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Here are a few ideas to make a socially distanced and magical Christmas season

Christmas this year seems to be about spending a little more time at home and a little less time out and about at Upstate events. To date the Poinsettia Christmas parade and the Dickens of a Christmas have been canceled, but that doesn’t mean that there won’t be tinsel and time to make it extra special for your family. Here are a few ideas to make it a socially distanced and magical Christmas season.

1.             Visit the Anderson Christmas Lights. It is open from Thanksgiving to Christmas, but will be operating without the Santa Villages this year – lights only.

2.             Visit Ice on Main in Greenville or Skating on the Square in Spartanburg. Both are operating with COVID safety precautions in place. and 

3.             Get cozy in your family room and stream live, local ballet. Carolina Ballet Theatre’s “Nutcracker: Once Upon a Time in Greenville” will be live streamed Dec. 4 - 6 and 11 - 13. The live stream will be free to access but donations are encouraged. For details visit

4.             Get outdoors and participate in a virtual 5K this month. The Jingle Bell Run in Columbia is virtual this year so there is no reason that you and your family can’t participate in a little mid-December fitness in your own neighborhood.

5.             Be a Secret Santa this year with your family. Adopt a neighbor and make gifts and treats for them this year. Be super stealthy and leave them on their porch for them to find.

6.             Have an outdoor movie night. The weather may be crisp, but you can have a firepit and a movie night with friends and still maintain a conversational distance.

7.             Pick a food pantry that needs some extra supplies and make a donation. Give each child in your family $5 – $10 and see what they can locate in the grocery store to donate. It is a spirit of giving activity as a family.

8.             Spend a night in front of the fireplace or the Christmas tree and try to string popcorn and cranberries and oranges for the birds. It isn’t as easy as it seems. 

9.             Try doing Secret Santa at home, too. Have each family member pick a name out of the hat and then think of no cost surprises they can do for that family member all month long. Surprises can be as simple as putting the toothpaste on their toothbrush, turning their covers down for the night, or doing a chore they hate. Don’t get caught. 

10.         Drive around local neighborhoods and see the lights. Halloween was a spectacle to behold with neighborhoods going all out, so I expect Christmas will be a neighborhood light spectacular.

11.         Gather all your loose change and locate a Salvation Army bell ringer to donate it to. Fill those buckets because this year there may be an extra need.

12.         Every Friday make it a Christmas craft night. Bake those cookies, watch Hallmark movies, play a board game, make a gingerbread house, call your relatives.

13.         Have a Christmas music dance party and make up a new set of moves you perform as a family. Bonus points if you perform it on Zoom or FaceTime to another family member.

14.         Go caroling around your neighborhood. Wear masks and entertain your neighbors with bad singing as you stand at the top of their driveway.