What have you learned about life over the last two years of our Covid normal world?
The Black Dog Institute, cautions…” The world might be a very different place when we get out of this. The fact that we’ve had a pandemic in our life-time, for a lot of people that would shake their beliefs in the world, stability and that nothing bad can happen. It’s a shock.” Coupled with the significant financial impacts for many people and we can expect many different responses to a time of celebration and joy.
Ageing well is about ageing honestly. Close you eyes and imagine the Christmas you would want for yourself this year….. and it may be surrounded by grandchildren and a fat turkey on the table. It may be ordering takeaway and watching rom-coms on TV or it may be a picnic in the park…talk it through with family and friends and commit to what works for everyone but ensure your most important needs are being met.
Many of you will cook up a storm, shop for special presents, relish family and friendships reuniting around the Christmas table and celebrating joyfully after what may have been months of isolation. The effort in putting together a traditional Christmas is meaningful for you. Or you may simply want to spend Christmas on your own with no fuss. Remember there are thousands of people in Australia for whom Christmas is just another day not a day of celebration. Make 2021 the year of giving your self permission, to make Christmas meaningful for you in these abnormal times… Make Christmas “Pandemic Perfect” for you!
Here are some ideas that might work……
- Presents only for children but not adults (or just one Kris Kringle present for adults)
- Make presents – chutneys, puddings, home cooked food speaks of love (A Kris Kringle hamper) Young kids love home made books of fabric or paper card
- Ordering presents online is still a preferred option for many (35% increase in online shopping since 2019)
- Picnic in the park, beach or outdoors (some people are still anxious about home visits)
- Stagger celebrations over a few days rather than rushing from one event to the next all on Christmas Day
- If people want to spend time alone in their own homes..It’s OK!! Lets be flexible and listen to what people really want to do..Introverts are loving the quieter world. Extroverts are dying to get out there and mingle again. We don’t need to convince people to ” Join in or be lonely!”
- Keep menus simple and share tasks
- Go for a walk or a bike ride with a friend, pack a picnic and enjoy
- If you’re wanting company at Christmas this year, help out a charity or join one of the many Orphan Christmas parties organised by city councils – usually BYO food to share in a park in the city
- Find ways to be thankful for being here. Develop your own gratitude ritual. Attend church or an online service. Take a quiet moment in your garden and notice that you are here, safe and able to be with family and friends. There are 2,056 people in Australia who won’t be celebrating Christmas this year because they died of Covid.
Christmas is essentially about gratitude, peace and kindness. Returning to these core values and celebrating in a way that reflects these essential human attributes is at the heart of our celebrations.
However you decide to spend this pandemic Christmas I hope it is special for you.
Merry Christmas everyone and thank you for being here.
Words by Nora Vitins. Image by Cottonbro with thanks.