As the song goes, "There's no place like home for the holidays." This year, that saying has a whole new meaning.
With social distancing restrictions still in place across the country, it seems that most of us will be spending the holidays like we've spent the rest of 2020: at home.
Many are foregoing annual family get-togethers for more intimate gatherings, either with immediate households, bubbles, or alone (and feeling a little Grinch-y about it).
But a different kind of holiday season isn't necessarily a bad thing. It's the perfect time to add in some extra joy, merriment, and festivities into the holidays — and, boy, do we ever deserve it after the year we've just had.
The good news is there are tons of ways to make your house the ultimate holiday destination — from mixing wintry cocktails and hosting virtual games to turning your space into a winter wonderland — even if you have fewer people around this year. And American Express is here to help you celebrate.
With the Choice Card from American Express™, you can get rewarded for virtually everything you buy with your Card. That means every ingredient you buy for your holiday dinner, every present you purchase online or pick up in store for loved ones, and every holiday decoration delivered to your doorstep racks up points you can use later.
For every $1 in eligible purchases charged to your Choice Card from American Express (which has no annual fee), you can earn one Membership Rewards® point, where 1000 points is equivalent to a $7 statement credit. Then, you can use those points to pay for purchases on your card — from gifts to entertainment experiences and also future travel.
So go on, dive into some festive baking, mix cozy cocktails, deck the halls, and get shopping. Here's how you can make the most of the holidays this year, however you’re celebrating, and embrace the true meaning of home
1. Start A New Tradition
The holidays are looking a little different this year, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it's the best time to switch up the usual traditions (wine advent calendars and dessert for breakfast, anyone?).
Swap out the hectic family party you sometimes dread attending and find something you don't usually do instead — make that your new tradition.
You'll be thanking yourself for holidays to come.
2. Bake Some Holiday Treats
Nothing gets you in the holiday mood faster than baking something that smells heavenly, tastes great, and looks super festive.
Make big batches of cookies, pies, and other holiday goodies and leave them on the doorstep of your neighbours, family, and friends. It’s honestly a great way to surprise and delight the people in your life that you won’t get to see this holiday season; plus, if you use your Choice Card, you'll be earning 1 Membership Rewards® point for every dollar you spend on ingredients!
Just don't forget to save some for yourself!
3. Turn Your Space Into A Winter Wonderland
You'll be spending more time at home than usual this holiday season, so why not go all out with the decorations?
Spruce up your living room or bedroom with twinkly string lights, add cheer to your front door with a colourful wreath, and cover your coffee table in pinecones and silver bells to create the winter wonderland of your dreams.
If you don't already have ready-to-go decorations at home, you can rack up points on holiday goodies when you use your Amex Choice Card. So go ahead and deck the halls like you've never decked them before.
4. Mix Cozy Winter Cocktails
Hot toddies, peppermint mimosas, sugar cookie martinis, spiced mulled wine — there are tons of special drinks to try that will up your winter cocktail game.
Try them warm for extra coziness and don't forget to top each one with a candy cane or two.
Or, try non-alcoholic options like homemade eggnog. Make a batch from scratch and enjoy it fireside with a good book and a cozy blanket.
5. Cook Something Different For A Festive Dinner
Just because you can't gather as you normally would, doesn't mean you have to skip out on the main event: dinner.
Instead of the usual holiday meal, swap the turkey for something different this year. How does a holiday curry sound? Or a mince filo pastry? What about a vegan mushroom-stuffed tofu roast?
Plan ahead and make sure you have everything you need. When you hit the grocery store, use your Amex Choice Card to earn points on the ingredients for your new and exciting feast.
6. Binge-Watch Classic Holiday Movies
What are the holidays without an afternoon full of streaming your favourite, nostalgia-filled holiday films?
Choice Cardmembers can also earn points for every dollar spent on streaming services. Be sure to sign up for a few new platforms so you have plenty of classics to choose from when you need to fill that awkward gap between dinner and presents.
Looking for something other than a movie or new series? Cardmembers can also enjoy insider access a host of virtual experiences from dining, wellness, retail and entertainment through American Express® Experiences.
7. Host A Virtual "Holiday Help-Out" Exchange
Just because we’re keeping our distance, doesn’t mean the holiday vibes have to stop.
If you have a large family or group of friends that you won't be able to see towards the end of the year, check in on them by hosting a virtual holiday exchange.
You could help out those in need around this time by making it a charitable gift exchange. Challenge your friends to fill up a shoebox full of the most fun and useful purchases they can find, and then share your finds with each other online before safely donating them to local drives.
Or, you and your friends can help out local brands by purchasing gift certificates to your favourite small businesses, while earning points for every dollar charged to your Amex Choice Card! Once online, you guys can play games (pro tip: a trivia game based around your friend group is always a sure bet!) and win each other’s certificates as prizes,
However you choose to celebrate the holidays this year, take your Amex Choice Card with you to rack up points and gain access to a world of rewards.
Plus, as a new Cardmember, you get to enjoy a welcome offer of 10,000 reward points for spending $1,000 in your first three months.
Whether you're looking to shop for gifts, stream holiday classics, or buy baking ingredients, you can cover your purchases with your cover your American Express Membership Rewards®.
Who knows? By getting creative and finding new ways to celebrate, some of your ideas might be so good that you’ll make some new traditions along the way.