No matter where you are in the world, 2020 is known as the unprecedented year, bringing uncertainties to many. It has also brought a year of revelations. But how has a year that has seen the world stand still, kept us apart from loved ones and seen us stay at home changed our perspective on Christmas and the important festive season.
In the true meaning of Christmas, this is a time for us to be thankful. Most people this year would have experienced time away from family and friends having to social distance and many have watched people fall ill through the virus with some sadly losing loved ones. Loneliness this year has been a cause for concern, particularly for the elderly. In a year where we have strived to ‘be kind’ we have seen charities, communities and people in their efforts to try to make a difference. Christmas may still not be of the past like we are used to, but it is important to still show you care to your loved ones even if you cannot be physically together. It is clear that the value of family and love at christmas time are still just as important, if not more so after a year characterised by challenge. Giving gifts to those in need, such as Children or the elderly, will help to ensure everyone has a Merry Christmas.
The Gift of Giving
Christmas 2020 perhaps has a less material focus. Due to altered restrictions placed across the world, Christmas shopping may be proving difficult with many shops deemed non-essential and forced to close. In light of this many people will be looking to complete their shopping online. In one of the more positive outcomes, people are looking to shop local and support small businesses. Shopping on social media and online marketplaces such as Etsy can provide an array of creative, home made gifts which can be personalized for that unique touch. Supporting small businesses gives money directly to makers and creatives, who may have lost out this year. Why not look to send a personalized bauble as a reminder of 2020 as the year we came together.
You could also look to buy an ‘experience’ as a gift, which may not be able to be redeemed right now, such as an afternoon tea or a family photo shoot, but can provide something to look forward to. Also instead of buying an aesthetic present, why not take the time to see what your loved ones need, such as a food hamper, or paying for electronic items or tools someone might need to retrain for work ensuring a gift that is definitely of use.
As we are moving into the official month of Christmas there has already been controversy for when is the acceptable time to decorate, with many this year pulling out the decs as early as October! This year we have seen many people get their creative hats on and in their new found time at home are making decorations with children or upcycling old decorations to fit with a new theme. Why not let the children get their hands on any old recyclable materials such as toilet rolls to make some people chains and cardboard boxes and lids to make some custom decorations. Also, make the most of our time outside. Why not go foraging for foliage goodies, looking to twigs, holly, acorns will make perfect rustic decorations and can form the basis to make tree decorations, wreaths and garlands. Christmas 2020 is certainly a time for making and creating.
Festive foods is another area needing a lot of preparation if you are looking to feed the family. This year however, following restrictions you might be hosting a smaller Christmas than normal so why not alter your menu to help minimise what could be an area of substantial waste. Instead of ordering a giant turkey, why not look at buying alternative meats this year, more suitable in size to feed the numbers you need. Also, why not look to prepare your food early giving you the advantage of freezing your food into portions. This way as Christmas draws near you can review how many people you have attending and use the right amount of food from your freezer for the day. This way you are still eating home cooked foods and the remains can be left frozen and reused for further meals rather than thrown away. You could look to benefit the planet further by having a vegetarian or vegan dinner. It is certain the dinner will still be a focal point, but it is likely to be a more intimate affair.
It will be without a doubt that this Christmas will be different to any other, but if we can look at the positives we can certainly make Christmas work in our own bubbles and continue to spread love and festive cheer to all.