Christmas cancelled! That was the headline of an email I received today from a media source.
It’s easy for me to discuss making Christmas happen in 2020 because I’m in the enviable position of not living with tight restrictions due to COVID-19. My heart goes out to all of you who have been affected and will not be able to spend Christmas with your families in the physical sense. Whether it is because of COVID or because you have lost a loved one and there is an empty chair at the table. I saw this on A Healing Spirit Facebook Page which I wanted to share with you.
For me, our Christmas traditions have changed this year because we lost my Mother-In-Law at the end of October. Nonna, as we called her, was a huge part of our Christmas and until a few weeks ago, my husband in particular, was not in the mood to feel Festive. This was quite understandable.
I’ve written about my Women’s Circle of friends who I meet via Zoom each week. Some of them will be in lock down for Christmas and I was inspired by their ability to overcome their initial feelings of disappointment and come up with some creative ideas to Make Christmas Happen in 2020 despite COVID-19.
My statement for 2020 was Make It Happen and I reflected on that in my last post, ‘Reflecting on 2020 and yes, there were some positives’ so I’m sharing some of their ideas as well as other ideas I’ve found which may help you overcome your ‘low’ feelings and enjoy the Festive Season in some way.
If you are having difficulties coping reach out to family, friends or seek professional help from organisations such as LifeLine 13 11 14
Making Christmas Happen in 2020 despite COVID-19
Focus on Family using Technology
Zoom has been a saviour to many during 2020 as a way to stay connected with others. My friend, Donna Connolly from Retirement Reflections is not allowing COVID to interrupt her Christmas. Her Mum will be 96 in January so saying ‘oh well, there will be other Christmases’, may not be the case for Donna to share with her Mum. Rather than having a pity party, Donna has set up a Zoom Christmas Meal with her and Richard’s immediate families, including her Mum and also Richard’s sister who has never used Zoom before. The family is delighted and I know Donna also has a special surprise for them all but you will have to follow her blog to read about that later.
Use the time to Modify your Traditions
For us, we always had my children & grandchildren and Mike’s children & grandchildren and Nonna gather together the weekend before Christmas. It has been a tradition for over 20 years and a lovely way to spend Christmas with a blended family.
This year, as I mentioned was going to be a non-event because Nonna wouldn’t be here and also we now live in an apartment which was not conducive to hosting a gathering of 15+ adults and children. This year, we have modified our tradition and still had the Loncaric get-together with Mike’s children in a more ‘low-key’ way and we will spend Christmas day with mine. Nonna was always at both events so I’m sure she was and will be with us in spirit.
Have a Virtual Christmas Party with Friends
I attended my first Virtual Christmas Party yesterday and we had a ball. You might think that having a Party using Zoom would not have the same atmosphere but we all entered into the spirit of things and there was much laughter and joy. Peta Gillian from Strong Healthy Women organised a Virtual Christmas Party for all of her clients who work out in the Virtual Studio.
We all received a Christmas box in the mail with a note: ‘NO PEEKING!’ At the party we opened our boxes and felt thoroughly spoilt as you can see from the photo. We played Christmas pictionary, Bingo and Peta included a journal and pen for us all to plan our 2021 with the focus of including ‘me time’. We also each had a different question to answer and then nominate another person to answer the same question. It was a great way to get to know each other better. One question was: What is your favourite part of the Christmas Meal? and one lady answered: ‘Not having to do the dishes!’
I was reminded that Strong Healthy Women is more than just working out. It is a strong community of women 50+ developed over time by Peta and Sally-Anne who are dedicated, appreciate and care about the women in their SHW community.
A community that cares and supports each other during workouts and also socially and through friendship.
I’m very honoured to be part of that community and as a trainer being able to help these beautiful women live active and healthy lives. We are starting the Metabollic Jump Start Challenge on January 11th to help you start your year on track to a healthy lifestyle. It is free, so click here if you would like to find out more information. I hope to see you there!
Keep doing what you’ve always done
No I don’t mean breaking restrictions and lockdown if you are in that situation but as my friend, Christie from So, What? Now, What? posted on her Facebook page:
I missed my usual helpers this year, but nothing—not even a pandemic—can stop the Christmas cookie baking.
Make the effort and dress up for Christmas Day even if it is only you. This is great advice from my friend Gina from Lime Life by Alcone. You might not feel like it, but putting an effort into your appearance does lift your spirits.
Bring some joy to your day to make you smile
Sometimes it is difficult to find joy when life has been so hard. We can tire of all the inspirational quotes that are flooding Facebook. The other day I found this YouTube video shared on Facebook. Now you might not be a Mariah Carey fan and skip the intro if you must, but watch this and I guarantee you will be dancing and singing along.
If that didn’t work I also found this on BBC One Facebook with the adorable Dawn French from the Vicar of Dibley. It sums up 2020 I think but will definitely bring a smile to your face.
Remember the true meaning of Christmas
Whilst we all celebrate the Festive Season in our own way and with our own beliefs there is no getting away from the real reason we celebrate Christmas – the birth of Christ, kindness, love and goodwill.
Thank you all for your support of my Women Living Well After 50 blog and the personal support you have shown me this year. I wish you and your families love, health and happiness especially for a better 2021.