This year, Christmas looks a lot different for many people in our area. With so many of our beloved holiday events being canceled or going virtual, we're kind of left with our heads spinning. But, that doesn't mean Christmas is canceled. There are still plenty of ways for you to enjoy the holiday, find the spirit and start some new traditions. Here are some ways you can still participate in Christmas activities even during the pandemic.

Enter your number to get our free mobile app

1. Check out the light display at Lake Francis in Sartell. You can get out of the car, walk around and soak in the beauty. It's a huge walk thru display located behind the Sartell Community Center.

2. Do an in-person or virtual visit with Santa at Crossroads Mall. Santa is, after all, pandemic proof.

3. Volunteer your time with the Salvation Army as a bell ringer. It's something fun your family can do together.

4. Donate! There are a lot of ways to give back this holiday. That's what this season is all about, right? Donate to Toys For Tots, consider a food shelf donation with the Jolly Trolley Food Drive or give the gift of warmth with the Crossroads Center winter coat drive.

5. Attend a virtual or in-person Christmas Eve service. Nearly every church in the area is putting on a service.

6. Drive around central Minnesota and admire all of the beautiful Christmas light displays. There's a huge one in Sauk Rapids that's worth checking out!

7. Check out GREAT Theatre's live radio broadcast of Miracle on 34th Street. It's Friday, December 18th at 7 p.m. You can hear it live on our sister station AM 1240 and FM 95.3 WJON.

8. Buy Christmas goodies and treats from your local bakery. Coborn's, Cold Spring Bakery, Dutchmaid, Mixin' It Up Gluten Free Bakery...they're all offering delicious holiday treats.

9. Check out Marcus Parkwood Cinema's holiday movie popcorn deal. You can get your favorite movie theater snacks delivered to your house to enjoy with your favorite Christmas movies at home.

10. Participate in the nationwide Christmas Eve Bell Ring. At 6 p.m. local time you're asked to ring or jingle a bell outside of your home for two minutes to help Santa know we're ready for him.

6 Easy Ways to Support Small Businesses in Central Minnesota