Archive for April 30, 2020

Ten Ways to Celebrate Teacher’s Day While School is On Hold

There’s no doubt about it, teachers certainly haven’t had an easy time in their career. In an average year, teachers go the extra mile to make their classroom a great place to learn. Often, they spend their own money on supplies and work longer hours than they should. However, this year, they’ve really had to step it up even more with online learning and so much more. That is why it is important to show your support and appreciation to these unsung heroes. These ten ideas will help you bring some joy to the teachers in your life while still practicing social distancing. This should help you plan for Teacher’s Week, which will definitely bring some smiles during the COVID-19 quarantine.

1. Delivery Gift Card
Delivery services are truly one of the greatest things we have right now. They allow us to stay home while still getting the groceries and supplies we need, as well as the occasional treat. Of course, delivery services aren’t free most of the time. So, one great thing you can do for a teacher is to send a gift card for the delivery service of their choice, or whatever you have in your local area. This will allow them to get the items they need or save money on a takeout meal that will help cheer them up. One of the best things about a gift card is you can simply purchase it online and send it to their email. No one will have to worry about coming in contact with anyone else, which will help keep your social distancing game strong.

2. Group Project
If you have a way of communicating with your class, or the parents from your child’s class, then it could be fun to organize a group project. There are many great projects you might consider doing. For starters, you could have everyone in the class make a quick video of themselves talking about what they’ve learned over the semester or year. A simple thank you message will work great, too. Once you have all of the video clips, piece them together, and email them to your teacher. This will be a nice surprise and will help any teacher feel appreciated. You can also have kids make up a song that they can all sing together during a video lesson. Of course, digital cards are also a great choice and can help everyone say how they feel in a fun message that can be viewed again and again. There are lots of group ideas out there, so let your class show off their creativity as they brainstorm the best course of action.

3. Parade
Nothing says celebration quite like a parade. Recently, birthday parades have become quite popular. So, you might want to take a note from this fun idea and transform it into a way to thank a teacher in your life. You can get the whole class together to make signs and other fun things that will make the parade great. Once everyone can agree on a time and date, then have cars line up in a local parking lot. From there, everyone can drive by and show their appreciation. You can use music, horns, and so much more to get your teacher’s attention too. This can be a great outlet for everyone involved too, which is important in the times we live in.

4. Mail a Card
We don’t often use snail mail to get our word across, but it can be one of the easiest things to do during the pandemic. If you want to show your gratitude, then you might use the mail service to send out a card to your teacher. You can have your children make the card themselves to ensure there is an extra personal touch. Once finished, use an envelope or make one to send it out to your teacher. If you don’t have stamps on hand then don’t worry, as you can actually print them out from the postal service website. The only problem you might run into is not knowing your teacher’s address. If this is the case, then send the card to your child’s school. It will make for a nice surprise when everyone returns to campus to begin the process of planning school in a whole new way.

5. Gift Basket
One of the best things you can do for a teacher in your life is to provide them with a gift basket. Luckily, there are so many options to choose from right now, which might help you make any teacher feel loved. If you look online, you will find an abundance of gift basket website, but you can also find them online from stores like Amazon and Walmart. You might consider purchasing options with fruit or snacks to help make the self-isolation period a bit more bearable as these items can be tough to get when grocery shopping. However, there are other options to choose from. You might consider an entertainment basket that will help a teacher enjoy a movie night, or a school supply bundle to help take the burden off of their work budget. No matter what you choose, it is bound to please!

6. Nominate for an Award
Teachers rarely get the recognition they deserve, which can really make it hard to keep them motivated in their career choice. One way you can help a teacher out is by nominating them for an award. There are so many teaching awards out there that you are bound to find one that will suit your teacher’s amazing talents. It is very easy to nominate a teacher for an award. The hardest part is finding the right awards and even that isn’t very difficult if you have internet access. Once you find the perfect nomination, simply submit your teacher’s name and why you feel they should win the award. You can even get other people in on the nomination to improve your teacher’s chances of winning. Even if your teacher isn’t selected for the award, the nomination itself is bound to bring them some joy.

7. Create Your Own Award
If for whatever reason, you can’t find something that suits your teacher, then you can make up your own award. There are so many ways that you can pull this off. For starters, you can make an award certificate that has your teacher’s name on it and why they deserve an award. You can also have a ribbon or plaque customized to suit the award your teacher deserves. If you’re shy on money and want to purchase something, then see if the rest of the class will pitch in. You might not be available when your teacher opens up the item, but you will certainly know that it will motivate them and show that they are appreciated.

8. Get Creative
There are more than trophies and awards to help make your teacher special. If you’re working with a younger group of kids, then you might consider getting crafty with them. There are so many fun options that everyone can make to ensure their teacher feels the love for Teacher Week. Older students and adults might consider making or ordering something is a constant reminder. For instance, you can order a fun t-shirt that shows off your teacher’s personality. There are also fun yard signs that will let the world know that your teacher rocks. All in all, your creativity stands out here and will truly help you show some love.

9. Send Classroom Supplies
Since the school year was cut short this year, you might find that you have a lot of school supplies left over. Most of the time, these supplies hang around collecting dust, which means they’re also taking up space in your home. Instead of just leaving them somewhere, you might pack them up and send them to your teacher or bring them to their classroom when the school opens back up. This will help take a huge burden off of their needs when physical classes do open up. Apart from that, you can also order items online to have shipped to the teacher. This will give them a variety of new supplies, which will help them make learning a lot easier for future students.

10. Simple Thank You
If you’re low on money, lacking inspiration due to quarantine, or can’t organize a group to help out, then you shouldn’t worry. For some teachers, a simple thank you is the best way to make their day. This can be done in so many different ways too. For instance, you can say thank you for a digital lesson plan. If you don’t want to interrupt the class, then shoot an email. This isn’t just true for students either. Parents can easily get in on the thank you to help show their children the importance of treating teachers with respect and admiration.

Teachers’ Week is a prime time to share your appreciation for those that dedicate their lives to teaching. These ten ideas will allow you to share some love, even while you’re stuck at home. This special week might even help you realize how much teachers have meant to you in the past, so feel free to reach out to these teachers as well in order to show your appreciation.

Amazing Mother’s Day Ideas for Moms Stuck Indoors

Mother’s Day is just a few short weeks away, so it might be the perfect time to plan your special gift to mom. This year is a bit of a special case though, as most mothers are going to be stuck indoors due to COVID-19. This virus has left us questioning what the new normal in life is going to be, which might make you want to shop differently. These ten ideas are perfect for any mom that is stuck indoors, may it be now or any future self-isolation periods. With any luck, you will find a way to not only express your love and appreciation but also help her enjoy life when so many of her outlets have been taken away.

1. Spa Set
There are so many moms that are being asked to do it all right now. From maintaining the home and taking care of the little ones to homeschooling children and working from home. Thus, it might be a great time to offer mom a spa set to help her kick back and relax. There are lots of spa sets that you can order online. You should be able to find mom’s favorite scents as well as her favorite ways to relax, like bath bombs and candles. However, if you’re on a tight budget or you find yourself having trouble ordering items, then you can easily make a spa set from home too. This will allow you to create the perfect set for your loved one so there is a nice surprise for her to enjoy.

2. Book Subscription
Since many of us have been stuck indoors for quite some time now, you might find that mom may be a little bored with streaming videos and other forms of digital entertainment. Thus, a book might be a great solution to the boredom mom is feeling. There are many great book subscriptions available to you, which might allow you to find the perfect option for mom. Everything from romance to documentaries is available, but you can also customize a subscription based on your mom’s favorite books. The subscription should be bi-weekly to monthly, which will give her plenty of time to enjoy everything that comes her way. Plus, it will be helping out a small business, which is an added bonus.

3. Plants
Loneliness and a lack of sense of purpose are two of the major problems that people are facing right now. Taking care of a plant is one way to combat this problem. That is why a plant might be the perfect gift for your mom during this time. You can find something that suits her personality as well as her green thumb. Of course, you might also take into consideration the pets she already has in the household, as some plants can be poisonous to animals. There are numerous plants you can have shipped straight to mom too. However, you can also keep things simple by providing her with seeds and a container to keep them in. This will help mom find something to do with her day, which not only helps with depression but keeps the mind active.

4. Art Set
One of the best ways to add some joy to life is to create things. Of course, exercising your sense of creativity is also a good way to keep the days fresh, which can help prevent depression and exercise from coming through. So, if you have a mom that likes to create, then you might consider purchasing her an art set. Art sets come in all shapes and sizes too, so you can actually find one that will suit your mom perfectly. You can find everything from painting sets to a bundle that is perfect for crochet. Even if your mom hasn’t taken to a craft before, you might find that this is the perfect time for her to explore the things she has always wanted to. Art sets are generally affordable too, so you might even be able to afford more than one set.

5. Comfortable Pajamas
Let’s face it, most of us are hanging out in our pajamas these days. So, it might be wise to give mom a comfortable set of pajamas for Mother’s Day. This is a pretty classic gift no matter what is going on in the world, but this year might prove to make them even more valuable. Try to find a pair that is both comfortable while still making mom feel pretty. Of course, if your mom has a fun sense of humor then you might shop for a hilarious pair to lift her spirits instead. A new pair of pajamas can help make the new normal a little easier to deal with and can help bring mom comfort as she tries to relax at home.

6. Movie Gift Card
Theaters currently aren’t an option right now, but there are alternatives if you have a movie-loving mom. Instead of sending mom to the theater, you might consider grabbing a gift card for her favorite movie service. Not only will she be able to purchase and stream movies instantly, but she can also rent some movies that are already out in theaters. This can help make things seem a little less confined while also ensuring that she gets to see the movie she had her heart set on. If you want to add even more to the gift, then send popcorn and classic theater snacks to the home. This will make her movie experience and Mother’s Day unforgettable.

7. Coffee Maker
A lot of moms love to go out for their daily intake of coffee. Although you can still get your coffee from most cafes and restaurants, the dine-in portion of these establishments is most likely closed. Not only does this take away from the experience of getting coffee, but it might also mean that mom will have to sit in a long drive-thru line to get what she desires. Instead of dealing with taking out coffee, you might purchase mom a coffee maker instead. There are so many lines on the market right now, which can help you choose the right match for mom. You might consider a basic model or a k-cup dispenser for moms that are fans of drip coffee, while an espresso maker might be the best option for moms that love a nice latte or cappuccino.

8. Noise Cancelling Earphones
Without a doubt, dealing with the same people day in and day out can get frustrating. This is especially hard for parents that are at the beck and call of their children and spouse. If you want your mom to have a nice break from the world, then you might consider getting her a set of noise-canceling earphones. Of course, even if mom doesn’t mind the people surrounding her, but she loves to watch movies or listen to music without interruption, then this is still going to be a great buy. You can purchase noise-canceling earphones in many ways too. They can be purchased as headphones, earbuds, or even in a wireless option. This will truly help mom separate herself for a little while, which can help make self-isolation bearable.

9. Photo Book
One of the best ways to treat mom is to help showcase all of the amazing memories that you’ve had with her. A photo book is a great way to help her relish over the special moments. You can make a photo book on your own, with supplies you have around the house. If you have a printer then you can easily print out pictures and use your scrapbooking supplies to make each image a prize. However, if you don’t have a printer, then you can use a variety of services to get your images printed and mailed to you. If you don’t want to craft, then there are numerous services that will allow you to digitally compile a photo book. This service will print out the book for you and even mail it to mom if you don’t want to go to the post office yourself.

10. Video Call
If you haven’t seen mom in a while, then one of the best things you can do is set up a video call. There are numerous services that will allow you to do this for no cost, which will make it easier for you to plan for the big day on a budget. If you really want to make a big statement, then organize a group chat with the entire family. If mom has not been able to see everyone for a while, then seeing everyone together will be a real treat. It will also give the family a chance to catch up, which could make everyone feel better.

Mother’s Day might be difficult this year, especially if you find yourself unable to see mom due to quarantine. These ten ideas will help you make the most out of the holiday though, which should leave mom feeling happy. You might find the perfect gift in this quick list, but if not it could help you stumble across an idea that is even better. No matter what though, your mom will certainly appreciate the effort that you put into her gift during these trying times.

Ten Things You Can Do For Your Hair While Stylist Are Quarantined

If you’ve been on social media lately, and let’s face it most of us have been living on it, then you’ve probably seen a lot of posts about quarantine hairstyles. Since you’re supposed to cut your hair about every six weeks or so, most people are coming up on their due date. Unfortunately, we can’t exactly book an appointment with the stylist or barber, which has left many people taking to their own devices in order to deal with their hair. You don’t have to try to be a stylist during your quarantine period, but there are things you can do to help your hair thrive while you can’t get to the salon. These ten tips will definitely help you leave quarantine with amazing hair.

1. Ditch the Heat
Since you don’t have to be anywhere right now, you might make it a point to take a break from the heat that you expose your hair to on a daily basis. From curling and straightening to just blow drying, you might cut out the hair tools and embrace letting your hair heal. Heat isn’t the best of things for your hair and can lead to damage that can only be cut away. If you take some time to enjoy a break from the heat, then you might find that your hair really perks up in no time at all. There are alternatives you can toy around with though. For instance, if you want to embrace some curls then condition your hair and then wrap it in up in a classic crown style using a large hair tie or ribbon. You will be surprised how great your hair looks after leaving it in the crown for a few hours. Plus, your curls will be bouncy and beautiful.

2. Learn to Trim
One of the main reasons that you need to see a stylist or barber is to get a trim. This helps your hair grow faster and stronger, while also maintaining any style that you might have right now. Although creating a new hairstyle might be a bit out of your skillset, you can trim your hair with ease. There are lots of tutorials online if you’re feeling uncomfortable with this. However, all you really need is a steady hand and a good pair of scissors that are designed for hair. As you work on your hair, you might feel more confident with trimming, which might actually save you some money when it comes to the amount you spend at the salon each year.

3. DIY Hair Masks
Sometimes, our hair just takes on too much damage. During these times, most people like to shop around for a hair mask or ask their stylist to recommend one. Since you can’t pop into the stylist for a chat, you might not be able to get the recommendations that you need. You may also not be able to get the items you need online considering more stores are only sending out priority items. Luckily, there are many hair masks that you can make at home with items that you most likely have on hand. One of the most popular options is mayonnaise. This will give hair a healthy shine while helping to repair the damage. Of course, there are lots of recipes online that can help you love the way your hair looks. You may even find some facial masks to use while you’re enjoying your face mask.

4. Drink Water
You might not believe it, but one of the best things you can do for your hair is to drink plenty of water. While you’re in quarantine, you might not think about this too much because it is easy to fall into drinking soda, wine, and other drinks for comfort. Plus, if you’re not working out and following a routine then it might be tough for you to follow your water drinking habits. If this is the case for you then set a few reminders on your phone. This will help you drink the required amount that you need, which will add more health to your hair and the rest of your body.

5. Conditioning Hair Dye
A lot of people are experimenting with color while they are in quarantine. Since there aren’t a lot of school or work restrictions to deal with, this can add some fun to your time at home. Unfortunately, box hair dyes can leave you with unhealthy hair though, which can be a problem since you can’t exactly go to the salon to get help. There is a great alternative to this though. Recently, color depositing conditioners have become very popular. These special dyes put color into your hair, but they also work to condition and leave the hair healthier than ever. These conditioners don’t require you to bleach, nor do they harm your skin. They are a bit more expensive than your everyday box dye, but they’re worth the extra money. Plus, you can purchase them in almost every color imaginable.

6. Tutorial Cuts
If you’re feeling like you need to jump in on the haircut trend, then don’t stress out over it. However, you might not try anything too extreme if you worry about what others will think. If you’re a bit more of a free spirit and you don’t mind winding up with a buzz cut if it goes wrong, then, by all means, go for it. You shouldn’t try to wing it though, especially if you want the haircut to turn out. There are numerous video tutorials online to help you execute the haircut of your dreams, so make sure you browse around before you pull out the scissors. You should also take the time to watch the video several times before you even begin as this will help you get to know the video before you start the cutting process. These tutorials aren’t a guarantee of success, but they will help guide you a bit more.

7. Talk to a Stylist
Although salons and barbershops are closed down right now, there are some stylists that are trying to make their business work through the shutdowns. You might check out your salon’s social media page to see if their stylists are offering videos and more to help stay in business. Some stylists will host live shows where they give hair care tips. Some may even be available to chat and help you out with your problems. Many stylists might offer this service for free, but if there is a section to tip you should do so. After all, they are in the same position as so many in this country and are struggling to make ends meet when there seems to be no way to do so.

8. Go Natural
Not everyone is feeling ambitious during the self-isolation period. If this is you, then you don’t have to worry about your hair in the slightest bit. In fact, one of the best ways to help your hair out during this period is to go natural. This means you shouldn’t blow dry it, straighten, add product, color it, and so on. Even if you don’t like your hair, now is the best time to try to embrace its natural beauty. Let your hair grow, show off your roots, embrace your natural color. You might be surprised by how much you actually do enjoy your natural hair. Sometimes, we do so much to our hair that we forget what it is supposed to look like. So, use the time away from school, work, and society to see how you actually feel about your natural locks.

9. Explore Looks
If you’re feeling bored and want to experiment with your look without committing to a style, then you might explore different styles online. You can change your look by trying out a variety of different styles. To begin with, you might try your hand at braiding. Now is a great time to practice your braiding skills and may even give you confidence so you can show off some brilliant braids after the self-isolation period is over. Another thing to consider is updos. You might try your hand at formal styles that will make you feel elegant as you walk around the house. There are also much fun looks like fake faux hawks and more. Before long, you’ll forget all about using the scissors as you embrace other hair tools.

10. Give it a Break
Sometimes, it is best just to give your hair a break for a couple of days. You might start by not shampooing it every single day. This will allow the natural oils in your hair to return, which is perfect for your hair’s overall health. Another thing you might consider doing is keeping it down. With summer on its way, you might find that your hair will be up in a ponytail more often. So, give your scalp a break by wearing it down as much as possible. You might find that letting it go natural for a bit will actually help you to relax and stay comfortable.

Hair seems to be a big concern during the self-isolation period. Keeping a hair routine can even help keep you sane during these strange times. So, if you’re struggling with your stay at home orders, you might take these tips into consideration. You never know, you might re-enter society with hair that looks better than ever, which will make the transition to the real world a whole lot better for you.

Quick Alternatives for Your Missing Paper Products and Cleaning Supplies

There’s no doubt about it, it is incredibly hard to find some of our basic needs right now. Although food is touch and go, it seems almost impossible to find paper products like toilet paper and items that we need to clean and keep ourselves safe during the pandemic. This can cause a lot of panic with so many because it does bring a sense of lacking control in one’s life, especially when there is something going on that none of us can control. Luckily, there are a few alternatives to the items you might not be able to find in stores. These ten items can help you feel a little less out of control in the situation until we can get things back to normal.

1. Bidet
For some reason, toilet paper was on the top of the list of things depleted during the early days of the pandemic. Instead of food, people packed toilet paper to the brim of their carts leaving stores without the item for people who actually might have run out of toilet paper. Even though a few weeks have passed, it is still incredibly hard to get toilet paper in stores. If this trend continues, you might want to start thinking about a bidet. This special device is used in many other countries and can actually help you feel cleaner after using the restroom. You can buy bidets for a decent price online, but right now there might be a bit of a wait before yours will arrive. You can make your own bidet out of a squirt bottle though. This will help you out in a pinch and costs next to nothing. When the toilet paper stock returns, you may even want to keep your bidet. Not only is it hygienic, but it is environmentally friendly and could even help your plumbing.

2. T-shirt Rags
Paper towels are another major paper product in short commodity. Many people are using paper towels as toilet paper on top of their everyday cleaning needs. If you don’t want to use your good towels or you find yourself running out of clean items quickly, then you can take to your closet for a solution. If you have a lot of old t-shirts in your closet, then you might consider cutting them up to use them as rags. Donations aren’t really being accepted right now and most charity shops have more than their fill of these items anyway so there is no reason to feel guilty about it. If there is a design on the shirt that you like then cut it out, this can be turned into a face mask, pillow, or used for a blanket. The rest of the material will make a great rag for cleaning up the home, or as a makeshift kerchief, if you find yourself out of tissue.

3. DIY Hand Sanitizer
Hand sanitizer is another item that flew off of the shelves as soon as people found out that COVID-19 had entered the country. If you’re not one of the people that had the chance to purchase in bulk, you can make your own hand sanitizer at home with items you probably already have on hand. One of the easiest ways to combat the lack of sanitizer in stores is to mix high content alcohol with some aloe vera. This will kill almost anything on your hands without completely drying them out. You should have your DIY hand sanitizer with you when you leave the house too. You can use it to clean hand baskets, cleanse your hands after shopping, and so on. You can even use it to clean up the vehicle after shopping.

4. DIY Lysol
When it comes to cleaning up the home, Lysol is one of the best options to do so. However, Lysol, especially the spray, hasn’t been available since the beginning of the pandemic in most places. If you’re hoping to make your own, there are lots of recipes available to you online. One of the easiest is to mix essential oils with alcohol in a spray bottle. This will take care of most cleaning without leaving the home smelling like a hospital. This is great in a pinch especially if you are living with someone with a compromised immune system. The oils might even help to keep bugs away, which will help kill two birds with one stone as the warmer weather moves in.

5. Cleaning/Baby Wipes
A lot of people love to have cleaning wipes on hand for the little spills and clean up jobs that need to be done each day. Unfortunately, these wipes tend to be unavailable, which leaves many people in a bind. Another major item that is often sold out in stores is baby wipes, which are pretty much a necessity for any home that has a child in diapers. You can make both of these items at home though. To begin with, you can use one of your old wipe or cleaner containers to store paper towels. It will help to cut the paper towels in halves or thirds. Once cut, place them in a container and add soapy water. If you’re just going for baby wipes this is all you need to add to the mix. However, you can also add essential oils, alcohol and so on to your cleaning wipes. Make sure to label accordingly though, so you don’t mix up the cleaning and baby wipes.

6. Anti-Bacterial Soap
It seems like soap is the key to our health right now, which is why so many might feel anxiety setting in when they can’t purchase this necessity at stores. For many, making soap seems like it might not be as effective as buying it in stores. However, you will be surprised by how many recipes you can find that not only help keep you clean but will also offer you so many more options when it comes to scent and moisturizing your hands. You might start by looking for recipes online and trying them out. It might be trial and error at first, but you’re certain to find what you need once you get the hang of things. You might also find making soap can be a lot of fun, which might help you find a new hobby that you can enjoy after the self-isolation is over.

7. Disposable Masks
People have used masks for quite some time. Whether it be to mow the lawn, clean the bathroom, or protect others while you’re sick, disposable masks used to be commonly used and thrown out. Now, you can’t really find the items in stores and even if you can they should be left there for those that have a compromised immune system or for medical professionals that might not be able to get supplies at work. Instead of buying these masks, you should consider making reusable masks instead. These can be made out of most fabrics, including old shirts, and will still help to protect you. Best of all, you won’t have to throw them out, which will cut back on wastes. There are lots of tutorials online to choose from, so utilize a tutorial that meets your needs as well as the supplies you already have on hand.

8. Reusable Diapers
A lot of people started stocking up on baby diapers as soon as they found out about self-isolation periods. Although this might help keep family’s with young children safer, it also left the shelves pretty depleted for those who were not able to stock up. Instead of continuing on with disposable diapers, you might give reusable diapers a chance. Not only are these diapers easy to use, but they are better for the environment too. They will also help save you a lot of money, which is important when it comes to trying times like these. You also won’t have to worry about leaving the home to try to find these items, since your stock can easily be tossed in the washer.

9. Homemade Laundry Detergent
Keeping your clothes clean during this period of time is crucial. That is probably why everyone is buying up laundry detergent like crazy. If you are out of detergent and you need to do laundry, then there are still a few options to consider. When you look online, you’ll find a lot of alternatives to help you make up your own laundry detergent that won’t leave you cleaning up bubbles. Of course, if you don’t have the ingredients on hand, then you can always resort to baking soda. This will clean to the point your clothes will be safe to wear, but they might not smell nice. You might also consider hand washing as you will have more soap alternatives to use. This should help you get through the pandemic period though or until you can finally get the soap that you need.

10. Vinegar
When it comes to keeping things clean, it is important to have vinegar on hand if you can’t find any other supplies. Vinegar can help you get rid of mold, bacteria, and so much more, which is why it is a must when you go shopping. Vinegar can also be used in cooking, so even if you have a lot on hand after you get the supplies you need it won’t go to waste. You might even be able to use some in the garden.

In these trying times, it is important to know that you have options when it comes to paper and cleaning products that are no longer on the shelves. These tips can help you figure out how to work around the lack of products, so you can still clean and provide your family with a safe environment while the pandemic keeps everyone inside.

Easy Ways to Ditch Allergens So You Can Stay Sneeze Free All Spring

Spring has arrived and so has its many allergies, which might make you feel pretty miserable. With everything going on right now, you might not want to have anything making you feel sick or worried about your health. Allergies can really sneak up on you though, which might make you worry that you have something else. So, before your body starts to react to the world’s changes, you might want to take a few precautions to cut back on the issue. There are many things you can do to cut back on allergens, which will help your overall health while making you feel better about the season.

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Frugal Ways to Thank Medical Staff During the Pandemic

Right now, essential employees are putting it all on the line to keep the country going. No one is at a greater risk than doctors and nurses who are basically on the front lines of the pandemic. Many people, whether they have dealt with the disease or not, are looking for ways to help thank the medical staff. For so many, money is tight though, so it is important to keep things frugal as much as possible. These ten options will help the medical staff that deserves so much more while allowing you to express your gratitude for all that they do.

1. Order Donuts
Sending food to medical staff can be expensive, but it is one of the best things you can do for those who are working long hours. Often, meals are forgotten or pushed off until it is time to head home for the day. That is why sending food is probably one of the best ways to show some gratitude. One of the best options for this is donuts though. Not only are donuts affordable in large batches, but you can ensure most people in the hospital will be able to find something they like. On top of that, donuts can be eaten in a few seconds if need be, so everyone can get back to work with a little something in their stomachs. You will also find that sweetness can act as a form of comfort for those facing a challenging day. If you are planning on donating to the medical staff, then ask for the donuts to be delivered as many delivery people will have a special way into the hospital so there is less risk involved. You might also let the business know who the order is for, as they may offer you a discount or donate more donuts to go along with the order you put in.

2. Make Masks
Unfortunately, one of the biggest tribulations of the time is the fact that our medical staff is so understocked. There has been a nationwide call for donations, but if you don’t have medical masks on hand then you might consider making some. All you need is some fabric and the ability to sew in order to pull this off. There are many patterns available online, so you can try out different options to see which is easier for you to make or even which are preferred by the staff. These masks might not be used while disposable masks are present, but the medical staff can take them home to use, or they can use them in a pinch if supplies do run out. If masks aren’t up your alley then you might consider accessories to help make the masks more comfortable. For instance, many people are making items that masks can hang from in order to protect those wearing them from experiencing pain after long periods of wear.

3. Donate Money
Donations are going to be one of the most important ways to show gratitude during this time. If you can, donate some money to your local hospital or any other hospital that you might prefer. You don’t have to donate hundreds if you don’t have the money to give. In fact, even five to ten dollars can help out immensely when it comes to getting protective gear for the staff. If you can do this every time you get paid, then the money will quickly add up. If you don’t have the money to give then you might consider starting a GoFundMe or any other page that will help you collect donations. Usually, people will happily donate to help out, especially during times such as these.

4. Donate Blood
Blood is always needed, but whenever there is a medical emergency such as a pandemic then the blood becomes even more important. Thus, one of the best things you can do to show your appreciation of the medical staff is to donate blood. This will help them to ensure they have what they need if an emergency does arise, which can take a huge burden off of them. If you have had and recovered from the novel coronavirus then you should also consider donating. Currently, many medical teams are using this blood, as well as plasma, in a race towards a cure or a vaccine. Your contribution could save millions of lives.

5. Shop Considerately
A lot of people are going a bit crazy when it comes to shopping. When the coronavirus first began, people were shopping for hand sanitizer, cleaners, facial masks, and gloves which pretty much depleted the stock. Currently, stores are getting in small numbers of these products, but people are still buying them up as soon as they come in. One of the best things you can do is walk away from these items unless you actually need them. This will allow the medical staff that does need to protect themselves to purchase the items. Doctors, nurses, and anyone working in a hospital or medical facility need to be able to clean their clothing, home, and body in order to keep themselves and others safe. So, do them a favor and leave the items on the shelf so they can stay healthy and protect their families too.

6. Offer Assistance
If you’re in a peak area, then you might know some medical staff that is working double shifts without a day off. If this is the case, then you might offer your assistance to the medical personnel and have them extend your generosity to their colleagues. You might consider shopping for them, so they have groceries to come home to when they do get to have a break. If the person has pets then stop by to feed them, walk them, clean up after them, and so on. You can even clean up their house if they need you to. These services can help make their life better while allowing you to show your gratitude.

7. Contact Media
One of the best ways to show off your appreciation for the medical staff in your area is to let your story be known. If you have had a great experience with the medical staff in your area, then you might consider sharing it with the media. Most media sources are more than happy to broadcast positive stories, especially during such a hard time. This can help boost morale in the community as well as with the medical staff that you are with. It can also show everyone just how many heroes are living and working in your area.

8. Think Outside of the Box
If you’re not sure what you would like to do to show your appreciation, then you might try thinking outside of the box. There are many people going the extra mile to say thank you, so you’ll probably find a wide variety of ideas to help inspire you. If you’re religious, then many people are holding prayer circles in front of hospitals. These don’t involve getting out of the vehicle though. Instead, you might turn on your headlights with a group of other people to show you are present and see everything that the hospital is doing. If you join one of these, someone might speak using a megaphone to help get the message across. You can also hold up thank you signs and more. Some artists are leaving messages for the staff using standing letters, chalk, and other options. Of course, if you want to go this route, you need to get permission from the hospital. You can also send a card for the staff to share your gratitude.

9. Rally for Supplies
Right now, there are a lot of hospitals that don’t have the supplies they need to be safe. One of the best things you can do is a rally for supplies for these individuals. You can contact companies and ask for
donations to help your community out. You might be surprised by how many companies are willing to help out those in need if only they had a direction to go in. If you can’t find anyone to donate then you might write letters and make phone calls to your local government to try to get some supplies.

10. Self-Quarantine
At the end of the day, one of the best things you can do to help out the medical staff in your area and around the world is to self-quarantine. Staying at home will mean there is one less person for the hospital to worry about because you will be away from the virus. Plus, you will also help stop the spread of the disease, which can help others out too. Although it might be an inconvenience, this is the best way to say thank you as you will help end the pandemic which will allow them to stop putting their lives at risk.

There is no doubt about it, the medical staff around the world definitely deserves a round of applause and then some. These ten ideas will definitely help you to show your appreciation while bringing them a little relief. Best of all, you will still be able to maintain your budget as you help show your gratitude.

Ten Cheap Ways to Connect While You’re Self-Isolating From the World

Let’s face it, for so many self-isolation is hard. If you’re an extrovert that loves to go out or even an introvert that likes to spend time with friends, you may be getting a bit tense right now. Luckily, we live in the modern world, so there are a ton of ways for us to connect with the people that we don’t currently live with. This can truly help out with depression, anxiety, loneliness, and anything else that you might be feeling during this time. If you’re having trouble with the self-isolation period, or you know someone else that is then you might want to give some of these tips a chance until we’re all clear to get back to normal.

1. Netflix Party
As soon as cities started asking people to stay inside, Netflix jumped on the scene with a fun way to ease some of the loneliness associated with staying home. Now, when you watch a movie on the streaming platform, you can actually start up a watch party. This will allow you to enjoy a movie or binge-watch your favorite TV show with others. The new party option even provides you with a chatroom, so you can enjoy everyone’s commentary as you share in your favorite comfort shows. Of course, if you don’t have Netflix, or you’ve already binged everything worth watching once, then you can do this with other platforms, too. It will take a bit more work. You might have to start up your own chat or a group video call to begin with. You will also have to synchronize when you begin the show, so everyone is watching at the same exact time. All in all, though, it can bring a sense of normalcy to your life, especially if you watch shows with your friends often.

2. Video Chat
Video chats are one of the most common ways to keep in touch with people now. In fact, if you’re working from home then you’re probably already video chatting quite a bit. You can use the video chat section to keep up with others though, even if it isn’t work-related. For instance, if you see a group of friends or colleagues on a daily basis then you might try to chat with them each day. You can even set up a lunch date to add a sense of normalcy to it all. Apart from that, you might make it a point to spend time with family members, too, especially the elderly. Loneliness can hit home for this group of people more often than others, so make sure their isolation period isn’t too rough. If you don’t have anyone to chat with then there are chatrooms for anyone who wants to meet people. Make sure you exercise caution here but have fun and enjoy the company of others if you are feeling lonely.

3. Teddy Bear Hunt
Just talking to people isn’t quite enough for some, which is where the teddy bear hunt comes in. Many people are placing bears in their windows for kids to spot while they are on walks. If you have a teddy bear in the home, you might consider doing this to add a bit of magic to life. Kids will be able to feel like the world isn’t quite as bad as they seek out a bear on every block. If you don’t have a bear then you can use just about any stuffed animal, as it should bring joy to kids to see something colorful in your window. You can also write a special message like a riddle or joke to add to the fun. This will help you feel like you’re still a part of humanity, which will make the isolation period a bit less challenging.

4. Birthday Party Parade
March, April, and May are some of the busiest months when it comes to birthdays. Due to this, there are many children that are missing out on having a birthday party or a celebration of any sort with friends and family. One of the best ways to still make someone feel special is to have a birthday party parade. Essentially, you can organize this in a group chat to make sure everyone is on board. Then, everyone meets up and drives in front of the birthday child’s home. People can deck out their vehicles, write special messages, play songs, and more. The important thing is to maintain social distancing while you do this though. If there is an elderly person in your life then you can also do this for them, as it is bound to be a pleasant surprise that will lift their spirits.

5. Block Party
Real parties are pretty much off-limits now, but if you’re having trouble going without seeing people then you might consider hosting a block party. This doesn’t mean that you give up on social distancing though. Instead, get on your neighborhood app, or send the people on your block an invitation in snail mail. Then, at your selected time, everyone sits on their front porch or lawn and shares a drink together. You can take turns playing music, use a megaphone to chat, or simply just enjoy spotting everyone on your block. It is crucial that you stay 6 feet away from each other, if not more. You should also wear your masks to help add even more protection.

6. Window Visits
For the immune-compromised, a window visit is one of the best options when it comes to seeing someone in person. If you have a family member or friend in a nursing home for instance, then you might pop by their window for a visit. As long as the window remains closed, you can use the phone to have a conversation with one another while still being able to see one another in person. Of course, you should also exercise caution with a face mask for your own safety. You can even make signs to help get the message across. There have been many stories online of family members celebrating birthdays, meeting new family members, and so on through windows, so embrace the idea and use it for your particular situation.

7. Utilize Social Media
Social media might be a drain on everyone when life is normal, but right now it is one of the best assets that we have. If you’re not on social media right now, then you might temporarily make a page or two to help you communicate with the people in your life. Most social media pages will allow you to chat with friends and family while sharing pictures with ease. You might even be able to make new friends with people that have similar hobbies and so on. Social media can be used to learn new things, as well, which can help you pass the time with ease.

8. Take an Online Course
Luckily, the internet is rich with resources. So, if you don’t have a lot going on during self-isolation and you’d like to use some of your free time to improve your education then you might want to take advantage of some online courses. There are many ways to do this. If you’re already in college or you want to enroll, then many colleges are still offering online classes. So, when next semester rolls around you can easily sign up for classes. Some colleges are offering five-week classes online, which will allow you to take advantage of the classes without interrupting your normal life. These classes will allow you to interact with your fellow students too, which can help ease your loneliness while keeping your mind active. If you have a few extra dollars to spend then you can purchase some online courses that can help with tech skills, art, and more. You might come out of the process with a certificate that can help you land a better job. If you’re on a tight budget, then there are a lot of free classes online to take advantage of. You won’t get credit for the classes, but you will get to gain the knowledge, which will be more than worth it.

9. Volunteer
Another way to stay connected with the community, especially if you’re a non-essential worker, is to volunteer. There are a lot of services that currently need a whole lot of help, so if you’re willing to put yourself at risk then your help will most likely be appreciated. If you have a medical certificate or professional training, then the hospital might take you on as a temporary worker. Another great place to donate your time is food banks and other facilities that hand out food. Since more people will need groceries during this hard time, there is a bigger need for help passing out the items and preparing them. Volunteering will help you connect to your community through while ensuring you do your part to make the world a better place. Of course, it is important to practice safety measures while you’re out.

10. Find a Pen Pal
There are many elderly people stuck at home that aren’t technologically savvy. Thankfully, there are many organizations that help elderly people find a pen pal to help keep their minds active when they can’t spend time with the people they typically would visit in their community. Adopting an elder will help you enjoy getting to know someone while learning something about the older generation. You might even get to a point where you can video chat with the elder that you adopt. You might also enjoy getting to know the person in real life when the self-isolation is over.

Connecting with others is an important part of being a human being. However, it is hard to get the social interaction needed during a self-isolation period, especially if you’re living alone. These ten ideas will help you connect with others while allowing you to learn new ways to communicate that you might even consider using when the self-isolation period is over.

Quick Ways To Stretch Your Food Budget During Trying Times

There’s no doubt about it, pretty much every household is having to change the way they shop, budget, and live life. This can be incredibly trying, especially if your work hours have been cut or completely put on hold. It can be hard to plan around the current economy, as well as what the future brings. This can cause a lot of uncertainty that might make many households fear and impulse purchase in order to cut costs in the future. This alone can cost you way too much money and might leave you hurting if things don’t go back to normal any time soon. There are many ways that you can help cut the costs of the times to help suit your budget, so you can try not to stress as much.

1. Freeze Fresh Produce
Lately, there has been a lot of panic shopping. So, finding things on the shelf and in the freezers might not be the easiest option. A lot of stores are reporting that fresh produce is still in abundance though, which is good news for anyone hoping to eat healthy during self-quarantine. However, going to the store often isn’t an option if you’re hoping to stay away from the virus, which makes it hard to keep produce in the home. Instead of trying to bulk shop for items you might not be able to get, instead, consider grabbing fresh. When you bring the items home, separate them into your weekly meals then freeze the rest. You can even meal prep with the produce to make your life even easier. This will help prevent food in stores from going to waste, will save you money, and will ensure you have the nutrients you need to stay healthy.

2. Consider Soups
When it comes to making meals that will last for your family, one of your best options is soup. You can make large batches of soup for very little money, which will help stretch your food budget while ensuring you have plenty of food for everyone. Generally, you can start most scratch-made soups out for just a dollar or so, depending on the type of stock you use. However, if you want to cut this down you can make your own stocks that will help your meal plans go even further. Best of all, soups allow you to work with whatever ingredients you can find, which will definitely make your life easier. With soup, you can live off of leftovers for a few days or you can freeze whatever is left to have for a meal later on down the line.

3. Shop Restaurants
Grocery stores can be frightening places right now. People are still trying to pack themselves into small spaces to pick through whatever is left on the shelf. This can put you at risk for being exposed to the virus, which isn’t good for you or your family. An alternative to grocery shopping is going through local restaurants. Many restaurants are deciding to close down due to the virus because many people aren’t ordering out or do not have enough information about the restaurant’s changes if they are typically a dine-in facility. Due to closures, a lot of places are trying to get rid of their grocery stock to help them earn some extra income before they go out of business. Thus, you might be able to find lots of dried goods like beans, rice, flour, and more. You may even be able to get a lot of fresh produce and meats, which can’t be found in stores currently.

4. Make from Scratch
A lot of people are trying their hardest to stock up on the staples. Items like bread, pasta, and canned goods that are typically found in the home are flying off of the shelves. For many people, these foods are a part of their everyday diet, which makes it hard when they can’t purchase the items. Luckily, you can easily make many of these items from scratch. One of the best things to learn how to make is bread. You can do this with a few simple ingredients that you should be able to find on the shelves. You can also find all sorts of substitutes for the ingredients you might need to make the bread you desire. You can even make bread that doesn’t have yeast or bread with items other than flour. Another item you can make at home is pasta. This is easier than you might think too and will even improve the way your meals taste. If you have lots of fresh produce, you can also can or jar it to last you longer. These scratch-made foods might even be healthier for you and will certainly taste better.

5. Learn to Substitute
When times are rough, you might not be able to find everything you need to make your favorite recipes. Some days milk will be hard to find, while other days you might have no luck with eggs. One of the best things you can do is look for substitutes when it comes to the things you need. If you find yourself in the store and can’t find everything you need for a recipe, simply run a quick search for items that can be substituted for it. This can actually teach you a lot about cooking too and might even allow you to improve on some of your recipes. This will ensure you still get to make some of your favorite items too, so your budget or the lack of supply won’t get in the way of your favorite comfort foods.

6. Get Creative
Figuring out what to make for the family can be tough during normal times. However, when grocery supplies and budgets are low then figuring out a meal can be one of the toughest aspects of the day. You might have to get creative when it comes to your meals. For starters, you might consider cooking foods that can be transformed into other meals later on. For instance, if you make chili then you can turn this into chili dogs, tater tot casserole and so much more. Meals that can be turned into other things, no matter how creative the experimental meal might be are going to be your best bet. This will prevent you from wasting food while also helping you to save a lot of money. There are lots of ideas online that can be found simply by looking up the foods you have available, so if the creativity isn’t flowing the internet has your back.

7. School Lunches
When it comes to the kids, there are many resources available to you. One of the best options is actually the kids’ school. You can head to most schools during a certain period of time to pick up a totally free lunch for them. Many schools are also packing up breakfast for the following day too. This can be a real lifesaver if you’re running low on food and money. If you don’t know whether your school is participating, then you should still be able to contact the school district to find out. This will definitely allow you to have two meals you don’t have to worry about, so make sure to take advantage of this amazing service while your kids are at home with you.

8. Community Garden
A lot of communities have a special garden that others can access. These gardens are typically successful because people volunteer to work in them in order to take home some of the produce that is grown. Some community gardens might require you to purchase a membership though, so make sure to ask around before you fully commit. If you do find a garden that allows you to take home produce, then it should help with your budget. It is also a great opportunity to teach kids how to garden during their homeschool experience.

9. Free Delivery
Getting groceries these days is tough. It is dangerous to go shopping, especially if you have to bring your children along with you. Luckily, we live in an age where everything can pretty much be delivered to us. Many grocery stores are even extending their delivery services, which will make your life a whole lot easier. A lot of grocery stores are even waiving the fee to help keep people out of their stores so they can protect employees and others too. If you do come across a store that does charge, then look around to see if there is a free trial. For instance, Walmart charges $14.99 for their service, but they do offer a free trial that lasts 2 weeks. Some services will even do a contactless delivery to keep you safer. Just remember to wash your hands after you put all of your items away.

10. Seek Assistance
Luckily, there are many ways that you can get the help you need if you’re having trouble getting groceries or affording them. Most food banks will still be open during this time, so if you qualify for these services then make sure you pick up the food you need. Some foodbanks are even just passing out food to those who need it because most people are short on groceries now. There are programs offered by the government that can help you out too. Apart from that, you might find that the Salvation Army and other services that can help you get the food your family needs.

Times are hard for most people, but there are a few ways to ensure no one is going to go hungry. These ten ideas will help you stretch out the food that you already have, while also ensuring you keep your pantry replenished. This can also help ease the mind of those who weren’t able to go out and prep when all of the chaos began.

Ten Fun Easter Hunt Ideas That Will Make Kids Hop With Joy

The Easter Bunny and all of his eggs will be hopping towards you in just a couple of weeks. Although there are many things going on in the world that might leave you wondering how you can salvage the holiday, the Easter egg hunt is one of the best ways to help bring joy to the children in your life. You might have a smaller hunt than in year’s past, but there are lots of fun ways to spice up the hunt to take the holiday to the next level. These ten tips will make Easter feel a little less forced and will have your children hoping to enjoy Easter for quite a bit longer. Best of all, these tips might even save you a bit of money.

1. Light Them Up
If you want to go all out for the holiday, then you might want to give your classic Easter egg hunt a game-changing makeover. Instead of hosting the hunt in the daylight hours, have one in the dark. Simply place little lights or glow sticks in your eggs and have the kids hunt them as they light up. You can also paint the eggs with glow in the dark paint to help make things even cooler. This idea will also help you if you can’t get outdoors for your egg hunt. If you’re stuck in a home without a yard and you don’t want to go out because of self-quarantine, then the glow in the dark eggs can allow you to hunt inside while still adding a fun edge to the hunt. This can truly turn a bad situation around and will have kids talking for years about the fun they had.

2. Coupon Rewards
Going to the grocery store is pretty complicated these days. Between social distancing, long lines, and lack of stock, getting candy might not be on your list of fun things to do. You don’t have to have candy to have an Easter egg hunt though. Instead of filling the eggs with sweets, add in some fun coupons instead. Kids can hunt for eggs that allow them to get out of chores, choose what is for dinner, or a movie night. You can even add in dates with parents, a trip to the movies, and so on. Of course, if you really want to make the prizes wild, you might add in some grand prize eggs for a chocolate bunny or a toy when social distancing is over.

3. Obstacle Course
Since the Easter egg hunt might be one of the only normal aspects to this Easter, you might want to make it a game that kids won’t get bored of throughout the day. One of the best ways to do this is to set up an obstacle course to help make it easier for the kids to have fun. You should set up challenges for kids to overcome in order to find an egg. You can easily do this based on age group too so that everyone has a little something to do that will challenge them. When the kids are finished with the main hunt, you can still set up empty eggs for them to go after during the rest of the day. Kids might even enjoy setting up the obstacle course for each other after the main hunt too. If you’re not sure how to set up an obstacle course then there are lots of ideas online to help you make the perfect option for your family.

4. Game Pieces
Another alternative for your eggs is to add game pieces to them. Instead of unwrapping candy, kids can find pieces to a game in the egg. This can encompass a great many things too. For instance, you can add game pieces to each egg until your children unveil a new game that will keep them busy for hours. You can also add physical game notes, like “skip five times” or “do three push-ups.” These can earn children rewards that don’t necessarily have to do with candy if you don’t want them to. Another idea for these game pieces is to add a puzzle piece in each egg. When the hunt is finished, kids will have a new puzzle to piece together which adds more fun to the day.

5. Treasure Hunt
Another fun idea is to make the egg hunt a treasure hunt. You will have to hide your eggs in strategic ways in order to pull this off. Each egg should have a clue inside that leads to the next. This will allow kids to find a grand prize instead of just candy or cheap filler toys. If you don’t want to use clues, then consider placing pieces of a puzzle map in some of the eggs you hide. When the hunt is over, kids can work together to piece the items together so they can find the treasure. This will help keep kids busy for much longer and will add a little extra suspense to the hunt. It will also make kids use their minds, which might be on shut down with school on break for such an extended period of time.

6. Color Coated
If you’re hiding eggs for multiple children, then you might want to consider color coating the hunt. This will allow you to hide eggs based entirely on the needs of the child. For instance, if you have a younger child then you can keep the older kids’ hands off the eggs that are hidden in plain sight. You can also make the eggs prize specific so children will get the items you want them to. This is especially great if you have kids with allergies or a wide range of age differences to purchase treats for.

7. Golden Ticket Egg
When it comes to a classic Easter egg hunt, kids are usually happy to get the simple treats inside. However, if you want to make the hunt even more of a treat, let the kids know there is a golden egg to find. This will make them more attentive and might even make older children competitive. If you can’t find a golden egg to use, then you can easily just decorate one. You can also have the kids decorate their own golden egg, so they can hunt for a specific egg that the Easter Bunny will fill with a special treat. This craft can even add to the fun of the holiday and will take your kids’ minds off of the self-isolation.

8. Scavenger Hunt
Another fun way to extend the Easter egg hunt is to make it into a scavenger hunt. This will help to prolong the adventure, which will make the kids feel the magic of the holiday. You might consider making a special Easter Bunny list with an official stamp so kids will feel like they’re more on a mission. You can completely customize the list to suit things that are both inside and outside of the home. You can also make the list for more than just egg items. For instance, kids can find bits of spring to earn prizes that the Easter Bunny might not have left in the eggs. A scavenger hunt can be customized to suit children of all ages too, which is a great way to bring even more fun to all of the kids in the household.

9. Picnic Eggs
If you want to take things to a different level, then you might invest in some larger eggs. Then, fill them with bits and pieces that can be eaten. For instance, you can fill them with strawberries, grapes, halved wrapped sandwiches, chips, and more. Once you fill the eggs, tape them shut so that the food isn’t exposed to germs. You will have to hide the eggs quickly and immediately allow the children to hunt. This egg hunt will allow the kids to find their lunch. They can even trade foods with each other to make their meal better than ever.

10. Relay Race
Help the kids burn off some energy by making the egg hunt into a relay race. You can set up different activities like sack racing or egg racing to make the egg hunt even more fun. Another fun way to make the activity fun is to tie the kids’ ankles together and have them work together to get the eggs. You might also consider setting up activity stations, like popping balloons by sitting on them. There are tons of great relay race ideas online, so have some fun with it. When the kids finish aspects of the race, then they earn an egg or are able to hunt in a certain section of the home or yard to find eggs with treats. Your kids will have a lot of fun with this and it can be spread out all day long.

Easter egg hunts might be one of the more normal aspects of April for your kids. These ten ideas will help make the hunt even more fun without forcing you to throw money at the activity. Your kids are bound to get the most out of the holiday despite what is going on in the world, which will help make the holiday feel a little more normal for everyone.