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What shall we do about Christmas?

christmas bubbles 2020

At this time of year I would normally be pointing to our invaluable posts about how to get through Christmas with a houseful of guests and minimum stress, especially if your guests include those living with dementia.

This year anxiety comes in very different ways. Who to have in our bubble? How to manage a much quieter holiday? How to make the season enjoyable for those we can’t see in person?

I’ve already contributed to blogs about spending Christmas away from the grandchildren and family activities for a Covid-safe Christmas.

One of the suggestions I make is that we try to make this an opportunity for new traditions. If we can’t have a family Christmas celebration or any other annual festival as usual, let’s try putting that off until we can get together. And meanwhile, let’s find different things to do.

Celebrating at a distance

As long as our family and friends are online, there are a host of ways we can be connected over the holiday season – broadband permitting. Making conversation in front of a screen can be a challenge, but we’ve put together ideas for online games that young and old can play across the web and on phones to share a little fun.

Getting together at home

For those that can join together in a bubble, the celebrations may be quieter this year. We’ve taken a fresh look at traditional brain games to play alone and with others. (Note though that we’re being advised to avoid board games where pieces are shared.)

Enjoying your own company

One of the upsides of this year’s lockdowns is the wealth of entertainment and education that has appeared online. Some are live, some are recorded to appear on YouTube, and some may be on Facebook. Here are a few ideas that your older family members and friends might enjoy throughout December.

  • Advent calendars. There are charity calendars online, but my annual favourite is the commercial but low-cost Jacquie Lawson calendar. I’m also hoping to keep up with Wells Cathedral’s advent musical programme.
  • Charity carol concerts. I’ve signed up for the free Shelter service, on December 3rd If you’ve missed that, there will be others, including broadcasts from local churches.
  • Christmas Day activities. The WEA is providing entertainment throughout Christmas Day, and is well worth a look.
  • Talks. Great institutions such as the British Academy and the National Archives are offering free access to online talks. Those I’ve attended include Charles Dickens at Christmas and the history of charity shops. You can also apply for tickets to be included in the virtual audience for recordings of BBC radio shows.

Not sure where to find these activities? Just show an interest in any you come across on Facebook, and their algorithm will find you with a plethora of sponsored posts.

And don’t forget to have a look at our 2020 guide for gifts for seniors.

This will be a Christmas like no other. May you and your family find a joyful way through it and look forward to getting together again in the coming year.


Image from Pexels.

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