By Kristel Véliz:

Sometime back in October I was walking down the corridor of my residence and I saw this on one of my neighbour’s doors:



Honestly, not only did it make my day (did someone say surprise chocolate?) but it also got me thinking about how creative people are getting about celebrating the holidays despite the current restrictions. So yes, we are under rough weather, but that doesn’t mean that celebrations have to stop! If you don’t know where to start, I have compiled a few tips that can help you make the best of the holiday season.

Christmas / Hanukkah / Winter Solstice

Photo by Jonathan Borba from


Obviously, virtual zoom gatherings will be the golden rule this year, but don’t forget that this is also the season to give! Now that we might have a bit more time in our schedules (less commuting, hello!), we can touch base with our inner artist and spread the love by creating cards from scratch, recording carols, or making a collage of special greetings for our loved ones.

Giving to the community is also important for many of us during the holidays. While in-person volunteering is less feasible these days, at least for those of us in red alert zones like Montréal, online volunteering is up and running. Volunteer/Bénévoles Canada has a good database of online opportunities categorized by province, and Centre d’Action Bénévole Montréal – CAMB is holding webinars on the volunteering landscape during a time of upheaval, as well as posting information regarding volunteering opportunities. Thinking big? Why not take your volunteering to the next level with a worldwide impact? The United Nations has its own virtual volunteering platform where you can check out online opportunities available around the world. Prefer local instead? Ringing up the Montréal municipality at 211 to ask about available (remote) opportunities in your district is another option to explore.

Last, but not least: If you have been far away from family or people you love the most, you could consider moving for the next two or three months – provided you quarantine or follow any other government guidelines to do so, of course – in order to be in the same household and get your dose of love and celebration this year. The key is to plan ahead and be up-to-date with the latest information on how to travel/move safely under Covid.

Office tip: Remember that your home office is still an office! So, you can decorate your workspace as well. Also, keep in mind that any volunteering initiative that you are participating in can be expanded to your work team or even your entire company/organisation. When it comes to giving, the more the merrier!

Western New Year

Photo by cottonbro from


This year hasn’t been the best one, agreed, but maybe all this time at home has gotten you thinking about what is most important in your life, or about areas where you can make some personal improvement. As things eventually (and hopefully) go back to normal, don’t let go of those thoughts – capture those ideas in a diary or a notebook. You can sit down and make some (actually realistic!) New Year’s resolutions or just paste post-its and pictures on your fridge of activities you would like to do or goals you would like to achieve in 2021. If your fridge is too small, you can spend some time creating a resolution wall or board in any space that you think would be suitable at home! Even the bathroom counts, lol!

Office tip: Of course, this will depend on how well you get along or the synergy you have with your team but you may be able to casually share work-related resolutions and goals for 2021. Talk to your boss or team leader, if necessary, and try to book some Zoom time with a drink or two and have a moment of sharing and motivation with your colleagues! I recently discovered Jamboard for brainstorming, and I think it is an excellent tool for this kind of exercise. Also, keep in mind that the advantages of sharing goals/resolutions with other people is that they can help you stay on track and keep you accountable to your promises.

Is your birthday coming?

Photo by Inga Seliverstova from 


Jump into your fave dress (or PJs!) and get that zoom party started! There is no better way of going about a celebration than by doing it. I have heard people wanting to skip birthdays because of the pandemic and, although I get the point, it is important to keep our routines and positive attitudes to keep our spirits up and keep going. Adapting is survival!

While looking for birthday celebration ideas, I came across this site (Zoom, zoom party – French only) with some interesting ones for kids, but, honestly, I think they apply to adults as well! You can check the full list in the link, but some of my favorites are creating a song or dance for the birthday girl/boy, camping in the living room with a film, and creating a video collage of birthday wishes.

The Good Housekeeping site has also amazing ideas on this including “deliver champagne to doorstep” (yes, please!) and hosting a Netflix party (via an extension from Chrome, which, and maybe it’s just me but, I didn’t know existed/was possible!).

Office tip: Working on your birthday? Why not schedule a Zoom coffee & cake for you and your colleagues? It is true that each of you will have to get their own coffee and own cake, but hey, they can still sing happy birthday, and you will be able to enjoy all the good vibes and (alas, virtual) love.



Finally, the most important thing when it comes to celebrations is to keep them going, and keep sending out your best vibes to the world so that when better times come soon, we can all party a little bit closer together!