Keeping Christmas spirits high while at home


Natalie Dosmond '21

There are several ways to celebrate Christmas from home this year while taking precautions.

Although some Christmas traditions and celebrations may look different this year, many festive activities can occur safely at home, following COVID-19 protocols.  There are several ways individuals can continue to maintain holiday cheer and keep the Christmas spirit high while adhering to regulations.

This year, Shay is finding ways to maintain the Christmas spirit at home with her family.  Courtesy of Shay Newman ’21

At-home activities to ring in the holiday season include baking cookies, decorating gingerbread houses, wrapping presents, and putting up decorations around the house.  Mrs. Paula Westcott, Upper School Art Teacher, shared her favorite at-home Christmas traditions, which include crafting homemade Christmas tree ornaments.

“I love to see the ornaments that bring back happy memories of family trips, new babies, pets, and special places,” Mrs. Westcott said.  “My favorite ornaments are the ones that were handmade by my children, friends, and ones that I made myself.  The last few years I have been making ornaments using glass balls, Sculpey clay, and oil paint.”

As her favorite time of the year is Christmas, senior Shay Newman and her family celebrate with several holiday-themed activities and traditions.

“This year, I initiated an elf on the shelf competition in our house to keep spirits high,” Shay said.  “Each member of our family is going to take turns hiding the elf in various challenging places throughout the house and we are going to keep track of who found it first the most.  I have also been watching virtual Christmas performances and movies to get me in the Christmas spirit.”

For children all around the world, a popular Christmas tradition is visiting Santa at nearby malls or other locations in the community.  This year, an alternative option to these in-person visits is writing letters to Santa while staying safe at home.  Each year, United States Post Offices receive hundreds of thousands of letters from children and families around the country, according to

Christmastime is usually spent with close relatives, however, for some that is not possible this year due to travel restrictions.  Families who are not able to come together in person at this time of year can still connect and enjoy each other’s company using virtual platforms, such as Zoom.

Junior Alexandra Hannett’s favorite Christmas tradition is visiting her family in the Philippines.  She discussed how she is fortunate to still connect with family virtually this year.  Alexandra looks forward to making the best of the situation while spending her Christmas at home this year.

Mrs. Paula Westcott makes Christmas tree ornaments.  Courtesy of Mrs. Westcott

“We’re doing things like decorating our house, making gingerbread houses, and lighting the Christmas tree, which are all things that we didn’t really engage in as much before because we were away most of Christmas break,” Alexandra said.  “Also, thanks to Zoom, we are able to call our family in the Philippines regularly.  Even though it’s not our typical Christmas I’m grateful to be staying safe and healthy this year and I’m really excited to experience Christmas at home.”

Shay has enjoyed spending time with her family and maintaining Christmas cheer during this holiday season, despite the circumstances.

“We love sitting downstairs in front of the fire listening to Christmas playlists,” Shay said.  “I think this year has been really hard on everyone and I am genuinely so excited to see everyone’s spirits lifted during this time of immense love and joy.”

Featured Image by Natalie Dosmond ’21