Christmas in 2020
Christmas is a special day of the year for many different reasons according to different cultures. This year we need to make it even more special as, despite our best hopes, we need to celebrate it in a ‘new normal’ way.
Below are some ideas inspired by Dr. Meg Arroll.
2020 is a real chance to make significant changes to our usual manic schedule and streamline the Christmas period.
→ Ask yourself, ‘What do I want this Christmas to be remembered for?’
Would you like memories of only the challenging and difficult aspects of 2020, or rather can you shift your perspective and try a new way of celebrating this year so that you will have happy recollections?
→ Visualise this adjusted Christmas now and see in your mind’s eye the delight, comfort, and joy that can still be achieved
Build new traditions
We may feel a sense of separation as we will not be able to spend some time with our usual family gatherings or those much-loved traditions such as meeting dear friends in the pub on Christmas Eve or Boxing Day turkey sandwiches with cherished neighbours.
However, this is the perfect time to build new traditions. We rarely think about starting a fresh family Christmas ritual, but all these practices must begin at some point in time.
→ Look forward to future generations and how they will retell the story of this tradition, which by then will feel like a much-loved custom for the family.
Inspiration can be drawn from other challenging situations we may have faced in the past or from history during similar tough family and social restrictions.
Most of us have loved ones who live hundreds, if not thousands of miles away, so this could be the start of togetherness at Christmas online.
Reconnect with the true meaning of Christmas
Although in the strictest sense Christmas is a Christian holiday, many people join in with the festivities to celebrate a secular Christmas. Therefore, the holiday season can mean different things to all of us, but the common thread this time of year is reconnecting with a spirit of peace, goodwill, and kindness.
→ Now more than almost ever before, we need to offer care and support to one another, so think about how you can support your fellow man, woman, and children in a wider manner – for instance shopping at local stores that have struggled during the pandemic, donating to nearby food banks and checking in on neighbours that live on their own (in person or on the phone).
Finally, Christmas is the perfect time to reflect and count our blessings. Millions of people have lost loved ones, and for these families, the first Christmas undoubtedly will be hard. Many others have also been affected, either directly by infection, or indirectly by the fear and trauma of the pandemic.
→ Now is time to take stock, honour those who we’ve lost and proceed into the New Year with gratitude and open hearts.
Regardless of religious background, the Christmas tree symbolises the everlasting hope and endurance of humankind, as its fir needles remain green all year round, pointing upwards towards the future.
→ Use this emblem to draw your mind back to the spirit of Christmas if you do start to feel down or overwhelmed this year – and know that better times are to come.