We've all spent a lot of time at home this year. Whether it's been time spent working from home or learning from home, that space has provided shelter and comfort in a time when we've needed it most.
As you close the door on this challenging year, try a few of these 12 ideas to reflect on how your home has been there for you, give back to your community, and celebrate the power of home. And drop a comment below with your ideas for how to celebrate home this year!
Talk about your home
When you connect with your family over Zoom, get everyone talking about home! Telling stories about home is a great way to connect with one another and to bolster your gratitude for where you live. Here are a few conversation starters:
- What’s your favorite memory of home?
- What’s something you’ve grown to love about your home through the pandemic?
- Describe the meaning of home with one word.
- What's your favorite room in your home? Why?
Honor someone you love with the gift of home
Instead of giving stuff this year, you can give the gift of home in honor or memory of your loved ones. When you make a tribute donation, you give a thoughtful, unique gift and you create safe, stable homes in your community. We’ll even mail or email a card for you (select the email option to ensure it gets there on time!).
Grab takeout from your favorite local restaurant
Celebrate your home by giving your kitchen a break (brilliant way to frame that, right?)
Local restaurants need your support. Pick up a meal from one of your favorite places or choose from a few Habitat favorites in the Google map below. These restaurants have supported Habitat in the past or are BIPOC/LGBTQ-owned restaurants that we prefer for catering—and one, Intown Sushi, is owned by a Habitat homeowner!
Enjoy a pint at home
Support local breweries by picking up a few crowlers or growlers to pair with your meal. You can support Habitat’s House that Beer Built by buying the limited-edition Home Improvements brew or making a beer run to any of our 2021 Build Partners.
Here’s a fun idea: pick up a dozen crowlers from a local brewery and drop a few off on your friends’ porches. An awesome winter surprise!
Create holiday gifts from ReStore finds and things you already own
Holiday gifts can be expensive, and with supply chain delays, you can't be sure they'll reach you in time. Instead of buying more stuff, take a look at what you already have and give it some holiday cheer! Check out these ideas to get you started.
Learn about the history of housing in your community
Nearly all our racial disparities can be tied back to discriminatory housing practices - the roots of racism in the U.S. are centuries-deep.
Spend time this winter reading our Race & Housing series about the history of Minnesota’s racial disparities and what steps you can take to close the gaps.
Get your kids thinking about home
Try one of these awesome activities for kids from our downloadable kids’ activity guide:
- Build a spaghetti or toothpick marshmallow house
- Draw your dream home
- Make a cardboard box clubhouse
- Color about home! Check out the beautiful coloring pages in the downloadable guide below
- Create a bracelet of nuts and bolts
Build a gingerbread house
While you can’t swing a hammer and build a house with Habitat this winter, build a gingerbread house on your own! All of us at Twin Cities Habitat take gingerbread homebuilding very seriously, as you can see from this year’s fierce virtual competition:
Complete your will online for free
For most of us, our home is our greatest asset. Regardless of age or income, it’s good to have a plan for what will happen with your home and your other assets after your lifetime. Twin Cities Habitat offers FreeWill, a free and secure online tool that walks you through the process of creating a will.
Organize and declutter your home
It might sound boring, but it can feel great to get your home organized around the holidays (or in January—a great resolution!). Our ReStore team put together some great tips for organizing, no matter how much time you have. And if you have stuff you’re ready to part with, be sure to drop it off at our ReStore Home Improvement Outlets.
Keep your home safe from fires
Home fires are the most frequent disaster in the U.S., but there are plenty of things you can do to reduce your risk. The American Red Cross put together 10 tips to keep your home safe while you decorate for the holidays, including:
- Don’t string more than three strands of lights together per extension cord.
- Don't light the fireplace while you have stockings hung.
- Keep your live tree fresh and watered, and ensure your artificial tree has a fire-resistant label. Keep any type of tree away from fireplaces, radiators, and other sources of heat.
Donate to causes in your community
It’s the giving season. For many of us, that means giving gifts to the people and causes we love. This year, it’s more important than ever to support local organizations that are strained during the pandemic. If you’re in a position to donate financially, please be generous.
Consider a donation to healthcare organizations, senior services, emergency shelters, or food shelves on the front lines of the crisis. You can also celebrate home with a gift to a organization like Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity, one of our referral partners, or the many other places working hard to expand affordable housing in our community.
Even if you can’t donate financially, consider donating blood or plasma through the Red Cross or Memorial Blood Centers. Both are critically low on blood supply and have COVID-19 safety precautions in place to keep you safe while you’re donating.
Whatever you do to celebrate the end of this year, please be safe, let gratitude be your guide, and remember the transformational power of home.