We have tried to make the most of the holidays throughout 2020, but it is undeniable that social distancing and lockdown has prevented us from celebrating in some of the more traditional ways. As we come to the end of the year, we are now gearing up to the big finale and the most magical time of the year, Christmas! An annual debate occurs over when is the acceptable time to divulge into all things Christmas, but is Christmas coming even earlier this year?
To decorate or not to decorate
We all have that one friend or relative that trumps everyone in being the first person to put their Christmas decorations up. But this year, there is one additional question; after the unprecedented year of 2020, that has brought with it increased anxiety and uncertainty; should we break all the traditional rules and start to spread the Christmas cheer earlier to combat some of these negative emotions?
It is traditionally said the Christmas trees should be put up at the beginning of Advent, which begins on the fourth Sunday ahead of Christmas marked this year as Sunday 29th November. Is this the day we should all be waiting for? Others may go by the traditional “12 days of Christmas” and wait to deck out their homes for the festive period until this point.
But this year, a year where we are still fighting through the devastating effects of the pandemic, it is arguably more acceptable to start celebrating Christmas earlier. For many of us the dream to fast forward to 2021 remains prevalent in the hope to find some promise of life back to normal, so Christmas can’t come quick enough. For adults and children alike the magic of Christmas is undeniable and something that can be shared between friends and family, from one house to another on the streets, in communities and between strangers to help our mental wellbeing.
Christmas is a time that unites us with friends and family, as well as a time to reflect and give to the less fortunate. Something that the whole of 2020 has taught us in abundance, but this year has hit many people so hard, so indulging in Christmas could bring that little extra lift.
Christmas 2020 planning
So how can you best plan for Christmas 2020? One important factor when planning for Christmas is your choice of tree. You might have an artificial tree waiting in storage, but if you are buying new or your first ever real tree this year make sure you get your orders in early to avoid disappointment. If your preference is a real tree then you might have to hold off earlier celebrations depending on the time scale and the quality of the tree. A real tree usually lasts 4-6 weeks so you might want to plan around the time you wish to take your tree down. For some might be straight after the day itself, maybe after new years eve has passed, and for some as tradition on the 12th night.
Many people will see it as a necessity this year to be extra organized. With the spread of the virus still prevalent, unfortunately we can’t all guarantee our positions in the lead up to Christmas, with impending lockdowns and potential illness. Many have been beginning their preparations early for the holiday season as shops are being forced to close across the world or have opening restricted hours/conditions. This can leave people anxious they will not be organized ahead of the event.
Another factor that we have become more accustomed to this year is shop local and what better time to support small businesses than Christmas. Many people are pledging to complete their whole Christmas shopping in this manner. A personalized service which is still accessible online might be welcomed this year to send customized goods which will be delivered with Christmas love. Make sure you are getting your orders within good time to make sure your gifts are with you for your own Christmas deliveries due to lockdown and increased demand impacting delivery times.
As well as decorations being aesthetically pleasing, embarking on all things Christmas also includes Christmas movies. With TV and streaming channels schedules now introducing the firm festive favorites such as Home Alone, Arthur Christmas and The Grinch, there is a whole library of Christmas favorites waiting for our annual viewing. A perfect way to spend time at home in a Christmas movie marathon.
Another pastime of the holiday season is baking and making delightful festive foods. It is a time when we can indulge in all things naughty, so why not get the practice in early and begin perfecting those scrumptious desserts. We saw many baking Banana Bread earlier in the year so why not switch that to Gingerbread Men or a traditional Christmas cake.
Wrapping up the debate is over when Christmas begins is never an easy task. After a year of turmoil for many, even if you aren’t always on board the Christmas train, the feelings of excitement and togetherness that Christmas brings offer hope and support for families across the world. To feel the warmth of Christmas is something we all need right now so why not accept that Christmas is coming even earlier this year.