This year there will be no dashing around bustling city centres and most of us won’t be taking part in that annual shopping extravaganza. There will be no office parties, no visits to winter markets and no extended family gatherings. Instead, we are being invited to decide exactly how we want to mark this annual event in a new, scaled-down way.
It’s interesting to note that the very people who complained every year about having to make all that effort are already worrying about how they are going to manage to see everyone and how they will replicate all the Christmases they knew before and lamenting that everything needs to be on a much smaller scale.
It’s not at all surprising that there is anxiety and concern about having to give up on all those rituals, even if they weighed heavily in previous years. We all love a tradition and a routine and, when we can’t imagine what something is going to look like, it’s no wonder that we can feel anxious and unsettled.
After all the turmoil, uncertainty and change we have experienced for most of this year, many of us are feeling anxious, flat and totally lacking in energy. A splash of glitter and sparkling lights could be just the thing to spread some much-needed cheer. While it can’t be denied that, for some people, 2020, will have brought such personal loss and sadness that Christmas is the very last thing they will want to think about. The chance to suspend reality for a few precious days gives us all the opportunity to just stop and appreciate the things in our lives that really matter to us.
This year, I think many of us will really want to focus on the joy of putting up our sparkle and decking those halls with familiar decorations that have been packed away since January. When we stashed them away early this year, we could have had no inkling of how different life was going to look when we retrieved those familiar boxes from their storage places. As we take time to remember those family members and friends who are no longer with us and look forward to finding new ways to see loved ones on what has the potential to be one of our most precious festive seasons ever.
Christmas 2020 has the potential to be different from anything that most of us will ever have known. But, as always, there is a bright side. We all have the opportunity to create exactly what and who we want to have around us this year. After the experiences of recent months, this might just be the perfect time to take a moment to say a heartfelt thank you for family and friends and to make positive choices about how we spend the festive season in a new, calmer way. Who knows, this new way of celebrating might even be so enjoyable that future Christmases will be scaled down too as we really appreciate the true spirit of the festivities.
Don’t agonise… orrganise!