How to Celebrate the Holiday Season When Working from Home

Who thought we’d be celebrating Christmas alone at home back in March? Event organizers were rescheduling concerts and marathons for September, sure we’d have the Coronavirus situation under control by fall. Instead, cases are skyrocketing in many countries around the world, with record numbers here in the US. Sadly, that means that we probably can’t have “normal” holiday celebrations without flouting rules meant to keep us safe. 

I’m certainly sad that I won’t be able to keep many of my favorite Christmas traditions this year. But I’m just grateful that my family and I are healthy, when there are so many families who will be missing loved ones this holiday season.

With so much sadness and loss this year, we need the joy of the holiday season. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or even Festivus, the holiday season is about remembering and recognizing what you are thankful for. And this year, that’s more important than ever.

Here are some tips to enjoy the holiday season even if you’re working from home or unable to spend time with your family in person this year.

Please note: this post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no cost to you. I only recommend products that I use myself and truly recommend. Please read my disclaimer for full info.

How to Celebrate the Holidays When Working From Home

Decorate Your Home Office

I don’t know about you, but nothing gets me in the holiday spirit like decorating. In normal years, I’m firmly in the “Christmas decorations shouldn’t come out of storage before Black Friday” camp, but this isn’t a normal year. I started decorating at the beginning of November.

We can all use a little extra cheer this year, so I’m going all out with my decorations. And that includes my home office. My holiday door signs were the first decorations I hung. When the door is closed, my sister knows to stay out!

Since I’m working from home, I’m treating the whole house as my extended workspace. My sister and I share an office, so we have to fight over the space when we both have meetings at the same time. I often end up using the dining room table as a desk when this happens. So I’m making sure every room of my house is decorated so I can stay in the holiday spirit all day long. 

I’ve hung up lights and Christmas wall art throughout the house. These little touches have already brightened my mood. Whenever I need a break from remote work frustrations, my Christmas decorations will help me feel just a little bit better.

Christmas Door Sign
Christmas Wall Art

Set the Mood with Music

I have found there are two types of people: those who love Christmas music, and those who hate it. There really isn’t an in between. 

I fall firmly in the love category. Sure. I’m not one of those people who starts playing Christmas songs before Halloween, but my Spotify changes to only Christmas music as soon as we finish Thanksgiving dinner.

Just as with decorations, I’m starting early with my music this year. “Little Drummer Boy,” “White Christmas,” and yes, “All I Want for Christmas is You,” are all queued up and ready to go.

Treat Yourself

Of course, with the holidays comes the opportunity to treat yourself. And if there was any year where you could feel okay cheating on your diet, it’d be this one. 

We have decorative bowls that we put out every year to fill with Christmas chocolates. Peppermint M&Ms and Wilbur Buds are our treats of choice. Once we get closer to Christmas, candy canes and Christmas Cookies round out our supply.

This may not be the healthiest option to keep up your spirits this holiday season, but it’s okay to go easy on yourself sometimes. Especially this year. We have to forgo so many traditions this year, that I think having a little extra sugar is a more than acceptable tradeoff.

Christmas Candy

But Stay Healthy 

It’s fine to indulge a little more than normal this year, but be mindful of your health. It’s more important than ever that we care for our physical and mental wellbeing. 

Staying positive isn’t easy, but make sure to take plenty of time for yourself and keep everything in perspective. Sleep is important for both your physical and mental health, so take advantage of the early sunsets and try to go to bed a little earlier. 

Keep up your energy by working out. It’ll also help keep your weight in check after you eat all those treats! Programs like Beachbody can help you stay fit in only 20-30 minutes a day, leaving you plenty of time to finish all of your work during the day and squeeze in a Hallmark Christmas movie at night. 

For more suggestions on how to stay healthy while you’re working from home, check out these tips.

Kettlebell next to a Christmas Tree and Baubles

Virtual Holiday Party

Of course, one of the best parts about the holiday season is all the parties. Unfortunately, in-person gatherings are pretty much out of the picture this year. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun!

Throw a virtual holiday party with your coworkers or family using these tips. While it won’t be the same exact experience as your normal office Christmas party, you can still hold your annual Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest. You can even keep your White Elephant Gift Exchange—just make it virtual this year.

Need ideas for what to get your coworkers for Christmas when you can’t bring a gift to the office? Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered there, too. Here are 20 perfect gifts for your coworkers.

Virtual Gift Exchange

Prioritize your Work-Life Balance

Finally, remember to put yourself first. The holiday season can be stressful at the best of times. This year, typical stressors can be amplified by fears about yours and your family’s health, money, and even lack of socializing.

Go easy on yourself the rest of the year. Sure, you may have benchmarks you’re trying to reach at work. But nothing is more important than you and your wellbeing 

Chances are, your boss is struggling just like you. She’ll understand. And it doesn’t matter how productive you are this month if you burn out by January. 

If you normally go on vacation in December, plan a staycation. Choose a safe activity you can do outdoors or at home with your family that can help you forget about everything for a little while. Take some extra days off at the end of the year. Or indulge in some extra self care every night with a mug of hot chocolate (or some whiskey!) a comforting bath, and your favorite Christmas tunes. 

Woman Drinking Hot Cocoa at Christmas

Enjoy This Holiday Season However You Can

No, this Christmas won’t look the same as the ones you fondly remember from your childhood. But with some creativity and a little assistance from technology, you can still stay in touch with your family and friends. Go a little overboard on your decorations and holiday treats, and dive head-on into the Christmas spirit. This year, anything goes.

What are your plans for this holiday season?

Related Posts

How to Set Goals and Achieve Them

How to Set Goals and Achieve Them

The Importance of Goal Setting When was the last time you actually kept your New Year's resolution? According to a US News Report, 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by February. There’s a good reason for it.  New Year’s resolutions fail because we don’t treat them as...

Unique Advent Calendars: Getting Creative with Countdowns

Unique Advent Calendars: Getting Creative with Countdowns

Advent calendars are one of the most cherished Christmas traditions for many families. But many of today’s Advent calendars bear little resemblance to the supermarket chocolate boxes of our childhood. Now, you can buy fancy gourmet chocolate Advent calendars....



  1. Hi, I love this post! I am working from home since March and start to hate it. So here I will put some Christmas spirit to be more productive, I hope!

    • It’s only been a few days since I put my decorations up, and I have to say it’s actually really helped. I’m super busy and stressed about getting everything done before the holidays, but walking into the next room and seeing all the decorations gives me an immediate mood boost!

  2. Great ideas. I particularly like the section on prioritizing work-life balance. It’s far too easy to get in the mode of just working away when you don’t have the distractions of co-workers. Conversely, it can also be easy to become overly distracted by the bustle of home activities around you.

    Since Thanksgiving and Christmas this year will almost certainly be a ‘stay-home – no party’ affair, you give some usable ideas to make it just a little better.

    • I’m glad you found it useful! Prioritizing work-life balance has been one of the most challenging aspects about working from home for me, and it’s gotten harder as we’re trying to finish work for the end of the year. But I’ve found that when I separate work from home I’m actually more productive during the day, so it works out.

  3. Such great tips! I’m thinking of doing a virtual hangout with my family for thanksgiving. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • I hope you’re able to use some of the tips for your virtual Thanksgiving! So many people will have to do the same thing this year, and we’re all figuring it out together.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *