BLACKBERRY TOWNSHIP – As the summer of COVID-19 wore on, Jennifer Jones of Blackberry Township began to think that the virus was not going away any time soon.
With thoughts of this year’s Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays during the pandemic, Jones wanted to offer ideas to keep the spirit and magic of Christmas – despite the virus.
“I thought for sure by Christmas, we’d be good to go,” Jones said. “It did not cross my mind that the holidays would be impacted. I just assumed – like most people – that we’d have vaccines and the virus would have run its course. It became clear to me toward the end of summer, that wasn’t going to happen.”
So she began working on a book and the result is a 34-page self-published book is available on Amazon, called "A Covid-19 Christmas: 101 Ways To Make Christmas 2020 Magical."
“This is the first book I’ve ever written,” Jones said. “It was exciting and a bit nerve wracking to go through the process.”
She has had about 300 downloads of the ebook version through social media.
“We have got a good-sized following on Instagram, about 60,000 @youngwildmefamily,” Jones said.
She and her husband both work from home as social media influencers, working with companies and partnering with various brands to promote their products.
She has a kindergarten boy and boy and girl twins in third grade and a new baby born in May.
With children doing remote learning while she and her husband work from home, Jones began looking ahead.
And she saw that the pandemic would lead to the loss of traditional holidays with friends and family while they follow guidelines during the pandemic. It made Jones want to search out alternative ideas that would still make the holidays special – but also safe.
“I started with Thanksgiving, finding alternate ways to connect with friends and family … when it might not be safe to connect with people you love and people you want to be with,” Jones said.
Her book has a section on crafts to do with kids, such as creating keepsakes.
There’s ideas about having fun in the snow – but also about how to make snow while inside.
There’s a baking section with holiday-inspired Popsicles using silicone molds and making caramel apple nachos.
There’s a section about different ways a person could help their local communities – such as making donations, surprising a neighbor in need with decorations on their lawn or making Christmas cards for residents of local nursing homes, she said.
“More than anything, this book is about thought-starters,” Jones said. “Find stuff to do at home where you are safe. So much has been taken away from them (her children) this year. … You don’t get those years back. I want them to experience the magic and start new traditions and not skip a beat with things because of e-learning and not seeing friends. And I hope other families can benefit with a little joy. It’s a road map – the best of both worlds – fun stuff at home.”