“Christmas is doing a little something extra for someone.” – Charles M. Schulz
Just like most things in 2020, I think we can all agree that Christmas is going to be a little different this year. The festive season is a time of year that is very close to our hearts in the UK, and making this year’s celebrations the very best that they can be might well be vital to the overarching resilience of us all!
Sure, the restrictions are moving and changing all the time, and planning to far in advance has seen many of us disappointed throughout the year, with cancelled celebrations and memorials littering our barely used calendars and diaries. The events of 2020 demand that we take the time, this Christmas, to remember what we do have and to practice gratitude for it.
Yes, there are many cherished frivolities, social traditions and festive accessories associated with Christmas that may not come to pass this year. Nevertheless, that does not mean that we cannot appreciate the things about the festive season that remain, and indeed, the uniquely positive occurrences bought on by whatever restrictions may be in place. These are the things that really matter for Christmas 2020…
1. Quality Time
For many of us, the days and weeks surrounding December the 25th are full. Our diaries are backed up and crammed with social engagements. People. People. So many people to see. I’m sure there are mixed feelings about this Christmas reality; some people love it, for others it is a bit of a slog. However, regardless of how you feel about festive socialising, the fact is that you will not require the same resilience as usual.
The social engagements are going to be far fewer and much less crowded! This means that you will not have to wildly flit between many friends and relatives, catching up with them as fast as you can, always conscious that there is someone you haven’t gotten to yet. We can take our time this year. We can relax and enjoy real quality time with those people closest to us.
2. Making an Effort
Whatever your role in your family Christmas this year, whether you are hosting or just turning up, the likelihood is that you will have had to make a little more effort than you would normally have done. Perhaps it means that you had to take up some slack, as there are less people to put the festive prep work in than usual. Perhaps you had to self-isolate to even get there! Christmas is all about making that bit of effort to make things special. We should all be conscious and grateful that everyone will have gone to extra lengths to make it happen!
3. Giving and Sharing
Giving and sharing has always been a cornerstone of the festive season. Gestures of goodwill and glad tidings are not only going to be just as possible this year as they have always been, but their impact will be more significant. In many cases the need and desire for such gestures will be enormous. Give and share among your nearest and dearest, and give and share to your wider community if you can. Spreading the love is especially important this year. Be conscious of others and feed their resilience and wellbeing with acts of giving.
Although the ideas is that the holidays offer a period of rest, the likelihood is that your Christmas is anything but restful. With all the preparation required, the parties to attend and the people to see, Christmas can actually be pretty exhausting. This year, most of us will have no choice but to take it a bit easier. Think of it as a positive. Look after your wellbeing and be conscious of ensuring that you actually get a little rest.
5. Appreciating What You Do Have
In a year where the world has gone through so much, and many have lost so much, now is a time to focus on what it is that we do have, and to be appreciative of these things. Christmas has a always been a good time to practice gratitude, but this year holds extra poignancy in that regard. For every little thing you enjoy this year, and for every little thing you have gained throughout the last 12 months, pause for a moment of gratitude.
By Chris Thomson
A stripped back Christmas can be extremely liberating, and leaves space for conscious giving and genuine gratitude and connection, presents or no presents! Appreciating A Christmas Without Presents
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