Feeling a little grinchy these holidays?


Like more events, activities and celebrations this year, the 2020 holidays are likely to be far different than your past Christmas celebrations. So how do we try to find the light at the end of the tunnel in all this? Maybe this is bringing us back to simpler times?


Photograph: iStock

Text: Lyndsay Jensen


This leaves many of us wondering whether there's a way to make the holidays celebratory or if we will have to settle for a very isolated Christmas this year. The trick is to focus on the positives with some helpful reminders.


Prioritise the most important traditions

Think about what is the essence of the holiday for you, so you can try to preserve them. Even if you're not doing exactly everything you used to, you can set up the holiday decorations, if that's really important to you, or make the special foods you love.


Decorate an outdoor tree if you have a garden

This is the year to go overboard with decking out not only the inside but also your garden if you live in a house. Decorating a tree (or even a potted tree on your balcony) with LED lights and ornaments is the way to go. (Tip: Use florist's wire to secure the decorations to the tree, so they'll stay put even if it gets windy).


Make special memories

Yes, you and your household members might be a little tired of each other right now, but think of fun ways to help set the holiday season apart. Create a small advent calendar with festive activities for each day, rather than a treat. Your Christmas activities don't have to be elaborate—it could just be drinking hot chocolate together wearing Santa hats or watching one of the best Christmas movies on Netflix, it'll help make the season brighter.


Find ways to make the most of your time with loved ones

To keep everyone as safe as possible, your best bet is to follow the Danish Health Ministry regulations and avoid indoor get-togethers. Zoom fatigue is real, and not everyone enjoys meeting virtually. If you can, make meet-ups outdoors, even if it means a quick chat while everyone's bundled up, it will do you a world of good!


When gathering in person outdoors, consider keeping celebrations to the daytime hours, when it might be a little bit warmer and more comfortable to spend time outside. Look for outdoor activities that can be socially distanced and keep you active. If you practice Secret Santa with your friends and family, organise it around an outdoor picnic table or fire pit. Nothing says hygge more than a toasty fire.


Spread some joy

If 2020 has taught us anything, it's how much the people in our lives mean to us, so go ahead and spread some happiness where you can. Write down how much the people you love mean to you and send it out to them. Make Christmas cookies and leave some with your friends and neighbours, or organise for a pizza dropoff or other treats at a local nursing home, hospital, or fire department to brighten the lives of the people there. Please just remember to check first if it's permitted, but I'm sure it would mean so much to the people that are the most alone at this time of year.


Remember that what’s different may make this holiday more special

You may not remember exactly what happened at the holidays from year to year, but this Christmas will probably be more memorable because it's so different.


So, keep safe and from the team here at The International, and my family I wish you a very special Christmas time together, however odd it may be. We just have to find a way to make the most of it this time together.

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