Cultivating Connection Over a COVID Christmas

Updated June 24, 2023

I am not the only one thinking about celebrating Christmas early, it just seems like a good reason to look up and not just around us. In this different year, we’ve been working hard to stay connected to each other, the Back2Back staff, and the Lord. We’re grateful for the trauma training we’ve had over the years, as we work with vulnerable children and the truth that connection and presence bring healing. 

Here’s our Guckenberger holiday game plan; I’m sharing it for accountability and encouragement. May you experience an extraordinary relationship this season.

(Activities for) Cultivating Connection Over a COVID Christmas

Compete. I know it sounds counter the goal, but we will be playing lawn games, board games, card games, and football games… It provides the opportunity for healthy teasing and team building.

Chips and salsa. Here’s our recipe, it’s easy and reminds us of people and places we love.  4-6 red tomatoes, ½ onion, 2 jalapenos, salt, 1 bunch cilantro. Boil tomatoes, onion, and jalapenos until soft. Blend in blender, adding cilantro and salt to taste.

Christmas movies. Sometimes they play in the background like music, but it adds to the festive spirit of the house. My favorite: It’s a Wonderful Life!

Cut-out cookies. It’s more like a craft you can eat, but anything that creates memories, can be a competition, and tastes great, is a win in our house. I pre-make the dough to have on hand, so when the mood strikes, it’s ready.

Create a custom family Christmas playlist. This gives us a chance to express our uniqueness to each other. There is literally every category of music represented, but it just adds to the party.

Church. Even masked, it feels more important than ever to gather with others and worship.

Christmas caroling. Our kids mock us and pretend to hate it, but there would be rioting if we didn’t do it. Pro tip: put small kids upfront, they are cute and distracting from any off-key singing!

Capitalize on long-standing traditions. Since much has been different this year, making sure we ice skate, or eat a meal downtown, or go to the movies on Christmas night feels extra important. 

Carry someone’s burden. We want to reinforce our family’s cultural value of generosity, so we’ll be on the lookout for opportunities to serve. 

Chill. It’s been a wild year, with disappointment, sprinting, and plenty of pivots, so rest is more important than ever before!

I hope you and yours have an amazing rest of 2020. Let’s redeem it and finish strong, anchored to Jesus, and talking about things that matter with each other. Amen.

About Author

Beth Guckenberger is the Co-Executive Director of Back2Back Ministries and founder of the Reckless Faith Movement. Beth and Todd have a large family they’ve formed through biological, foster, and adoptive children. She is an author and speaker, sharing her experience as a mother, a missionary, and a student of God’s Word.