I started writing the Christmas cards last night. It’s actually a bit late for me. This might sound a little bonkers, especially as I don’t like getting Christmassy too early. However, since my mum died I took up the mantle and do all the cards on behalf of my dad (plus my own). Being slower off the mark this year might be part of my ‘Christmas reset.’
This normally signals the start of an intensely busy and stressful time. Aside from the big day itself, we have six family birthdays crammed into the first two weeks of December. I also do my dad’s Christmas shopping for him as he’s clueless. He does so much for us the rest of the year I can’t grumble too much. However, it does add to the stress.
This year, strangely even with the upheaval and weirdness of Covid and lockdown, I’m feeling more relaxed than I normally do at this time of year. Everything’s been pared down. I think it’s enabled me to step back a bit and focus more on what really matters.
My daughter is fully understanding that her birthday is going to be different this year and that’s taken the pressure off. Instead of booking something months in advance (like you have to for December birthdays), we’ll just have to wing it last minute. Her birthday falls on the last day of lockdown 2.0. We’re hoping restrictions will be lifted and we can hastily organise an outing with friends for the following weekend. However, who knows how it’ll pan out??? What we do know is, we’ll make it special in whatever ways we can.
Christmas and December socialising
December is usually a minefield of social engagements: work Christmas party, lots of dos, cramming in seeing as many people as we can before Christmas day… My husband arranges something for my birthday on December 10th and we try to do something for my dad’s birthday three days later. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE socialising but the logistics of trying to shoehorn it all in are boggling and a bit exhausting. Scaling back is actually quite refreshing. I think I’ll love it all the more next year.
What we will still be doing this Christmas – Christmas reset
Advent calendars, stockings and a letter from Father Christmas
We’ve got our traditional advent calendars that come out each year. There’s the wall-hanging one that we fill with chocolates and The Nutcraker, which has 24 little books to read each night telling the story of the famous ballet.
Of course the stockings will come out as usual. Covid can’t stop that. Similarly there’ll be letters from Father Christmas.
Christmas crafts and baking
We can also still do our favourite Christmas activities and bakes. Stress-free fun 🙂
I might even try to make a pandoro, but I’ll keep you posted!
This is one of my ‘new’ traditions. It’s a lovely way to ease into the main festivities of December 25th. Along with plenty of chocolate and other bits such as a new family film to watch together, there’s a new 1000-piece puzzle that we try to complete by Twelfth Night.
Christmas day food
I would like to go to La Fromagerie cheese shop if possible. It’s become somewhat of a Christmas tradition. The girls and I sit snug in the cafe with hot chocolate (and in my case a glass of wine) whilst my husband queues up to make our ‘Christmas cheese’ selections. We then have a bit of cheese and charcuterie after. The shop is open in lockdown, whether it’ll feel appropriate to make an evening of it remains to be seen.
We’re still going to be able to have our Christmas food favourites including beloved beef wellington on Christmas Day.
There’ll be plenty of these I’m sure 🙂
Different for this year – Christmas reset
I haven’t trawled the Internet to find a place that’s still offering a chance to meet Father Christmas. I know there are still COVID-compliant ones running. However, it is a lot of effort, won’t be quite the same, my eldest doesn’t believe and the younger two haven’t expressed any interest in seeing the main man. Meeting Father Christmas – if I’m honest – is more about me wanting this to be part of the Christmas experience. Instead, I’ve booked a cab ride to see the main Christmas lights of London. Our cabbie will pick us up and take us on a tour of the most festive parts of the capital. Can’t wait.
Not completely different, but we’ll be making an extra special effort to support local businesses when Christmas shopping.
I’ve wanted to learn how to make a Christmas wreath for years. December has always been so busy I’ve never had a spare day. This year I have. The workshop is booked; fingers crossed it goes ahead.
It’ll be different, but I’m sure we’ll all have a great time still. I definitely feel like it’s a calmer lead up to the big day and we’ll appreciate everything that bit more.
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