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Create new holiday traditions

2020 has been anything but traditional. Weddings, graduations, proms, and other special events didn’t happen as planned. We’ve already missed out on traditional celebrations for Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, and Halloween. With the year coming to a close, you create new holiday traditions to take back your festivities?

Rethink what matters

The year’s restrictions might put a damper on your holiday traditions—but only if you let them. This is a good time to re-evaluate those activities you automatically do year after year. What are some of the “same old things” you do just because you’ve always done them? Change up your usual seasonal decor with a different color scheme. Place your holiday decorations in different spaces.

Kettler Forlines Homes has suggestions for rethinking the upcoming holiday season in a year when we need festivities more than ever!

Overcome the social distance divide.

Plenty of families and friends have had to stay apart during the pandemic. The isolation could feel particularly stressful at holidays when you’d normally be together. Luckily, we have the joys of videoconferencing with Zoom and FaceTime, so you can still see one another, just do it virtually.

Have a virtual dinner together. Invite everyone in your group to gather ‘round their devices for Thanksgiving dinner or other holiday celebration. Give yourself a festive backdrop. If you don’t have one in your home, here are tips for changing your background when doing a Zoom call. If your family and friends are close enough that you can each drop off menu items beforehand, you can actually share the meal!

Volunteer at a mission or shelter. Don your mask and gloves and pitch in at your local shelter to serve holiday meals to people who are less fortunate than you. This is a great lesson to share with children, and could be a welcome tradition every year.

Host a neighborhood cookie swap outdoors. Drop off invitations at every home, along with prepackaged containers, labels, and instructions for where, how, and when to drop off their goodies. For example, “Package 6 cookies in a zip-loc bag and mark each bag with your name and the recipe’s name. Be sure to mention whether or not the cookies include nuts that might cause allergic reactions.” Depending on the weather, set up a table in your garage, driveway, porch, or patio with a table. Set out boxes for each individual’s donation, and gift bags that guests can use to carry home the cookies they pick up. 

Switch to holiday menu alternatives. There’s no firm rule that you have to serve turkey on Thanksgiving. Give the gobbler a reprieve and try a different main course. Or switch the side dishes to something completely different—like hasselback potatoes instead of mashed. Challenge yourself to part with your pumpkin pie and substitute something that’s sinfully decadent, like Death By Chocolate Cheesecake, Pumpkin Cannoli, or Every Flavor Thanksgiving Pie Bars.  

Make Secret Santa a real mystery. Get really creative in the way you handle your gift swap. If you can’t be in the same room, find a safe place to leave the gift and provide the recipient with a steady stream of clues. Use different ways to send those hints: email, text, snail mail, and drop them off at their home or office.

Support Small Business Saturday. Every year, Black Friday—the shopping frenzy of bargains held the day after Thanksgiving—is followed by Small Business Saturday. These businesses are struggling this year because of the pandemic. Show your support by shopping, dining, or making a purchase at a locally owned business. Buying a gift card to give someone will encourage them to become customers, too. Keep it going!

Kettler Forlines Homes wishes you a safe and happy holiday season.

As you look ahead to next year, think about making an even bigger change in your life. Many homeowners have discovered that their current residence no longer meets their lifestyle. A home office or classroom (or both), bigger and better space, more storage, a first-floor owner’s suite, and a big yard are high on the priority list

When you’re ready to make the move in northern Maryland and DC Metro, we offer you lots of options. Build or buy in The Reserve at Brightwell Crossing or build on your land. Whatever you choose, you can count on more than 40 years of experience, personal attention, craftsmanship, and unmatched flexibility. Reach out to George Neill to learn more.