If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that the things we should appreciate the most are not those of monetary value. Our health, the wellbeing of others and those cherished moments with loved ones, are a common feature on Christmas wish lists after what has been a turbulent and unforgiving year.
Having spent yet another month of 2020 away from friends and family, many of us will be looking forward to spending some quality time together over the festive period. Whilst this year’s festivities will be vastly different to those we are used to, Christmas is in no way cancelled, and there are other ways in which we can inject a little magic into the nation’s favourite time of year.
Embrace the Experiences
Whilst we all look forward to the festivities of Christmas Day, the build up can be stressful. It’s easy to feel weighed down by a seemingly endless list of tasks and the pressure to put on a spectacular spread can be overwhelming. This year, our social lives have slowed down considerably and none of us will be catering for vast numbers of relatives. We should have more time to enjoy the plans and preparations which we would normally rush. Wrapping presents, decorating the tree and preparing dinner can all be enjoyable experiences when we can do them at our own pace. Put on some festive music, serve some seasonal snacks and make those previously time-consuming tasks part of the fun!
Time to Unwind
Having more time on our hands will give us more opportunities to enjoy the festivities and immerse ourselves in the magic of the season. Instead of spending hours in the kitchen preparing a lavish feast for 20, take some time to relax and do the things you enjoy. Immerse yourself in cheesy movies, play games with the children, sing carols on Christmas Eve, enjoy leisurely winter walks on Boxing Day and find plenty of time to unwind after a tremendously stressful year.
Make Every Moment Count
Over the course of the year, we have been unified as nation in our worry and concern for those we love. Those of us with vulnerable relatives have been deeply worried for their wellbeing and sadly, there will be permanently empty chairs at dinner tables across the UK on Christmas Day.
This year, instead of being caught up in the wave of consumerism that Christmas usually brings, our primary focus is our loved ones. Make a special effort to spend quality time as a family doing simple things. 2020 could be the perfect year to start a new Christmas tradition. Think about what the season means to you and your family and come up with an activity that you can repeat year on year. You certainly won’t forget the year your tradition began!
Share the Magic
It goes without saying that most of us won’t be able to spend time with all the people we’d like to this Christmas. However, we can still connect with one another and feel a certain level of closeness despite being miles apart. Why not make those video calls a little more festive by using them to enjoy virtual activities? Family quiz nights, mini talent competitions and craft sessions can all be enjoyed virtually. For those who aren’t tech savvy, care packages are a great way of showing someone they are in your thoughts. Include a handwritten letter and a photograph for that extra personal touch.
New Ways of Giving
This year, communities have rallied together to help the vulnerable. Key workers have risked their health to keep the country going, and inspirational individuals have earned phenomenal amounts of cash for charity. Christmas is a time for giving, and after witnessing so many give so much during 2020, it would be nice to continue the theme. Buying from local businesses will help them recoup some of their losses, browsing second hand shops for unusual gifts will support struggling charities, and choosing sustainable or ethically made products will give something back to the environment.
Wishing you all a happy and joyful Christmas, from the Hartleys Team.