By Sara Smyth | 7 December 2020
Christmas 2020 is certainly going to be a Christmas we remember! After living through a year full of uncertainty, emerging from a second lockdown, we all want to enjoy time with our families and forget about the global craziness for a few days.
But things are not quite the same this year, are they? We know that there are many people out of work this year, more families living in poverty and many who have lost loved ones.
It may not feel appropriate or possible to celebrate in the same way. So, what can we do to ensure this Christmas is different for the right reasons?
The most important thing
For those lucky enough to have choices this Christmas, we could choose to create a less stressful and materialistic experience, redirecting the focus away from ‘plenty’ to ‘enough’.
If you could choose one element of Christmas that you could not live without, what would it be? A dazzling Christmas tree, a heaving table of sumptuous Christmas food, plentiful decorations, the luxury presents on your wish list?
Talk to your family and find out what is the most important element of Christmas to each of them. Is there anything that could be left out?
Think about how you could plan a simple Christmas Day together around the elements that are most important to everyone.
In our family, the top must-have elements are an enormous tree, presents for the children and being together. None of us are overly bothered about food or too many decorations so those things we can keep really simple.
A kinder Christmas
For a truly happier Christmas, spread the festive joy with acts of kindness in your family and local community. If one person normally cooks, suggest allocating a dish for each person to prepare.
Will gift buying will be difficult this year? Organise a family Secret Santa with a low maximum spend to take away the stress. Simplify your own gift list and, instead, prepare Christmas gift boxes for local families in need.
Donate your time. Although it will be different this year, charities are still looking for volunteers. Here are some volunteer opportunities this year at Crisis homeless charity.
A community Christmas
We have learnt the value of community spirit this year. The Danish has a word for it, ‘samfundssind’, which must surely be the perfect 2020 replacement for ‘hygge’.
Even in lockdown, we managed to stay connected. We stood in our doorways clapping and banging on pots to make a noise for the NHS.
This Christmas let us celebrate not only our family time together but our communities too. Raise a toast to your neighbour and share out the mince pies. Be kind, be happy, be healthy and have a lovely Christmas.
Sara Smyth is a yoga teacher, massage therapist and wellbeing writer. Find out more here https://mamaloveyogalondon.com/