With 2020 having been a fairly dismal year on many fronts, it’s more important than ever to mark Christmas, and to remind ourselves of a few easily forgotten truths about family and goodwill and all that. While we might not be able to enjoy Christmas traditions that involve congregating large numbers of people in the same place, we can still observe many of the same traditions, and thereby reassure everyone that things aren’t quite as different as they might seem.
As well as observing the old traditions, it’s a great time to start new ones. Making up traditions isn’t a new thing, obviously. While many Christmas traditions, like gathering around a fir tree and kissing under the mistletoe, have been around since ancient times, others, like leaving a plate of cookies and a brandy out for Santa to enjoy, are more recent inventions. In fact, the cookie thing only got started during the American Great Depression, during which American parents attempted to teach their children about the value of generosity during tough economic times. Sound familiar?
It might be that you’ve gained a great deal of perspective over the course of lockdown, and after months of social distancing measures. Many of the traditions you once took for granted might now seem shallow and meaningless. Thus, it’s worth casting a critical eye over a few of them, to determine which traditions are really providing value.
Spend Time with Family
Of course, the main objective of Christmas is to spend family time together. How you do this might vary; some families like to keep a schedule and stick to it religiously, so that presents are opened at a certain hour and dinner is served at another. Others are more laissez-faire. However you do things, it’s important that your traditions bring everyone together.
Making Christmas treats is an activity that kids can get involved with. It’ll save them from playing video games and scrolling through their smartphones all day. Cookies with festive flavours running through them are a popular choice.
Give to Charity
While there are plenty of gifts available for kids this Christmas, it might be that you’re having to cut back thanks to the economics involved. But even if you aren’t, it’s worth considering whether you really need to be buying a gift for second cousins and uncles you haven’t heard of. On the other hand, you might not want to receive gifts from certain people – not because you don’t like them, but because you know that their present won’t be quite right. To fix this, you might advertise publicly that you’d like a donation to a particular charity in lieu of any potential gift.