice Cream Cone Ornaments.

What’s needed:

  • Butter or plastic knife
  • Medium gloss varnish
  • Modeling paste
  • Ice cream cones
  • 2-inch Styrofoam Ball
  • Hot glue gun/glue sticks (for adults or with adult supervision)
  • Ornament hooks
  • Acrylic paint
  • Fine iridescent glitter (optional)
  • Styrofoam cups


  1. Turn Styrofoam cups upside down and press out bottoms to use as stands for cones
  2. Gently press cones into the stands
  3. Lightly coat the ice cream cones (inside and out) with the varnish, allow to dry
  4. Use knife to cut Styrofoam balls in half, hot glue to cones
  5. In Styrofoam cup, mix paint with modeling paste until desired consistency and color is achieved
  6. Use plastic knife to spread mixture atop cones, sprinkle fine glitter while wet
  7. Press ornament hanger in center, allow to dry in stand

5. Host a family gingerbread house competition

Using graham crackers, store-bought gingerbread or go all in to make your own gingerbread walls (this is hard!), challenge family and friends to create the best of the best house. Create a traveling trophy from holiday stuff you find at the Dollar Store or repurpose one of mom or dad’s old high school trophies and get decorating for year-long bragging rights. This year, though, show off your mad skills over Zoom.


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