First published: November 2020
2020 - Need we say any more?
A year of altered plans, worry and staying at home. With Christmas fast approaching and no apparent let-up in covid restrictions in the UK, we have no choice but to face a slightly different Christmas period than normal.
Usually by now, we’d have probably planned our Christmas market visits, decided where we’re going for Christmas dinner and maybe even braved the shops to commence our Christmas shopping. But with various local restrictions in place, plus national lockdowns, things aren’t looking quite the same… and we have to accept it.
Here are a few ways you can enjoy the festive period, despite what’s going on in the world.
2020 Christmas – 15 tips to feel more festive
1) Go extra with your decorations
2020 has seen more people putting their Christmas decorations up early than ever before! And why not? Some people are using this year as an excuse to get festive as early as possible and we have to say, we don’t think it’s a bad idea!
2) Get your hands on some festive PPE
This has to be the most “2020” thing we’ve said all year… But wouldn’t a Rudolph mask, or Santa themed anti-bacterial hand gel brighten your mood a little?
3) Shop online… and early!
Living with covid restrictions could give you an excuse to get super organised this year. Pop some Christmas music on and use your spare time to get in the Christmas spirit and shop for gifts online. Shopping online can help you secure some good discounts, plus keep you safe. But make sure you start early – delivery times are usually delayed over December and with people less likely to leave the house due to restrictions this year, there’ll probably be more demand for online deliveries.
4) Spread some festive cheer
Whether it’s a surprise facetime session, a virtual December birthday party, or maybe sending a gift card to cheer a friend up; spreading some festive cheer can make everyone involved feel good after a difficult year.
5) Make your own advent calendar
We’re usually so busy with life that the easiest thing to do (usually on the last day of November) is pop to the supermarket to pick up an advent calendar. But with some spare time on your hands, why not grab a pre-built, empty advent calendar (or make your own!) and fill it full of your favourite snacks? Or if you’re feeling really generous, make one for someone you love.
6) Get the festive snacks in
You’ve got your tree up and your online Christmas shopping is underway (or maybe even complete!), what next? Picking up some traditional Christmas food and drink can surely help get you in the mood. Whether it’s mulled wine, After Eights or some ‘lebkuchen’ biscuits, indulging (within reason) should help you get into the festive spirit.
7) Enjoy the seasonal weather change
Each seasonal transition only happens once a year. If you typically enjoy the crisper weather, be sure to still get out and enjoy it. This could mean having a coffee in the garden, opening the window for some fresh air, or having a socially distanced walk with a friend (lockdown permitting, of course). Living with covid restrictions can mean sometimes it’s easier to stay at home, just getting out for some fresh air can make a big difference to your day.
8) Get crafty
Now could be the perfect time to test out that artistic flair you’ve been aching to try for a while. If your annual activities have changed a lot and you’re left with more time, for example, not needing to commute to work, why not get crafty? Crafting Christmas gifts can make for a really personal touch, it can also help if you’re on a budget or trying to save money.
9) Make your own wreath
Wreath making is another activity that many people are keen try, but find it easier and less time consuming to purchase a pre-made wreath. Usually local florists run wreath making workshops at this time of year. 2020 has seen many of these local businesses take to Zoom to conduct the same workshops online. You can pick up your wreath pack from the florist, join the call and get going.
10) Find some socially distanced Christmas markets
Will there be Christmas markets in 2020? As with most events this year, Christmas markets have been cancelled all across the UK. However, there are a number of Christmas markets that (at the time of writing) are still going ahead. If you do decide to head to a Christmas market in 2020, be sure to take full precautions (including wearing a mask, plus social distancing) and always abide by your local government guidance.
11) Make the most of digital gatherings
At the time of writing, it isn’t quite clear what the official government guidance is going to be over the Christmas period. However, we wouldn’t be surprised if there were restrictions in place as to how many households you can mix with.
If there are family and friends who you’d normally see, but can’t visit under government restrictions, why not have your usual social gathering, but over Zoom?! You’ll still get to see your favourite people and will be able nip to the kitchen for snacks/drinks. You’ll even be able to socialise in your pyjamas and can dip out early if it’s all getting a bit much.
Fancy a game? Take a look at some of these lockdown games you can play with friends and family.
12) Enjoy a night in on Christmas Eve
Yes, we said it. If you aren’t one to go to the pub on Christmas Eve, you probably know someone who is. This year things will be different and may involve curfews… or who knows if pubs will be allowed to open altogether? Get your favourite drink in, crack open the Christmas chocolates and dig out the party games. Those who are more familiar with a rowdy Christmas eve night out, will probably be surprised at how fresh they feel the next day… and that they can actually stomach their Christmas dinner!
13) Get dressed up anyway
Even if you can’t go anywhere, sometimes it’s nice to get dressed up. When staying in, why not make an effort to dress up as you normally would to get in the festive spirit? You’ll feel smart, will have a little bit of normality and can even snap lots of pictures as if you were going out. It’ll make for a great story in years to come.
14) Get baking
Always wanted to try making your own Christmas cake? Fancy making your own cookies for Santa? Now that you have the spare time, it’s the perfect opportunity.
15) Make new traditions
Due to covid, most of us will probably have our traditional Christmas affected in some way. When these traditions are long-standing ones, they’re normally sentimental and it can be upsetting to feel like they’re slipping through the net. However, any tradition that makes you feel sad at the thought of not carrying it out, is hopefully too strong to be forgotten. Fingers crossed next year things will be different and your favourite traditions can return again.
But in the meantime, why not use this opportunity to make new traditions and memories that you’ll cherish in years to come? Whether it’s a new Christmas Eve meal, new Christmas games, or a Christmas entertainment show performed by the kids; making memories at Christmas is what truly counts.