Due to the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic, we were asked by our provincial government to avoid holiday gatherings this year to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
As we watched the press conference, I could feel the holiday cheer being sucked out of my soul. The holidays are always my favourite time of year: a time of celebration and family in which memories are made that can last a lifetime. As sad as the news made me, it is only right to continue to do our part to keep our loved ones and neighbours safe by coming up with a new plan for the holidays.
Although family gatherings are forbidden, we can still find ways to foster and share holiday cheer. To help with this, I created the Holiday Hunt Challenge: a neighbourhood scavenger hunt for families.
Throughout this pandemic, we have been encouraged to get outside on a daily basis to get some fresh air and exercise. The Holiday Hunt Challenge is a physical activity prompt with holiday cheer in mind. Here’s how it works:
Families can print out the Holiday Hunt Challenge sheet that is most aligned to their family’s traditions (there are two version of the sheet, each with a different set of holiday icons). With their sheet in hand, families of the same household can hit the pavement on a quest to find all 16 of the challenge items. To check an item off the list, families have to spot it in the holiday decorations that they can find around their neighbourhood. Once they have found all 16 items, families have to option to complete the Holiday Cheer Award Google Form (which is linked in the challenge sheet) to have a customized participation certificate automagically emailed to them!
Families can go about the challenge in their own way and at their own pace: there is no need to find ALL 16 items on a single outing! In my family, we will aim to complete one row each night that we head out to look at the holiday decorations our neighbours have put up around our borough.
Here are a few extra pro tips to help you get the most out of your Holiday Hunt Challenge:
1. Wear a mask and respect physical distancing from neighbours you cross along the way. Don’t forget to wash your hands when you get home!
2. Dress warmly so that you can enjoy your Holiday Hunt with as much coziness as possible.
3. I always like to play some holiday carols off of my phone/Bluetooth speaker to spread a little more cheer around the neighbourhood.
4. Smile and say hello to people you pass (from a distance, of course).
5. I dunno about you, but hot chocolate always seems to make everything better!
I’ll be sharing this challenge with families in my community and encouraging them to share their experiences on social media using the #HolidayHuntChallenge hashtag. Despite this pandemic forcing us all to be apart this year, we can still find ways to come together as one community!
Enjoy your Holiday Hunt! Have a healthy, happy holiday season!