• Njeri Kairu

How to Safely Celebrate the Holidays

While 2020 may have handed one to us, this Christmas Holiday will be one to treasure as you spend more time with loved ones, safely, and find joy in the littlest of things. From cooking, crafting, DIY’s and gift-giving, there is something for everyone to do to make a travel-free holiday season more pleasurable.

Here are 18 ways to safely celebrate Christmas 2020;

1. Put up your Christmas decorations

Baubles, ribbons, lights, ornaments and a tree. A tree is where you start. You could buy a faux tree, source one from your shamba (farm) or you could get crafty and involve your family in DIY-ing your very own tree. Get your Christmas lights on and start the holiday cheer.

2. Do your Christmas shopping early.

Save time and avoid the last minute rush to the mall or market by getting your supplies for the holidays at least 2 weeks in advance. Should you want to make a special order for your meats and poultry, make them in advance and schedule your monger to have them delivered.

3. Send cards to your neighbours.

“No forwarding computer generated cards and text messages this year!” Your neighbours have been your support system and BBQ mates during the better part of 2020. So a handwritten card will go a long way in appreciating them and spreading the holiday cheer.

4. Personalised gifts for your relatives

This is such a beautiful thing to include in your holiday activities. It could be as simple as a handwritten letter to something you are aware they need or have been eyeing. The rules of Secret Santa could also apply this year, so hope is not lost.

5. Check on relatives who live alone.

Schedule a call with them, invite them to a video chat, send them gifts and cards and ensure that they feel loved and cared for.

6. Create one-on-one time with your parents.

Since there are a few fun and safe things you can do with your parents this Christmas, spending some one-on-one time over lunch, dinner or a hike followed by a picnic goes a long way in your quest for a joyous season.

7. Remember hospitals and nursing homes

Get your family and friends to hand craft cards and Christmas decorations to send to your neighbourhood clinics, hospitals and nursing homes. Meals on Christmas Day (and any other day), fruit baskets and essentials (tissue, toothpaste, soap and sanitisers) would be more appreciated gifts.

8. Create a special movie night

We all love a good Christmas movie. And there are so many of them. Out of the “12 Days of Christmas”, schedule a movie night with your family and watch three or four classics. Make popcorn, hotdogs, crisps and drinks. You could go the extra mile and use a projector in your backyard and invite some friends over for a social distanced movie night.

9. Schedule story-time with the family.

A good story time over hot chocolate and cake is a fantastic way to spend quality time with your family. This years it’s no different. Make cookies/cake and send them to your family in advance and schedule a video call with ‘story time’ as the agenda.

10. Go the extra mile and make Christmas special for each person in your home by incorporating something they like doing. There are "12 days of Christmas" and each one could be special. You could create a calendar of activities, dedicating each day to one person.

11. Create a family video reel.

Here’s an idea; pick out all videos and photos from your entire family, it could be of past Christmases or big celebrations and milestones, put them together in a video reel in time for the family dinner (schedule a video call too for those away) and after dinner play it for everyone to watch.

12. Make food gifts for your loved ones.

Baked goods are the best and easiest food gifts to give. Make a big batch to send to your friends, workmates and clients. Plus side, baking will also leave your home smelling of baked-goods deliciousness.

13. Game day with a game theme menu

As part of your Christmas calendar of events, a good ol’ game afternoon never hurt anyone! Make it even more special with a game theme menu. Between toddlers and grandparents, you’ll be sure to have an action-packed afternoon.

14. Sing carols and possibly host a socially distanced carol night in your backyard with friends and family. For those who are not able to physically join you, invite them to join on video.

15. Take a day trip to an out-of-town

A visit to a top rated restaurant for lunch and chilled afternoon activities is a perfect way to cure cabin fever during the holidays. Ziwa Bush Lodge is one such place, with amenities and space to entertain your family while relaxing too.

16. Christmas lights tour

While there might be limited locations to view lit up Christmas trees this year, city malls are a great place to start. The lights are on as of mid November, acting as a good photo spot for you and your children. Remember to socially distance and follow your city guidelines.

17. Spread joy and donate whatever you can. Clothes, dry foods and shopping vouchers are a good place to start.

And finally,

18. Get yourself a gift, you’ve done well this year. You deserve a gift.

These could be new ways to embrace the holidays, or they could be old traditions with a tweak. Whichever way you plan to safely celebrate Christmas 2020, spread cheer and joy.

Which of these activities are you keen on doing this year?

Happy Holidays to you.

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