Six Creative Things That Will Take Your COVID Holidays Up a Notch!
It’s been a tough year for everyone, but the Holidays always bring an air of festivity and sweetness. This year this can be as true as ever….and may surprising be a more meaningful and authentic one. This year has made us think about everything. It’s made us think about our responsibilities to our world and to each other. It’s made us think about the larger global community and about those dearest to us. So, here are a few things that can magnify joy this unique Holiday season.
Make a quick and easy craft with things already in your kitchen:
Make something that’s Holiday fun. These easy marshmallow mini pops are winners! Serve them in hot chocolate or pop them in your mouth for a delectable treat. So easy to make with things you likely already have in your home. Pull out Nutella, chocolate chips, peanut butter, jams, graham crackers…anything you want for a filling. Grab some marshmallows and your off to a great treat. With a significant other, it’s a sweet evening. For a young family, children will love this kid-friendly treat. Here’s an easy how to:
1. Use regular marshmallows. There are sheets of marshmallows available online and if you are planning and/or happen to have it on hand, they are easy to use. But for most of us, marshmallows are in our cupboard already. Take an individual marshmallow and flatten it with a rolling pin.
2. Cut out your favorite shapes. Use a cooking cutter no larger than 2 inches wide and/or high. Remember, these are minis! If you have letters, you could cut out COVID HOLIDAYS 2020!
3. Use your favorite spread to make a sandwich between two of the flattened marshmallows. Remember you want these to stick and if you are going to make them into pops, chose a heavier filling like peanut butter.
For a smore’s flavored treat, melt down ½ cup of chocolate chips in the microwave for 20 seconds. Stir them up until smooth and add 1/2 crushed graham crackers. Spread this between your marshmallows. *chocolate sets quickly, so you want to spread, close, and insert the pop quickly before chocolate hardens. Wipe off any messy sides to get a clean finish.
4. Use a skewer, disposable fork, popsicle stick or stir as your pop. Insert from the bottom and push ½ way up the figure. Press gentle together from both sides to set the pop.
5. In a small cup, measure ¼ cup of powdered sugar, ½ teaspoon milk, cream (water if you have no dairy). Drizzle the milk slowly and stir as you go until the consistency is pancake batter. Use a knife to spread this mixture on one side of your marshmallow pop.
6. Now the fun! Pull out sprinkles, cake decorating edibles and peppermint candies and/or canes. Crush the peppermint sticks to make peppermint sprinkles. Mix it up! Mix sprinkles together for pops of color. Add draggers or decorative balls as you like. Dip in peppermint, dip in gold flakes…whatever you have dip away.
7. And that’s it! A wonderful treat and fun for everyone. If you went with peanut butter, your marshmallow treat takes a healthier twist…perfect for children.
8. I’ve filled a glass with red sprinkles to stand my pops in. You can do the same. Again, get creative. Fill a pretty bowl with sprinkle layers in different colors for whimsey. For a more elegant display, pearls & gold sprinkles in a champagne flute? Go for it! Do it your way and make sure you take a picture. Next year you’ll be sure to remember this day!
You will be amazed how creative you can be when you shop in your own cabinets. You’ll come up with treats that are uniquely yours and getting there will be half the fun….and certainly memorable.
Box it! or Bag it!
So, we can’t all be together, but we certainly can deliver a little holiday…and what better way than to create some love in a box. Any box will do. Scavenge around your home for something…if not a box, a pretty bag will do…and if not a pretty gift bag, a brown bag will work just as well. It’s the message that gets points with this idea. To help you feel connected with your own humanity and with your community, this is a special something is sure to do just that. Think of friends who may need some extra cheer or a family member you want to send extra love to. Your delivery guy or your front-line care workers…all are deserving of a little love. Get creative and fill a box!
Here is a “tea in a box” treat that I send to friends that I know enjoy English tea on a cold day.
You can roast chestnuts and put them in a bag for a simple yet delectable treat. The point is, make it about you and what you want to say. Neighbor or stranger on a bench, this gift will add dimension to your holiday cheer!
Take it outdoors even though!
It is cold, it is bone chilling…We are all trying to extend our outdoor time and the weather in most parts of the country does not help. Create an event outdoors this winter to create warm fireside memories which your special someone (s).
If you have space, build a bonfire, if you do not, dig up a hole and build a fire pit. If you have a fire pit, pile up logs as high as is safe. And if like many of us, you have little outdoor space, pull out candles, decorative fire elements and cozy blankets.
Set the hour, make a cup of hot chocolate, hot toddy, or apple cider with cinnamon sticks and, snow or not, light that fire. An hour of fireside togetherness goes a long way to create moments that will resonate.
Baking, baking, baking!
Everyone has been baking. It’s not a surprise that in our most challenging time, we go back to basics. A farmer friend told me that it is interesting how suddenly so many are discovering new cooking abilities. She explained that cooking is an inherent part of who we are. That our connection to the earth is essential and that by cooking, we touch the earth. Cooking has a history in our DNA and continues to fill that primal need to connect with ourselves.
We’ve been cooped up. No wonder we are cooking and baking!
Make something special….a holiday scone, a pie, a cinnamon roll, a cookie? And add it to your family traditions…it will forever be known as the pandemic tradition. So, bake away!
COVID 19 has had a humbling effect. The world is in trouble. This year give globally to someone in an extremely poor country or give to an environmental group. Now more than ever, we understand we are not in this alone…but rather an interconnected world. We all have a stake in each other. The U.S. is the wealthiest country in the world. Send a gift with global impact. Give to environmental causes or indigenous peoples (they tend to live off the earth and respect it) to help save the earth. Select several potential groups to give to and make it a couples/family decision. Really talk it out and think about what your dollar will do. If you have a young family, include the children. A memory made at your dinner table can have a global significance and a memory that will live well into the future.