Traditions are what make the holidays special. The treats. The music. The smells. The decorations. The people. It’s important to keep traditions going, even when it seems tough, or even pointless, to make the effort.

We all need a little extra magic, a little extra hope, this year. We can show our friends and family how much we care for them and appreciate them, even if things can’t be exactly the same. Here are some ideas for you to enjoy the holiday season and spread Christmas cheer.


Keep the rivalry going.

Is your neighbor the biggest fan of a team that happens to be your team’s greatest rival? Start a friendly game of “revenge.” Purchase lights in the colors of your team and hang them on your neighbor’s awning, porch, or a nearby tree. If the snow is just right, sculpt your team’s logo or mascot and spray with appropriate food coloring. Leave signs on the front lawn. All this mischief will raise some laughs – and spirits. And, be prepared to be gotten back.

Eat in an igloo.

Many restaurants have gotten creative with their outdoor dining spaces. They’ve chosen to add igloos around tables or build new covered outdoor spaces that will allow patrons the chance to eat and drink comfortably while still maintaining distance. Support your local eateries, distilleries, breweries, and wineries as much as you can.

Start a new tradition.

Shifting our work, school, and interactions to the virtual environment has been challenging and lackluster at times. Yet we can use this technology to start a new tradition, such as a gingerbread house making party. You may not be able to host cocktails or dinner for everyone this holiday season, but you can buy gingerbread house kits and send them to others with an invitation to join in a Zoom conference to decorate them together. It’s not the same, but it’s a way to spend time with others and have some fun.

Maybe the new tradition is one to get everyone outside on a walk or snowshoe hike, or to have an outdoor bond fire with hot chocolate. Being outside is good for everyone’s health anyways. As in the previous months, we need to get creative.

Make a hot toddy.

Did you know that a hot toddy has been a cure for the common cold since the mid-19th century? But even before that, hot toddies were around to help combat winter dampness, using whatever liquor was available (bourbon, rum, and brandy were American favorites) plus a drizzle of honey or cinnamon, or a spritz of fruit. These days, we tend to stick with beer and wine, or the occasional mixed drink. This year, make an extra special cold-weather drink for those in your household, even if it’s just you and your significant other. Get those ingredients you never get. Make a drink you’ve never made. The internet is full of recipes from some of the best restaurants in the world. Make it a tradition, such as a new hot toddy every Friday evening.

Go on a drive.

As RVers, we love to drive and to experience the world via the road. Take an evening cruise to experience the beauty of the season from the comfort and safety of your vehicle. Some of the well-known lighting displays in Michigan are the Wayne County Lightfest in Westland ($5 per vehicle), the Christmas Light Show in Grand Rapids, Nite Lights at the Michigan Internal Speedway ($25 per vehicle/$45 per motorhome), and Christmas at the Crossroads Holiday Magic Drive Thru in Genesee County ($10 per vehicle). If you feel like walking, then the Detroit Zoo hosts the exceptional event, Wild Nights (information and tickets here).

Of course, sparkle and shine adorn homes and downtown streets, which don’t cost a penny to admire from the sidewalk or comfort of your vehicle. Lakeshore Drive in Grosse Pointe Shores near Detroit is a well-known drive, as the mansions on that stretch are decorated to the nines with twinkling lights and festive decorations. Smaller towns, such as Traverse City, line their downtown blocks with lights and place a large Christmas tree right in the middle of the action (plus, don’t miss taking a drive down Sixth Street). Many towns invite residents to participate in – or even compete – in Light Up the Night events.


How are you planning to spend the holidays? Comment below with your favorite traditions and what you hope to do this year.