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Fun and safe: Celebrating Christmas in a pandemic

Social distancing doesn't mean getting away from the spirit of the holiday.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Christmas in a pandemic -- it's something we've never had to plan for until now. But with COVID-19 cases on the rise again, the CDC recommends not traveling and instead celebrating virtually. But you can still bond with the people you love and feel the spirit of the holiday. We're here to help with some of the most fun ideas you can use to spice up your socially distanced Christmas party!

Bake Your Favorite Treats

Recipe swaps were a popular idea for Thanksgiving, and now you can share your favorite Christmas treats! You can send out your recipes ahead of time and let everyone make your creations to try for themselves. Don't forget to top off those treats with your favorite decorations!

Arrange a Holiday Movie Night

Just about everyone has a favorite holiday movie (or two). So why not watch them on a video call with your friends and family? The best way is to find your favorite flick on a streaming service and let everyone in on the fun. And, some streaming services like Disney Plus and Amazon Prime have watch party features to make connected viewing even easier.

Set Up a Virtual Secret Santa

The experts at Parade say there's an easy way to pick names and exchange gifts without getting too close. Just put all the names into a name generator (such as this one) and let the luck of the draw do the rest. Then you can send your gifts in whichever manner you prefer. We also recommend setting a spending limit to keep things fair.

Credit: Bass Pro Shops
2020 Santa's Wonderland

Host an Ugly Mask Party

We've all heard of the ugly Christmas sweater. Now you can make a 2020 fashion statement with an ugly holiday mask! Parents.com suggests decorating with your choice of art supplies, especially glitter as long as you can clean up the mess. Get a small prize ready for the "winner!"

Give Back Together

This time of year is not always about what you get -- the spirit of giving is very important. You can team up with your loved ones to contribute to local organizations, such as Metropolitan Ministries. The US Postal Service's "Operation Santa" is another great way to help kids in need -- you can "adopt" a child's letter to Santa and buy a gift on behalf of a child. You'll want to do this one early since it ends on Dec. 19.

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