Writer: Liudmyla Germanyuk
Editor: Mariia Lysikova
Photos were taken from Unsplash creators.
2020 is truly an exceptional year: it prompted people to rethink their values, way of life, and even holiday traditions. However, without having the ordinary plan that works every winter season, 2020 gives us the opportunity to focus on Christmas activities that we truly enjoy and people we love.
Because of the travel restrictions, people will most likely celebrate Christmas at their homes. The World Health Organization warns people that in-person gatherings with people who are not part of your household hold multiple risks of contracting Covid-19, depending on location, number of people, and the duration of the gatherings.
Therefore, it’s advisable to limit the size of gatherings to only family members or close friends who are exposed to you on a daily basis. Having a celebration outdoors, using hand sanitizer with at least 70% alcohol, and keeping the masks on while not eating are the main ways to ensure the safety of the group.
Here are some suggestions on how to lift up your Christmas mood even when celebrating in a small group:
Don’t let your beloved ones stay without a present as there are many strategies to ensure safe shopping. The majority of the shops have the option of online delivery so that the gifts can go straight to the recipients. Moreover, a handwritten card, digital recording of a song, or a video can be a great surprise for people who are far away.
Decorating is a creative act that will immediately inspire a holiday mood. The design of the festive table can be divided into two: the places for individual serving and the centerpiece. Adding a garland and scented candles to the table will create a truly festive atmosphere. Also, plan to start decorating the Christmas tree a couple of weeks ahead of the celebration as it will definitely bring joy to every participant of the action and a special atmosphere to your household.
- If you don’t have enough space for serving the Christmas meals because of the centerpiece, you can set up a separate table where everyone can serve themselves.
- If you celebrate in the dormitories, decorating your room with Christmas lights, decorative pieces such as pine cones, and a small Christmas tree can be a way to introduce a festive mood to your celebration, however that might look like in COVID-19 realities.
- Having hand sanitizer before handling common utensils is encouraged.
The Big Meal
• If you’re celebrating away from your family or friends, communicate the menus that will suit everyone and let all participants prepare the same meals. It’s a good opportunity to learn new recipes or to learn family ones, as well as feel united with significant others.
• If you stay with a small group, discuss preparing one dish per person to avoid interacting while cooking. Serve the meals buffet-style and have everyone spread out in the room. A great way to ensure safety while serving a group is using disposable utensils instead of the common ones. However, please note that it is advisable to celebrate only with the people from your household (family members and/or roommates).
This Christmas, more people than ever are going to celebrate Christmas alone. However, it’s possible to brighten this period by doing things that bring you happiness:
- Focus on those parts of the holiday that you enjoy the most, whether it’s decorating, preparing meals, or watching Christmas movies.
- Talk with your family and friends while cooking, cleaning, or wrapping gifts - it will create an atmosphere of those people present with you.
- Make your outdoor activities fun: play snowballs, chat with neighbors, or go shopping avoiding peak hours. Even long walks can refresh your mind and give you precious time for reflection. But please do not go on thin ice to test your luck - this has proven to be largely ineffective.
Though this year we need to adapt our Christmas plans to the pandemic, we still have a lot of ways to make this celebration as enjoyable as we can. It is all in our hands to find the meaning, joy, and connection, and focus on people rather than circumstances around us.