There’s no doubt that 2020 has been the year anyone expected. Between stay-at-home orders, quarantining, and business closures, COVID-19 has impacted our everyday lives in countless ways.

Still, that doesn’t mean this ongoing pandemic has to completely ruin the holiday season. In fact, if you get creative and look for the silver lining, you may remember Christmas 2020 as one of your most memorable and favorite holiday seasons to date.

1. Make Arrangements for Your Holiday Card Photo

This year, save yourself the frantic rush of creating and then mailing out your Christmas cards in early to mid-December by planning ahead. To kick things into high gear, start by booking a mini session with a local photographer before picking out outfits for your family that complement each other; just make sure they’re not all too matchy-matchy. Indeed, this small investment can save you ample time and frustration, and you’ll end up with one or more quality family portraits from a 15- to 20-minute photo session.

It’s also helpful to narrow down your Christmas card design options in advance. Start by reviewing some options and then narrow down your selection from five or 10 favorites. Do your favorite designs use photos in landscape or portrait orientation? Identify any patterns and communicate them to your photographer to help guide your photo session. Then, once you receive your edited photos, you’ll be able to finalize your Christmas card design and complete your order more efficiently.

2. Plan Your Holiday Light Display

If one thing is certain this year, it’s that decorating your home with Christmas lights will be one of the safest ways to spread some good, old-fashioned holiday cheer. Christmas parties and sitting on Santa’s lap will likely get canceled this year due to COVID-19, but it won’t stop people from decorating their homes and driving around town to enjoy Christmas lights. So, start planning now how you want to add holiday cheer to your neighborhood.

Whether you opt for a tasteful, minimalistic approach with white lights and festive wreaths trimming your home, or go all out, Griswold style, take the time to plan ahead and sketch out a basic lighting plan. To get started, take measurements of your home to determine the total length of lights that you’ll need. Inventory what you already own and check to make sure everything is in working order. Then, begin gathering your supplies and set a calendar reminder for your installation.

3. Make a Schedule

If there’s one benefit to not going outside beyond running errands and grabbing takeout, it’s more time on our hands spent at home, which usually feels like it’s in short supply during the holidays. Still, even with more time to get things done, you’ll want to create a comprehensive holiday season to-do list to ensure everything goes off without a hitch. This includes everything from compiling your gift list and planning holiday meals to baking and gift wrapping.

From there, you may want to devise a holiday season bucket list with your family by formulating ideas of all the festive things you want to create or do but never have the time for. Include things like neighborhood drives to see lights, making handmade ornaments for your tree, and watching all your favorite Christmas movies. Once you have a comprehensive list of to-dos and activities, create a schedule to help you complete everything before Dec. 25.

Create Memories of a Lifetime this Holiday Season

This holiday season doesn’t have to be hectic, so try to make the most of it. By planning ahead, you can take care of your Christmas cards, decorating and prioritize all of those memory-making holiday activities with your nearest and dearest and finally salvage something wonderful out of 2020.