8 Ways to Spend Your Christmas Without a Large Gathering

How To Spend Your Holiday Away From Family

Whether it’s Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, Halloween, or any other special day, spending a holiday away from family can be very difficult if you are used to being surrounded by family on these days. So many things these days bring us away from family, for us it was a move out of state for my career. Then Coronavirus came and we had another reason that prevented us from visiting family for holidays. Despite the change it is still important to enjoy holidays, and not spend them being sad and depressed because we are focused on those we can’t be with. 

Whether it’s a career, the weather, a pandemic, a sick child, or whatever else life throws at us that keeps us from seeing family on a holiday, it is our choice to make the most of the holiday. For the sake of everyone’s mental health take this time to choose to enjoy the holiday and perhaps create a new tradition for yourself and your family.

It is during these holiday times that we have to get creative. There are so many things in life that we can be grateful for, and a bucket list I imagine most of us haven’t completed yet. So, why not use a holiday to count our blessings and maybe even check off one of those items on our bucket list?

Below are eight options of how to spend your holiday away from family.


This is something you can spend your time focusing on, and feel accomplished at the end. The project can be anything you would like or something you want to try. Some examples are making bottle rockets, or gardening, or refurbishing a piece of furniture, or getting a new shelf to put together and organizing your stuff on. Spend the week prior to the holiday gathering supplies you will need, and have everything laid out the day of. Turn on some of your favorite tunes and let the magic begin!

Project Holidays can also be themed, obviously you can choose any theme, but a theme matching the holiday you are celebrating often adds more holiday spirit to the day.  This year for Thanksgiving we will be making a paper mache pumpkin and painting it. Then we will start the new holiday tradition of writing on our pumpkin every year in permanent marker what we are grateful for!

2)    GAME DAY

There are so many choices for this section. Of course you have, watching sports on t.v. as an option, always a past time favorite.  There are also on-line games to choose from either on a PC or gaming console. The on-line games are nice for holidays because you could select a game where you can virtually play with family that you cannot be with, in person on the holiday. Or you can have a day of board games, this is a great opportunity for a game of Monopoly uninterrupted. There are also on-line forums for board games if you do not have someone in person to play the game with you. This is also a great opportunity to teach children card games or have a card house competition. 


The most delicious way to spend a holiday is trying new recipes. It’s also always best to try a new recipe when you have ample time to troubleshoot the unexpected. If you have all day you might as well try out new recipes for a three course meal and dessert! Or you can choose a very challenging recipe that you know will take hours to make. A bonus is that if you learn a new recipe you will have something new to make your friends and family next time you get together with them. 


Most of us spend months trying to fit in a day to pamper ourselves. If we have a holiday where we can’t go anywhere why not spend the day caring for our hair, our nails, our skin, our overall body, or our mental health. Start the day with a face mask or dying your hair, and end the holiday with painting your nails a festive holiday color or pattern. After this holiday is over you will feel refreshed and have an amazing look to show off to your friends and family. 


This is a great opportunity to explore your surrounding areas, just be sure to double check that where you selected to visit is open on the holiday you are going on. You can visit a museum, a zoo, a historical site, a body of water(waterfalls), a city or town, an amusement park, etc. The list goes on and on. Take the day to explore a new place and take lots of photos to commemorate the holiday trip.


We reserve 1 to 2 holidays a year for this.  For the homebodies out there, I imagine it sounds ideal.  You can stay in reading, playing board games, video games, watching movies, or show marathons, and then step out for a nice meal at a restaurant or order in if you’re feeling too cozy to leave. You can also select a restaurant you would not typically order from as a treat for the holiday.  

7)    HIKES

This is a wonderful way to explore your surroundings and have a healthy holiday.  Burning calories while making memories is always a noteworthy accomplishment.  Hikes are breathtaking journeys that often pass through sections with no cell phone service. There is something about having no cell phone service that makes it easier for you to connect with your surroundings and not think about all the people you could be on the phone with.  Be sure to pack some delicious snacks and plenty of water!


The next best thing to family is the family you choose, friends. So, if possible, plan a get together with friends for a holiday. Everyone appreciates a potluck, and it takes the heat off from you cooking everything, but even meeting friends out for a meal on a holiday will fill your time with hours of conversation and laughter.

Whatever you choose to do, be sure to take pictures, the cheesier the better, and it will help commemorate the effort and experience.

Leave a Comment