This year, we’ll all be having a Christmas like no other. While some countries are locked down, and others have travel restrictions in place, traveling back home to celebrate with your loved ones may not be an option. As adults, we’re more likely to compromise with the current situation. For children who are used to celebrating with their grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins, it might be much more complicated. So here are some tips for getting yourself and your children into the Christmas spirit amid the pandemic crisis.
Decorate your personal space
Where are your fairy lights and your colorful Christmas balls? What about your Santa’s hat? Assuming you’ve preserved them carefully since last Christmas, it’s high time you took them out to get into the festive mood. If you have kids, decorating the house and the Christmas tree can be some family activity to break the lockdown routine. If you live alone, your cat or your dog can be your assistant. Almost everyone loves to contemplate the colorful Christmas decorations. If you’re currently on holiday and you have the necessary material, you can also make some DIY Christmas decorations for your home. Make your vital space as pleasant as possible during this festive season. Making postcards is another great way to spend your free time and convey your wishes to your loved ones.
Plan family activities
Although some countries are planning to ease their restrictions during the Christmas week, you’re probably not likely to plan your outings as you used to. Forget about spending the festive season with your family back home, or about traveling to some exotic place for holidays. With your children at home, all this can sound stressful, but there are many ways to spend quality time together. First, put up your Christmas tree and get your children to help you decorate it. DIY decorations can be an enriching experience for them while keeping them busy. Consider other family activities, such as board games, riddles, puzzles, craft workshops, etc., for the whole week. Internet is your best friend, so do some research and search your drawers for the DIY material you had kept. Don’t forget to immortalize those special moments through photos. If you have a backyard, a candy hunt is another great idea to keep the kids busy. And if you’re lucky to have snow for Christmas, make a snowman and have a snowball fight together.
Make a list of Christmas carols and movies
Have you ever imagined Christmas without the Christmas carols? Perhaps you won’t get the chance to listen to the Christmas carols at your doorstep, but you can have your own choir. Pick your favorite Christmas carols and plan your rehearsals until Christmas Eve. How about a special Christmas karaoke? You can also pick up a couple of Christmas movies that you can watch with your children with some hot chocolate and home-made cookies. You can also plan a movie marathon for your children with your friends or with your family back home. It’s a great way to spend quality time online.
Make a Christmas playlist
From early December, Christmas carols are usually on repeat mode in almost every business around the world. But with the current restrictions, you’re less likely to be touring bars, shops or malls this year. One of the best ways to get into the Christmas spirit is by making a special Christmas playlist. Are you more of a fan of English or international songs? A mix of both could be perfect. Tune in to YouTube, and you’re done! From Tino Rossi to Mariah Carey and Sia, the choice is vast. It can also be a great way to learn how to wish Merry Christmas in different languages. But don’t keep them to yourself! Your friends and family might also be feeling isolated and depressed during this uncommon festive period. So consider sharing your playlist with them on social networks or through apps like WhatsApp, WeChat, Messenger, etc. It can bring them a ray of light amidst the COVID-19 chaos.
Watch your favorite Christmas movies
In locked down countries, family activities such as movie nights or theater won’t be a thing this Christmas. But that doesn’t mean you should sit down and get bored. If you have a Netflix account or have a Christmas movies collection, it can be a great opportunity to spend quality time with your partner or family. Have you heard of “movie marathons”? Just pick your favorite movies or series and have your family members choose theirs. Prepare a few snacks and drinks and get cozy in your couch. If you live alone, you can still invite your family and friends back home to join your movie marathon. After all, distance is just a number.
Online Get Together’s
Your children will probably find it hard to imagine Christmas without their grandparents, cousins or friends. In many countries, family gatherings will be very limited this year, but online get together’s are an option. Try to set up different time slots for the different groups of people your children would love to spend time with. Decorate their space, such as their bedroom or the living room, to help them get into the festive mood, and share the spirit with their dear ones. So take out the Santa hats, the fairy lights and the jingle bells.
Try out Christmas recipes
This Christmas, with all the current restrictions, you’re probably not keen to give your children a treat at the restaurant or to invite people over for dinner. But you can still make it special to strengthen your bond. Ask your children what they would like to have for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Bake their favorite cakes and cookies and get them to help you as much as possible to help them get into the festive mood. Have you thought of having a small cooking workshop with them? Put on some nice Christmas songs, look for some recipes and try them out together.
Make their favorite meals
If you are locked down with your family, you should seize the opportunity to spend some quality with them over a nice meal. As you are unlikely to be able to dine out this Christmas, you can prepare your favorite dishes or cakes yourself. The Internet will be your best friend, whether you’re looking to try a foreign recipe or to prepare a typical dish from your home country. Your family will love it, and it can be fun to have your partner or children help you out. Don’t forget to take some photos to share on Instagram and other social networks to inspire your friends and followers.
Add on foreign Christmas traditions
If you recently relocated to your host country, maybe you’re not familiar with the local Christmas traditions. Break the routine by researching foreign Christmas traditions, whether those of your host country or other countries and try to merge them with your own traditions. It’s a great way to enrich your children’s cultural knowledge in a fun way. Consider listing these traditions and applying each of them every day before Christmas.
Take safe outings
If your host country has eased its restrictions, you will probably be tempted to take the children out for Christmas. But it’s best to avoid crowded places like malls and restaurants, although children are usually fond of them. Outdoor places, such as gardens and parks, are ideal for kids activities in these COVID-19 times. If wearing a mask is mandatory, make sure your children feel comfortable doing so. Keep hand sanitizer within reach and ensure your children’s safety at all times.
Sharing is caring
Christmas is the time for sharing with family, friends or with the community around you. There are many ways to teach your children the value of sharing. For example, you can encourage them to make postcards and small gifts for family and friends, for the less fortunate children in or around your neighborhood, to hospital patients or the residents of elderly care homes. How about sharing candy or DIY Christmas decorations with their little neighbors on Christmas eve? This will not only make them happy, but it can also put a smile on the face of children who are going through a difficult time during this festive season.
The festive season is the perfect time for self-care amidst the lockdown and current restrictions. You might be craving for a relaxing therapy at the spa, but there are plenty of ways to pamper yourself at home. Start by subscribing to a fitness channel on YouTube so that you rid yourself of the extra pounds you’ve taken in the past few months. Then, test the DIY care recipes that you found on Google. Fancy a face mask or a hair mask, or a relaxing eye treatment after spending hours in front of your computer, or a DIY scrub before your Christmas dinner? Give yourself a treat as many times as you want!
Hoping that Christmas will be different next year, make sure your kids enjoy every moment spent together. Besides taking photos, encourage them to document each of the activities mentioned above in a journal.