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Crowded malls, choral concerts, the giant office party, and family reunions may be canceled—but Christmas is still coming! Though the holidays look a little socially different this year, we’re anticipating all the little ways we can still bring the spirit of the season home. 

Here are a few of our Design Lead Heather Goerzen’s suggestions on turning up the Christmas vibes for a holly jolly holiday, even at a distance.

Do Good

Remember the excitement of counting down until Christmas morning? Bring it back by creating your own advent calendar—with a twist. Start with a large poster board and paste on envelopes numbered for each day leading up until Christmas. Write random acts of kindness on pieces of paper before slipping them into the envelopes (think baking cookies for the kids’ teacher, grocery shopping for an elderly neighbor, paying a stranger a compliment). Draw one good deed daily to share the spirit of the season. As Washington Irving so poignantly stated, “Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart.” Let’s pay it forward.

Give Gratitude

Even in the midst of the heartbreak this year has seen, glimmers of hope have shined through. To celebrate these small sentiments, decorate a gratitude tree. Place several large, bare branches (forage, buy online, or purchase from your local floral shop) in an oversized vase. Each day, write one thing you’re thankful for on a kraft gift tag and hang it on your tree. At the end of the season, your little tree will be fully decked with ornaments of thanksgiving sure to nurture a deeper sense of appreciation.

Have a Sustainable Season

While we’re into the spirit of gift-giving and decorating the holidays bring, it’s not always the most eco friendly. Embrace a few more sustainable practices to benefit both the environment and your wallet. Consider alternate gifts this year such as handmade presents, houseplants, and experiences rather than things. And, try following the traditional Japanese method of furoshiki by skipping the paper and wrapping your gifts in cloth or fabric. It’ll give your gifts an upleveled, vintage vibe with less waste.

Gather for Gifts, Virtually

Though our gatherings may look different this year, there are still plenty of creative ways to enjoy each other’s company from afar. Host a virtual gift exchange and encourage handmade presents. It’ll give you the opportunity to gift your craftiness forward. Assign each person a recipient, and have them mail their handmade present directly to that person’s home in advance. Then, BYOWine or eggnog and enjoy unwrapping thoughtful creations together.

Glow On

The holiday season brings with it a sense of magic and wonder. Bring the cozy glowy vibes indoor this year by hanging lights around your home. Drape your mantle or hallway arch, string them vertically along your curtains, or gather strands in little glass jars. Another easy way to illuminate the spirit of the season is to scatter collections of various sized mason jars filled with candles about your home. Simply light and enjoy the glimmer.

Christmas tree in living room

Words by Avery Johnson