5 Ways To Make Christmas 2020 Your Best One Yet!
There’s no doubt that 2020 will go down as one of the most challenging and difficult years that any of us have lived through. The end of a tough season is perhaps now in sight. But many of us have endured separation from loved ones, cancelled holidays, kids missing out on school, and the pressures of lost or reduced income.
Celebrating Christmas is most probably going to look and feel different this year, BUT it could be your best one ever! It has been amazing to hear the countless stories of how people have adapted and risen above the challenges of Covid-19.
Sometimes, challenges enable us to find new and better ways of doing things. Here at QniQr, we have some inspiration from families we’ve been in touch with, who have found ways to make Christmas 2020 a truly memorable one, and something to build new and rich traditions upon.
#1. Start a new family tradition
What better way to remember Christmas 2020, than as the year your family started a new tradition that you'll always look back on together. You could have a special movie night with treats wearing matching pyjamas, camp out around the Christmas tree and roast marshmallows on the fire, fill a gratitude jar with all the things you are thankful for in the year, or make a gingerbread house together which gets devoured on Boxing Day! It doesn't have to be expensive or elaborate, all you have to do is find a way of connecting as a family and spending quality time together.
#2. DIY your Christmas presents or buy second-hand
If you’re low on budget, family and friends will love your DIY efforts and this is a wonderful, creative activity to get your kids involved in. Try homemade jewelry, chocolates, and candles, or decorated jars filled with homemade bakes…For more inspiration, we love these ideas from CountryLivingMagazine.
You could also think about giving second-hand presents (check out QniQr, the online market place for kids and teens here, with lots of pre-loved toys, games, books, and more for sale). Charity shop hunting can be really fun, or you may have things around the house that you no longer use and would make great gifts for someone else. As one parent says,
"Usually our kids love to buy presents for each other and for us (mum & dad), but this year we have decided as a family to either make or buy second-hand for each other. I was worried the kids might feel disappointed, but they are amazingly up for this as they have become really conscious of trying to reduce waste and not throw things away. It has brought us closer together as a family, making a joint decision not to waste money on presents that may never be used anyway, and it feels good to be supporting charity shops and doing things in a greener way."
#3. Give back
Giving back to the community is a great way to celebrate the Christmas season, especially when there can be so much more emphasis on receiving. During lockdown and over the course of the Covid 19 pandemic, it has been heartwarming to see all the ways in which people have reached out and supported one another in times of need. It has reminded us all how community can be a powerful force for good. There are so many ways to help out. You could try volunteering or donate to a food bank, adopt an elderly or housebound person to visit or call, deliver treats to a homeless shelter, or make homemade cards to distribute at old-age homes.
You'll be surprised how much kids love getting involved and it really teaches them how important it is to care for others in need.
Tanya, a mum of 3 explains, "We actually started this family tradition a few years back, but this year it feels more important than ever. It came about because we felt our kids were so spoilt at Christmas, and we wanted to help them see that Christmas is about giving as well as receiving. We saw an advert at our local church asking for volunteers to go into an old age home to sing carols and deliver mince pies. Our kids were not sure at all - it didn't seem cool! But honestly, they were buzzing afterward and were really keen to do it again the next year! This year we will be singing carols outside as loud as we can, but we will still go armed with mince pies so that they know they aren't alone."
#4. Create a video for family & loved ones you won't be seeing
With restrictions in place this year, seeing all your family and loved ones may not be an option. But why not share videos and messages, and create a memorable snapshot of your family for those who would still love to see and hear from you. A bit like a family newsletter (but way more fun!), get each member of your family to share a little bit of what they have been up to, tell a funny joke, play an instrument, read out a Christmas poem, or show off their artwork. Kids love performing for the camera, and your friends or family will treasure the contact with you, even if it is from afar.
#5. Accept that it may not be perfect
The traditional image of Christmas, let’s be totally honest, is an incredibly difficult one to try and emulate. We are bombarded with images of cosy, joyful, and beautifully decorated homes, in which happy families gather around the tree and share a harmonious, cooked-to-perfection dinner (and let's not forget the pristine snow outside and the Christmas Eve family ice-skating trip!). No pressure then!
We can plan things with surgical precision, but do things always turn out as we hope? Not always, and that's certainly something all of us have had to get used to this year - lots of uncertainty and adapting to change! Christmas can pile on a lot of pressure, particularly for mums and dads to make it perfect and please everyone. But remember, the true message of Christmas is really about family and being together. The kids will most probably fight, the turkey may get overcooked, a present might break and there will almost certainly be a lot of mess to contend with.
But don't let unrealistic or high expectations ruin the day. One mum has this little bit of advice for us all...
"This year my husband and I decided we were not going to let our thwarted high hopes cause stress. We sat down and talked about it...and made a conscious decision to laugh about our unrealistic expectations and just pop the bubble! We also talked to our kids and agreed as a family to go with the flow. It's become a bit of an inside joke now, and we all have a saying we shout out whenever one of us gets uptight about something, "Remember, as far as anyone knows, we are a nice NORMAL family!'