Last year we all spent Christmas on a much smaller scale than what we’re used to. This year’s plans could also get compromised. But being covid conscious and a responsible citizen doesn’t mean that you have to miss out on magical moments, celebrations and experiences.
We’ve put together ten meaningful ways to celebrate Christmas with loved ones, whilst keeping them safe and connected.
1) Get savvy with markets
With so many creative markets at our fingertips, avoiding busy big stores for our Christmas gifts is as simple as ever. Outdoor markets are a great place to shop - lots of fresh air, independent businesses and the festive buzz created by the aromas and sounds of busy stalls. If you’d rather shop from home, head over to Instagram and take part in online small business markets, or check your local business or town’s community group to see what local talent is on offer for you to tap into. Maybe your church or school is running a Christmas market?
2) Decorate a garden tree
If you’re lucky enough to enjoy the company of a tree (any type) in your garden give it a festive makeover. Hang some fairy lights and encourage children to make decorations from dried fruits and pine cones. Top up the bird feeders. It’ll bring joy to your street and give you attachment to something so close to home.
3) Watch Christmas classics
Put your snuggly socks on and sink into the sofa with your favourite Christmas classic. Why not challenge yourself to discover three new Christmas films this year? If you're not subscribed to a streaming channel, charity shops and Vinted are great places for picking up preloved festive flicks.
4) Play secret Santa through the mail
A lovely way to ensure anyone living alone, shielding or wanting to spend Christmas quietly is involved in some festive fun. Invite your close circle of friends or family to take part in a secret Santa via mail. Receiving post can feel so meaningful. Maybe you could encourage some eco challenges - can you make it plastic-free, vegan or secondhand for example. We’ve got some handy tips on wrapping and sending gifts in eco-fashion.
5) Create a Christmas playlist
We’re all blessed when it comes to a pool of Christmas tunes - there are hundreds to choose from. Taking time to stop and enjoy music is calming and energising. Pour yourself a glass of wine or herbal tea and create a playlist with your absolute favourites. Or maybe you are the grab a hairbrush and sing your heart out whilst bouncing on the sofa type? You can take your playlist on the road with you and have it ready for the big Christmas dinner. Why not share your playlist with someone special as a little ‘thinking of you’ gift.
6) Go on a neighbourhood light tour
A fresh walk in the chilly air with hands tucked into gloves and necks hugged by scarves is a precious Christmas tradition. There’s no need to turn up to mass event light switch ons - a stroll around your neighbourhood, admiring the effort your neighbours make is guaranteed to bring festive cheer. If you’ve got children you could add a challenge by writing out a light bingo or spotter sheet. You could do the same with shop windows.
7) Organise an ornament exchange
If small and meaningful is for you then organising an ornament exchange could be your next new tradition. There are tons of DIY decorations you can make. Instagram and Pinterest are loaded with Christmas crafts ideas and reels. Imagine what delights you’ll receive in return. Or, maybe you’ve got some old baubles or decor you don’t use anymore? You can swap these for something new and exciting with your friends. Zero-waste and cost-free.
8) Video chat to open gifts and cards
Virtual gatherings and meetings have become the norm during our pandemic and this doesn’t have to stop at Christmas. If you know there are vulnerable people in your family or you've got friends who won’t be able to join in Christmas as usual, make a special deal of inviting them to an online/video call. You can send them a DIY invite and schedule it into your Christmas plans to ensure they are included. One of the best things about Christmas is seeing the love and joy gifts can bring - so do share it all on camera.
9) Organise a gingerbread house bake-off
If you’ve got bakers in your family or friends who like a challenge, set up a virtual gingerbread house baking competition. Create a doodle poll to see which date you can all fit it in and then send out the invites and challenge details. Will you all have to use the same ingredients? Will you let everyone have free reign? As this activity takes a few hours, you’ll get the opportunity to bond, catch up and laugh at baking hiccups. At the end enjoy a splash of judging and send out a mysterious prize to the winner.
10) Treat yourself
It’s been another challenging year as Covid continues to ripple through our lives and communities. We’re all feeling the strain. It’s important to take time for yourself. It’s so easy to run around after anyone else at Christmas but also put in the time to do what makes you happy. And go and get yourself a treat- something that’ll boost your mood and confidence. We’ve got the perfect gift sets. How about a winter skincare glow-up? Or a trio of lip balms that sinks into lips like a dream, keeping them smooth and moist throughout the colder days?