A: We LOVE this idea. A cookie exchange CAN be done safely, and in fact, it’s just the kind of creativity we need to spread joy in this year’s unique holiday season.
We know that many of our holiday traditions are too risky this year. From loud, boisterous meals to crowding our loved ones around the fireplace for games, holiday gatherings have a lot of the makings of COVID-19 transmission.
But forgoing these traditions does NOT mean all hope is lost! The joy we get from connections with loved ones is needed now more than ever – we just need to think a little bit outside the (cookie) box.
So, back to Mark’s cookie exchange. This is a great way to spread a little joy with friends or family! To reduce contact, we recommend that each person package their cookies in individual bags or boxes, and then the host can mix and match cookie packages to create variety packs for each family. This helps make sure the host doesn’t have to touch all the cookies to whip up the cookie boxes (which probably isn’t the most sanitary even outside of the pandemic).
With a contactless or outdoor (physically distant and masked) drop off and some careful hand-washing, you and your fellow bakers can enjoy a little variety pack of cookies in no time! Sharing NOT required. 🍪🍪🍪
So, what if baking isn’t your thing? We’ve got a few more ideas for safer holiday celebrations this year, both virtual and in-person:
– Plan a drive-by 🚗 🛴 🚲 visit for a family member or friend in need of a fun surprise and host a parade outside their house – bonus points for decorating your car, bike, or scooter with festive lights!
– If your tradition is Secret Santa/Snowflake, mail or drop off gifts for your loved ones! 🎁 You could open them together via Zoom or pretend you’re an Instagram celebrity and film an “unboxing” to send to the gift-giver.
– Host a small group of friends or family members in your backyard – warm up your guests with some hot chocolate or a roaring firepit. 🔥 Make sure to keep any in-person gathering SMART (more reminders at the link below) by keeping physical distance and masking up.
– Offer to pick up or order groceries for homebound loved ones or neighbors, or gift them a meal subscription service to help take the planning out of all this cooking 🍳
– Help your family or friends stay connected by phone or video. 📱💻 Apps like Houseparty, Facebook Messenger Kids, or group FaceTime help you feel “together” from afar
– Organize a virtual game night (🎮 Jackbox Games, anyone?) to keep the traditional competitive spirit alive
– Find a way to give to those in need. 🍽 🛒 🛡 Many people are hurting right now, and there are so many ways you can help – giving to food banks, donating to nonprofits in your area, or even delivering care packages! Check out the article below for more care package ideas.
– Record and send a virtual carol 🎼 🎹 to a loved one who could use a burst of joy. You can even download a free karaoke app to get the background music just right!
– Do some of your annual holiday traditions at the same time, but virtually – for example, the author of this post just enjoyed making an annual batch of holiday candy “together” with family over FaceTime! 🍬🍫
Hopefully these ideas can help get the wheels turning for how you can celebrate your favorite parts of the holiday season safely. Check out even more ideas in the links below!
While traditional gatherings may be off the table this year, it is well worth the time and effort to find a new way to “gather” virtually and to keep your loved ones safe at home.
Stay safe, stay sane,
Those Nerdy Girls