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    From powering through a turkey-trot, to guarding the office-favorite pie recipe with secrecy, to gathering for the annual family game night, holiday traditions are important to 73% of Americans. They not only make most people feel excited and joyful for the season, but they also improve the connection and positive relationships within a community. In fact, there is a strong link between groups with positive holiday rituals and the mental health of those who participate. The novel coronavirus pandemic has created unprecedented times for all, but this holiday season does not need to be barren without tradition. Whether you are looking to adapt your generational rituals for a socially distant holiday season or are eager to start a new tradition to carry on, check out our list of creative and safe ways to navigate the holidays this year.

    PLAY HOLIDAY BINGO

    Whether it be your first sip of a peppermint mocha or the big reveal of your festive sweater collection, traditions come in all shapes and sizes. A great way to encourage your friends, family, and colleagues to stay festive with these traditions is by creating a holiday bingo game. First, create a 5×5 bingo card with socially distant, festive activities such as “drinking hot cocoa” or “watching a holiday movie.” Then, share the board with your group and explain the rules. Participants should take a photo of themselves completing the activities to check-off a box, with “bingo” being awarded to those who complete all the activities in a horizontal, vertical, or diagonal line.

    By sharing the photos, participants can feel connected to the other players while keeping up with the usual traditions associated with the holidays. By creating your own board, you can personalize it to reflect traditions celebrated by your group.

    HOST A VIRTUAL HOLIDAY RECIPE PARTY

    59% of millennials bake during the holidays as a way to spend time with loved ones, proving that food-centric traditions do more than just satisfy the taste buds. If you cannot physically spend this holiday season with your loved ones, hosting a virtual holiday recipe party is a great way to carry on with this tradition seamlessly. All participants should agree on a date and recipe, and shop for the ingredients beforehand. Once the party begins, the group should log onto a videoconferencing software to complete the steps together. Once finished, everyone can enjoy the final product together, just like always. You get to enjoy all the fun of cooking together without having too many cooks (physically) in the kitchen!

    DELIVER TREATS TO YOUR FRIENDS & FAMILY

    If you are the protector of a confidential recipe, we promise this is not the year you have to spill the secrets. Instead of hosting a virtual holiday recipe party, consider surprising your friends, family, or colleagues with a delivery of your treat! Whether that means dropping it off at their doorstep, meeting for an outdoor picnic, or shipping your goods, your recipe can still be enjoyed this year. Plus, you will get to reap the benefits as well. Cooking in general is linked to improvements in mood; however, cooking for others is proven to be a productive form of communication that reduces stress, improves wellbeing, and increases your connection with others – plus, your secret recipe gets to stay a secret!

    PUT UP THE DECORATIONS (EVEN IF NO ONE IS COMING OVER!)

    Even though a socially distant holiday might limit the number of guests in your home this season, your cornucopia and wreath should not stay in the attic collecting dust. According to award-winning psychologist, Deborah Serani, decorating for the holidays creates a “neurological shift that can produce happiness.” The bright colors and lights are proven to spike dopamine, which increases energy levels and boosts mood. Additionally, neighbors take holiday decorations as an indicator of another’s sociability. In other words, your neighbors might view you as friendlier if you decorate your house for the holidays. Especially if out-of-state loved ones are no longer able to visit, connecting with your neighbors to safely celebrate the holidays this year can prove beneficial.

    DISCOVER A DRIVE-THRU LIGHT DISPLAY

    Drive-thru light displays have always popped-up to charm communities during the holidays, but as they are a naturally socially distant activity, they are sure to be a hit this year. With most being free or inexpensive, this is a cost-effective activity for all to enjoy. Plus, they are proven to be beneficial to your mental health. The bright, warm lights offer a form of color therapy that result in sparking positivity and a complete sense of wellbeing. With over 20 displays in the greater Washington D.C. area, there are plenty of light displays to explore this year.

    SEND SEASONAL SNAIL MAIL

    Video-conferencing fatigue is real, so while spending time with your family, friends, and colleagues virtually this season is important, communicating with them with some seasonal snail mail will prove to be refreshing. Writers who compose handwritten letters experience higher levels of happiness and life satisfaction, and tap into more creative thinking compared to typing. Furthermore, receiving snail mail makes people feel loved and appreciated. Overcoming video-conferencing fatigue by writing handwritten letters this season is a great way to connect with your loved ones, while also allowing you to reduce stress and communicate more creatively.

    Carr Properties is hosting a virtual handmade holiday card class on November 23rd as part of the Carr Remote Experience. With WaveOffice customers having full access to the event, this will be the perfect place to take your snail mail to the next level. RSVP by November 16th to ensure you receive all the complimentary supplies by the class date. 

    At WaveOffice, we believe in the power of flexibility. Although we may be living in unprecedented times, your holiday traditions can continue to thrive on as they always do by adapting them creatively and safely to today’s demands. We hope our list could provide some insight, and from the entire WaveOffice team, we hope you have a joyous start to your holiday season!