If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably been counting down the days to Christmas, and are already jotting down family ideas to celebrate the festive season.

This time of year has always been a favourite in our household, filled with family bonding traditions, but is mostly special for the simple treasured moments of being together. This year my son is a little older too and will join in on more of the family fun (and probably be a lot more enthusiastic about tackling that Christmas tree).

But 2020 is not without the pain of loss, as we have all endured so much this year. With the pandemic still on the loose, things may look a little different for us and many families whose lives have been forever changed by Covid-19, which is why planning for this season may take on a different stance.

Tis the season to practise planning

  • Even spontaneous families will need to be vigilant planners of places to visit, spots that have survived the pandemic, and finding places that are mindful of protecting its people with the necessary precautions.
  • Shopping online as far as possible will need some research to find those nifty one-stop shops/small businesses to support.
  • We’ll definitely be minimising the in-store shopping rush and keeping any shopping to off-peak hours/weekdays.
  • With more people opting for the online shopping experience this year, plan to order gifts well in advance and have them collected or delivered in time.

Shape-shifting small businesses

If there was ever a time to boost local shopping, this would be the year. It’s no doubt it’ll take a lot for small businesses to recover from this pandemic, and what better way to become conscious, impactful consumers than through supporting the family behind the small/local business?

Life behind the mask doesn’t mean living the masked life

  • 2020 has definitely challenged perspectives on life itself and reframed ways of connecting with one another. Festivities in the past may have meant mass social gatherings or living life on the rush. However, this year, our family will be a lot more focused on keeping it small and taking it slow.
  • Life behind the mask means boundaries and distance, but this doesn’t have to mean being disconnected. Learning to set and respect each other’s boundaries throughout this season, especially as we temporarily adapt to life with Covid-19, helps to navigate, protect and continue relationships healthily.
  • Focus this season on what truly gives you life. Even if we cannot live this in the moment, we can still let it fuel our motivation to get from what we must do to what we want to do.
  • Some days can become overwhelmingly stressful that it becomes hard to enjoy what we’re doing. Simply taking a step back and hitting that pause button can give us all the perspective we need to carry on.

Ditch the comparison and choose gratitude

Whether it’s comparison to others or to the life we used to have, it’s easy to remain in the joys of the past or the joys of others’ lives, especially in the age of social media. But the moments that will matter most in shaping our experience of this season are the gift of the present.

The reason for the season

We’ve been given the gift of appreciating the things that can easily be overlooked. Don’t forget to reach out to someone you haven’t heard from in a while, pay it forward no matter how small and let’s end the year on a kind note, by spreading the love and cheer!

About the Author: Tasha-Leigh Williams is a single mom and occupational therapist from Cape Town, South Africa, who shares her journey as a first time mom, and tips for other moms on child development, at https://ot2mama.com/.