Large Christmas celebrations and COVID-19 don’t mix. After all, we’ve already seen some annual holiday happenings get nixed, including the Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes, which got its start in 1933.

And with coronavirus cases still on the rise, it’s likely a lot more of our favorite big holiday events and gatherings won’t take place this year either. To keep the COVID-holiday blues at bay, here’s a list of how you and your loved ones can adapt your most treasured holiday traditions and celebrations during the ongoing pandemic.

1. Handmade Gifts

One of the more stressful parts of the holiday season is rushing out to buy gifts for everyone on your list. This usually means long lines, rushed purchases, and increased spending. But with our normal, everyday lives seemingly at a standstill since March, we know full well fewer holiday parties and gift exchanges, if any, will take place in December.

While that spells bad news for many people, it also means you can take your time and get a little creative with each gift you’re planning on giving. Not to mention, DIYing your holiday gifts can help decrease anxiety and boost overall mental well-being, a benefit we could all use right now. With Pinterest pages already filling up, find some gift inspiration for your clan, and get ready to create!

2. Annual Holiday Photoshoot

This tradition can be part game and part art. Need some inspiration? Use funny props or poses to make your holiday photo card both a hit amongst friends and family and an instant classic to remember in the years to come. For example, try capturing your kids in a favorite spot around your home in their Christmas pajamas or Santa hats, and then every year aim to re-create the same photo. Indeed, these special photos will help catalog your children’s growth and maturity (or lack thereof) and serve as a measuring stick to how your family changes over the years.

3. Christmas Cards

With all the extra time on your hands this year, why not dedicate at least some of it to leveling up your holiday cards? Designing and personalizing a family card can be an enjoyable project in which to get everyone involved. Start by asking each of your immediate family members to jot down something brief about the memories they had and the significant events they experienced over the past year. Once everyone has shared their story, begin designing a fun photo card and compile your family’s message on the back for a truly memorable holiday greeting.

4. A Dessert to Remember

There’s something synonymous with the holiday season and sharing delectable desserts. To that end, this year try your hand at a Buche de Noel or think about having a Zoom call with grandma to perfect her classic Christmas cookie recipe.

As another fun option, you can create a decked out gingerbread house. Go all out for the kids and add a variety of toppings, like crushed candy canes, chocolate chips, marshmallows, and colored icing, to serve as the decorative “glue,” of course. Got older kids you want to join in? Then why not have a gingerbread decorating challenge! Come up with a theme everyone has to follow, divide into teams to make things more fun, and enjoy the unique creations everyone comes up with.

Reimagine the Spirit of the Season

Of course, we’re all acutely aware that life looks a little different these days. While COVID-19 will almost certainly affect the way we celebrate the holidays, it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. This year, embrace celebrating virtually, take the time to slow down, and embrace family traditions (new and old alike) like creating festive holiday cards and baking epic desserts.