There’s no doubt the history books will look back on 2020 as a year of huge challenge and change.
And that’s before we know exactly how Covid-19 will affect the Christmas build-up and the big day itself.
But – let’s face it – it’s looking unlikely that we’ll be getting together with friends and family in the ways we usually do.
It’s been a tough year, though, so it’s really important we find alternative ways to have fun and celebrate.
Which brings me to one of my favourite things about Christmas – the traditions.
I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to immerse myself in my favourite festive traditions, both old and new.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned this year, it’s to slow down and enjoy the small things – and in difficult times I find the familiarity of traditions so very comforting.
I think a renewed emphasis on these traditions is a fantastic way to help replace the fun of some of the cancellations we’re bound to face this year.
Traditions create magic and nostalgia for both adults and children and can be passed down the generations to be enjoyed for many Christmases to come.
I appreciate you might feel you’ve already got enough going on with sorting out presents, decorations and food without adding in ‘extra’ work.
But traditions don’t have to take up much time or cost too much – and they help create structure and routine.
If you choose wisely, you’ll probably find they save you time and stress as you’re more likely to plan them early on – and some/all of the organisation can be delegated to the same person each year.
Here’s how you can use Christmas traditions to bring some fun to 2020!
Audit your existing festive traditions
First of all, write down any festive traditions you already have (those with family, friends and any you do alone), how much they cost, and plan any organisation required and time needed to actually participate.
When I say traditions, I include simple things like listening to festive music, watching Christmas films or making Christmas biscuits with the children.
Are your traditions Covid safe?
Ask yourself if it’s possible to carry out the traditions in their current form and still comply with Covid-19 restrictions in your area.
If not, think about how they can be adapted – perhaps they could be celebrated at home or moved online.
Unfortunately, it just won’t be possible for some traditions to take place this year. If that’s the case with some of yours, you might want to start some new ones.
Check out my list of ideas below for inspiration.
Drop traditions you don’t enjoy
If in previous years, you’ve taken on more traditions than you can cope with, or have been dragged into traditions you don’t enjoy or can’t afford, make this the year you decide to gracefully drop them – I hate to say it, but the global pandemic could be just the excuse you need.
Don’t do things just because you think you ‘should’. Instead, pick your five favourite traditions and focus on them.
Most importantly, once you’ve decided on the traditions you’re keeping, stick to your guns. Don’t let others creep in – you’ll only end up frazzled!
Create new traditions you love
I usually visit a Christmas market in Germany with my sisters in the run-up to Christmas, but sadly that won’t be happening this year.
We’re disappointed, but we’re talking about getting together for a catch up on Zoom instead, with some festive tunes and a glass of mulled wine. So all is not lost!
If the pandemic has put paid to your trip to the pantomime or the ice skating rink is closed, it’s definitely a good idea to plan some new, replacement traditions that won’t break the bank.
Here are some of my Covid-friendly ideas to get you started:
- Create a Christmas countdown routine – kids love it if you gather decorations in a box and they get to add a new one to the Christmas tree each day
- Hold a Christmas jumper competition (either in person or online) – vote for the best and worst jumper and award prizes
- Watch a pantomime, stage show or Christmas film online – or on DVD or Blu-ray if you still have them!
- If you enjoy creativity and craft, set aside some time to make homemade presents or Christmas cards – you/the children will enjoy it and the recipient will appreciate the thoughtful gift
- Involve the family in creating a playlist of everyone’s favourite festive music and/or organise a carol singing session at home – you could even involve friends and family via Zoom (and mute them if their singing isn’t up to scratch!)
- Have a go at ‘elf on the shelf’! For the whole of December the elf ‘magically’ moves to a different position each night while the children are asleep. They get to hunt for the elf and find out what he’s up to when they wake up in the morning
- Fill a bag with good quality toys, books and gifts for less fortunate families and donate it to charity
- Make and decorate a gingerbread house as a special gift or for the family to enjoy
- Help the children decorate their bedrooms using spare decorations, buy some new ones, or have a craft session and make some!
- Exchange secret Santa gifts with friends and family and open them together via a video call.
I hope these ideas have inspired you – I’d love to hear your own ideas and how you get on creating your own festive traditions.
Happy planning and here’s to a fun Christmas 2020!