Christmas. What feeling springs to mind for you as a mother when you hear the word Christmas? Excitement. Overwhelm. Somewhere in between?
Do you thrive amongst the tinsel and fake snow, or do you struggle with the pressure of making it magical for your children?
Now, Christmas 2020 feels like a whole new ball game. The big overall challenge is not knowing what it will look like. We’re waiting on the Governments of the UK to come together and set out a common approach for us all. But we can be fairly sure our children aren’t going to experience the same heights of delirium caused by numerous Christmas Parties, Discos, Afternoon Teas, Breakfasts with Santa or visits to Santa’s Grotto. Perhaps you’re feeling a little heavy hearted at the loss or compromised versions of these landmark childhood moments, especially when there are only a few precious years to soak them up. Perhaps the events of 2020 mean that on a financial level, there’s compromises to make. It pulls at the heart strings when your child writes to Santa asking for something Santa can’t afford to bring.
I was thinking about how my kids will experience Christmas this year and to begin with, it got me feeling a tad melancholy. I’ve got a ten-year-old who has reached her first year of non-believing, but a 4-year-old who has just come of age when it comes to magical Christmases. A Covid Christmas was feeling like a really subdued one.
But it absolutely doesn’t need to be. It’s a chance to create a Christmas we love. Although many mums love Christmas, it's the joy on their children's faces that makes the stress worthwhile. For mums, there's much rushing, shopping, planning, decorating and experience creating leading up to the big day. When something comes around but once a year, there's a real pressure to make it memorable for our children. But, we can really get caught up believing that some things really matter, when they don't. Perhaps the festive season of 2020 is the chance to reassess what really makes Christmas special. These are the things that I realised when pondering how this year might look:
More time focused on family and quality time together, less time faffing with table displays to impress Great Aunt Jane. More mums spending time with their children on Christmas day, rather than their cooker.
More time focused on what Christmas really means to you as a family. Less rushing and ticking off ‘must do experiences’ that usually leave you feeling stressed out and the children on a huge sugar crash. I mean, the irony of the effort to provide these experiences that usually result in parents threatening Santa’s naughty list!
More intentional shopping. Buying things loved ones want or need, rather than the rush to fill the present bag at the last minute. Less materialism. Less plastic.
I genuinely believe Christmas 2020 is a chance to reset the festive season for the better. It’s the opportunity to create memories that will really mean something to our children. Just as the first lockdown of 2020 gifted many people with time, a Christmas with 2020 restriction will gift us connection.
Hey! I'm the founder, creator and voice of Ink and Scribbles. Sharing thoughts on child well-being and parenting that are based on my teaching and parenting experience, and NLP learning.