Reimagining Christmas in Lockdown

Like so many people I look forward to Christmas all year.  When I hear the first crunch of an Autumn leaf underfoot, my thoughts turn to December – to Christmas jumpered hugs from relatives, to prosecco at breakfast time, carol services that raise a lump in your throat, poorly behaved nativity play shepherds and mulled wine at the Christmas markets.

Based on yesterday’s announcement from Boris Johnson, logic tells me that Christmas will be rather different this year.

Rather than wondering about rules and dwelling on what we wish we could do during the festive season, I prefer to consider what we know for sure.  First thing’s first – Christmas is happening – nobody can cancel Christmas.  Christmas is a day that comes round every year and it is what you make it.  We know that Christmas parties are likely to be off the cards this year, we know that we’re probably not going to make it to a carol service and that come December 25th, we may be asked to stay at home with those in our household.

I’m sad about this – really sad.  In many ways I think I’m grieving for the time I’ve lost with loved ones this year and for the magic that seems to be ebbing away from my favourite time of the year.  I don’t want to ignore these feelings or minimise anybody else’s but I have to find a way to make this ok, otherwise Christmas will be another thing to be upset about, another thing that’s lost in all of this and I don’t want that.  I tried to consider the positives.  What if we reframe the situation?  What if this was done by choice?

This Christmas, I choose to stay in my pyjamas all day!  We won’t be driving anywhere so at dinner-time, we can have as many glasses of wine as we see fit.  We won’t feel guilty for not having time to get to everyone’s house and nobody will be visiting us, so there’s no need to fret over space or seating arrangements and no panic cleaning of the bathroom before that relative comes round, no feeling overwhelmed.  With no slinky frock to squeeze into, I shall eat as many mince pies as I like and the Christmas rush will be the Christmas hush as we wind down to what might end up being the most relaxed Christmas ever.  For me Christmas 2020 will be a time of restoration.  A quiet reflective time that I hope will give me the strength to face 2021 with hope.

So find yourself some extra comfy pyjamas, stock up on Christmas cards and stamps and prepare your zoom schedule.  Because Christmas isn’t cancelled – it’s just different.

1. Buy or make some beautiful Christmas cards and gather together the addresses of people you would normally have seen over Christmas.

2. Make sure everyone has comfy slippers and pyjamas, as you’ll likely spend alot to time in them!

3. Come up with some fun activities you can do with extended family online.  A quiz, a bake off, even a play 😂

4. As we’ll be spending alot of time at home, now is a good time to spruce up your house, so that’s it’s somewhere you really want to be.

5. Make sure the family has welly boots and woolies because whatever the weather, we still need our excercise walks to stay healthy.

I understand that there are worries, pain and stress that no amount of positive thinking can assuage – I have them too.  We’ll have worries, but I won’t let Christmas be one of them.  Let’s make Christmas a welcome distraction from everything else.

Love Rachel ❤️

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