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How to Plan a Non-Traditional Christmas

For us to plan this non-traditional Christmas getaway we had some extra things to consider because of the current covid crisis. We were unsure about travel at all but…. We decided to stay not too far from home (driving distance — 2.5hrs) and we chose a townhome versus a hotel so it is more open and less crowded and more conducive to social distancing.

We also chose a place that we have visited before and know about the cleanliness level. We are still bringing our own cleaning products and thoroughly scrubbing the place down before staying there though…because…virgo.

In non-covid times there are still a lot of things to think about when attempting to plan a non-traditional Christmas. 
Here are a few things to consider and tips for planning your own non-traditional Christmas

Brainstorm as a family

If you are a “family meetings” type of crew and even if you’re not, it’s fun to sit as a family and brainstorm ideas of what to do for your non-traditional Christmas. Agree that everyone gets to speak everyone gets to chip in ideas and…

Take at least one idea from each family member

To have the planning session feel inclusive and have every family member be heard take one idea (big or small) from each family member. This way everyone feels like they’ve had to say in the new family plans.

A non-traditional Christmas doesn’t have to be a big to do. It doesn’t mean you have to fly to Paris on Christmas Eve, but it could mean that as well… Just saying. But just making a few little tweaks to your Christmas routine could shake things up and make this holiday season a lot more fun and interesting.

Here are A few ideas to get the brainstorm going:

Non-traditional food

If your family normally has the same traditional items on the holiday table perhaps this is the year you choose to mix it up a bit. Maybe eat out at a restaurant, or order in! On my dad’s side of the family we always have traditional southern American food. On my mom’s side of the family we always have traditional Jamaican food. This year since we are going away our family is going to have whatever the heck we feel like each day. Sushi? Mexican? Whatever!

Change of clothing

Do you normally dress up for Christmas or Christmas Eve? If so maybe create a new tradition of having a pajama day for Christmas and get the whole family matching jammies. If you’re not the dress up type of family maybe try it out this year and go super elegant for your Christmas celebrations. Do your hair all fancy and makeup all cool too.


This is a tricky one this year but maybe next year you can plan a Christmas cruise or vacation. Or or take a little day trip away or head to a local Airbnb for a change of scenery. Everyone’s been bitten by the travel bug now that they’ve been cooped up at home all year.

Gift alternatives

If you normally do lots of little gifts for each family member maybe one huge gift instead, maybe gift experiences instead of products, maybe do a secret Santa or white elephant instead of traditional gifting, or perhaps you make one huge family gift that truly benefits everyone in the household.


Maybe take the focus off of gifting your family and put it on helping others for a non-traditional Christmas plan. Do shopping and gifting for a family in need or donate time at a food bank or one of the many nonprofits doing good work around this time of year.

Do it in July

If you want to really go non-traditional skip December altogether and do Christmas in July. You avoid the hectic shopping and rushed energy of December and you’ll have a fun treat in the middle of the summer that’s like a secret special holiday for just for your family.

Things to consider:

Budget for your Christmas plans in advance if they require travel or additional expenses that you don’t normally occur with your traditional Christmas plans.

Eating out – If traveling away be sure to plan meals carefully due to restaurant schedules that might be limited for the holidays.

I hope this mini list helped get your gears turning and sparked a good brainstorm for you. Enjoy your non-traditional Christmas plan, no matter what you end up doing.

What non-traditional celebration would you enjoy?

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