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  • Rosie Alexander

Dreaming of a Right Christmas

Three cheers, Christmas IS going to happen after all! Hip hip… Yes, it promises to be a tad different this year, Boris cautioning us to be jolly but “jolly careful” etc but, after all we’ve waded through this year, it’s a happy prospect indeed!

I don’t know about you, but 2020 has pinpointed what’s really valuable to me: friends, family for sure (they always were, but maybe I took them for granted a bit), the big kindnesses (the selfless commitment of NHS staff), the smaller acts of kindness (having a distanced chat with anyone you meet who looks as though they’re finding Lockdown lonely). Other things too — not fixating on the next purchase but making do, not getting in the car so much, having a go at creating something, and so on — and whilst I’m certain that when all the difficulties we’ve been experiencing ease off we’ll be up to some of our old ways, I’d like to think that these changes and new values remain sharp in our mind.

Which is why it seems right to reflect some of the new thought processes in Christmas celebrations this year. Somehow, I can’t help thinking that the very top gift this year is families being together and that that’s more exciting than any number of wrapped toys under a tree. Physical presents seem to take a back seat this year and since that fits with many people having not so much cash to spare this time around, that can surely only be a good thing. Of course, for many, going large with gifts seems just as right, an exuberance that celebrates a break from hard times and if that’s your vibe, then go for it!

But in a nod to our enforced, stripped-back lives and newly found values, we might find time to continue with our little acts of kindness and new creativity and that is where young children can come in. How wonderful to teach them early in life that Christmas can mean “giving back” — to our community, to perhaps older, more vulnerable people who may not want to mix in with the 3-household Christmas shenanigans — and is just as much about fun and games as the presents.

So, before this blog sounds like a Sunday sermon (apologies), here are five simple ways we can get children involved in the spirit of our very special, post-Lockdown Christmas.

1. Help them make simple Christmas cards for seniors nearby, especially those on their own, and ask them to help you deliver them.

2. Write a short thank you letter together to the postman and refuse collectors (all of whom kept working when we were all inside), decorated by the children.

3. When at the supermarket, ask toddlers to choose one tin to put in the Food Bank collection point.

4. Make Christmas decorated treats together. There are some cool ideas at

and I can’t help loving the melted snowmen biscuits at

Have a very Happy Christmas everyone! We all deserve it.

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