Our shared memories from last week have reminded us what we valued in our Christmas celebrations so….This will sure be a hot topic for this week as many have already discussed some change in mindset regarding what Christmas will look like whether it be due to another wave in Covid-19 or economic situations due to Covid-19. Sheltering together has also revealed a shift in values and the importance of things vs time spent with each other or away from each other. Here is a start of questions to consider for Christmas 2020. Please feel free to add more questions as we discuss this topic
Will you change your Christmas plans this year in view of Covid-19?
Will there be a Plan A and Plan B or even a Plan C?
Will you create new traditions centered around at home activities?
What Christmas tradition must be kept no matter what?
What are you willing to give up this Christmas?
What can you do to make a sheltered at home Christmas stand out?
Will you shop Black Friday? Or will it be Cyber Monday all the way?
Will you clean less because your house is in order for all the stay at home time you have had this year? Or will you follow one of the organized Christmas plans. If you follow a plan will it be easier because of all you accomplish during isolation.
I know that scarcity of items has put me on edge. It's really made me stop and think what is necessary and needed versus "Oh, this is nice to have." I'm not sure if I'll host a brunch with my extended family or if we'll participate in extended family activities in December. I think I'll look at the situation as we get closer.
When it comes down to it, I want a Christmas tree for sure. We usually get a real tree. I've kept my artificial tree from my single days as a back up. I'm fine if we stick with the artificial tree. I like to make Stollen and Springerle cookies. I can let go of all of the other things that we do.
I'm planning on making sure our fall and winter feels cozy with seasonal decorations and items like candles, soaps, tea and coffee. I'm hoping to continue to make the traditional fall and winter foods.
As for Black Friday, I love shopping early in the morning that day. I would like to still do that but I'll see how things are. Many of the stores that I have shopped at in the past have shut down in the last few years.
You know, I haven't given any thought to the Organized Christmas plans but wow! As I type this out, it is dawning on my that my Organized Christmas plan may not look at all like it has in prior years. If everyone is home, then I have no idea when I will get things done. I do my deep cleaning and Christmas wrapping when the house is empty. Off to ponder this some more...
Yes our plans for December have changed. We go to NYC every other Dec and this was was the year to go. We cancelled those plans along with the plans to go to Great Adventure the week between Christmas and New Years.
I am working on Plan A, Plan B and Plan C for Thanksgiving Day, Christmas eve and Christmas Day breakfast and dinners as we normally hosts those days.
I am starting to replenish pantry items that we are low on and have started my making my grocery lists for the holidays so I can start picking up on things as I find them. I already asked the kids to work on their Christmas wish lists .. Dvds, CDs, board games, video games, etc. I normally get most of these BF but not sure how that will work this year since they have to limit the amount of people in the stores and not sure what will be available then.
I am making a lot of homemade gifts this year for extended family: canned fruit jams and butters, different extract and flavored sugars and hand sized rice bag warmers and white chocolate peppermint popcorn.
I already talked to DH and the kids. Instead of doing most of my baking the week before Christmas I will spread it out more during the month so we can enjoy them during the board games nights and Christmas movie nights we will plan during the month of Dec.
During the fall leading up to the Dec I plan on cooking and baking more of the family favorites. This summer we are going to work on a small area in the back yard for seating and a firepit so we can enjoy it when it gets cooler out.
We will continue to decorate the house inside and out for the fall, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
I had already made plans to change things this year. DS lives in Ohio and it is scary to think of the family being on the road in nasty weather. I am hoping that they will welcome DH and I for Thanksgiving and have our Christmas celebration with them then. We did this all the time with my mom and dad because of DH working and delivering packages for UPS on Christmas Eve. Other than that I am going with a Plan A - a NYE family Christmas gathering similar to what we did last year. We had a great time and it allowed everyone to come home for Christmas. I have not been super excited about going to my mom's for Christmas because she has made it an open house and I was informed that I could not be around when family came it was her time with them. Really? I think if possible I will go in early December and help her with her baking instead. Baking and cooking is hard for her so if I can help her get ready that will work for her.
Plan B with be mailing gifts to the kids and sheltering at home with DH. It will be what it is I guess. We always have FaceTime so will certainly be able to touch base with everyone. My concern is that all is safe.
I do not see much changing. The things I do for the Holidays are mainly items I enjoy. Not many in the family really care if I decorate or do special things. So I do them for myself. Having a small family makes a difference too. At the most there are 6 of us if stepmother decides to attend. This year there maybe two less since I’m still ticked at (not)so Dear son. lol I do invite friends over if their family decide to do Christmas on a different day.
I am excited about decorating this year since we have a new 5 foot Santa and two new trees to have fun decorating. I do have to manage my time and energy. So the earlier I start the better.
We have already been talking about having to do Thanksgiving outside or via video chat and possibly the same with Christmas.
Ahorsesoul We normally have 6-7 people sometimes up to 10 but with the Covid-19 going around things will most likely have to change my Nanny and Papa are both in the High Risk range, right now my Mom is working from home but by then who knows if that will change and her work place normally has quite a few people in their department and the company her bf works for has already had some positive cases of it, and my Aunt and Uncle travel around quite a bit for work so it might be a tricky thing to figure out if Covid-19 doesn't disappear.
I don't see anything changing for us this year, one way or the other. I do gift shopping online, and I buy gift cards at the grocery store. Family members all live too far away to visit, and we have encouraged them to make their own family traditions. One thing dh & I have always done is go to a nice Chinese restaurant the week of Christmas, and that will probably not happen. I guess there's always take-out...not the same, though. I miss having my own home to decorate and baking goodies to take to neighbors & friends - those have become good memories. This year I'll set up a Christmas-themed jigsaw puzzle, get the kids involved in some crafts & baking cookies, read a Christmas book, watch a bunch of Christmas movies, and I'll take dh out in the car one night to look at lights.
I don’t think too much will change here over the holidays.
Food wise, I’m already stocking the pantry. I’ve checked the butchers Facebook page to see when they normally start taking orders for thanksgiving turkeys and Christmas hams and have it in my planner. Our grocery store usually does 69 cent/ pound turkeys but who knows this year so I have a backup plan. The only absolute must have food for Christmas is chicken soup and that will be made well in advance.
Cleaning, lol, I must be the only one who didn’t really clean during lock down. Cleaning will go on as usual. Even if we don’t entertain at home I will decorate as usual. I have 3 artificial trees now so I don’t have to worry about tree shopping.
My shopping is a ongoing process starting the day after Christmas. I’m making a lot of gifts so everybody is pretty much taken care of. I have always shop on Black Friday ( my traditional last day of shopping for the year). I will go out this year if they have it. If not that’s ok too.
It’s just the 3 of now that everyone is gone. Unless one of us is sick or in quarantine because of a known exposure our Christmas Eve/ day celebration will go on as usual. We can reschedule if need be.
Our fancy December date night may not happen this year. There is very little posted at playhouse square so far. I’ve already decided I’ll do a fancy dinner at home if we can’t go out to a show.
I had wanted to have a party with family and friends this year. Now that my boys are gone I don’t have to worry about upsetting them. But I’ve decided against it for this year. We usually meet up with friends and cousins to exchange gifts, either here or at a restaurant. If we have to social distance outside in their drive way so I can see them open their gift that’s fine. If we just drop them off that’s ok too.
I have been thinking about this quite a bit. Our son and daughter in law and 2 granddaughters live a couple of states away. They always come home for Christmas for a week. We do all the traditional things, cookie baking, looking at Christmas lights, cookies and milk for Santa. I’m a little afraid they may not be able to come this year. I sure hope I’m wrong!! If they can’t it will be our daughter and son-in-law and my husband and me. We will make it a good Christmas but definitely a different one! We also have a nice dinner for my siblings and their spouses a week before Christmas. That could also be put on hold for this year. But for now I am working on my menus and grocery list and gift list and hoping for the best!
I've been thinking about this quite a bit. Our home traditions shouldn't be changing too much- decorating, menus, traditions such as baking, Christmas movies, neighbor treats, etc. I never shop Black Friday so that's no issue. I'm making most gifts, anyway. Our older kids all live far away and this wasn't the year they were planning on coming here, as we switch up years with the in-laws. They live in different states so us going to them wouldn't be practical. Not with 3 still at home.
The things that may change are the school and church Christmas programs, out of town trip, Santa visit and time spent with Mom. Also, we have 3 birthdays in Dec. Those may look a little different. We like to get away somewhere fun as the big family gift. The last few years we've been able to visit Dollywood, beaches in Florida and Disneyworld. This year is supposed to be Dollywood. We'll see. The Santa visit is an overnight stay at the Opryland Hotel. They decorate so beautifully, have lovely ice sculptures and displays, and their Santa is really great. Mom is in assisted living and we haven't been allowed in for months. We've had phone calls and window visits, but I have no idea how we'll handle the holidays if they continue the confinement. We usually have a Thanksgiving meal with her the Saturday before which is also her birthday celebration. Christmas we go over for a few hours on Christmas Eve. This last few months has been hard on her- I hope they will be allowing family in by then.
My DH and I like to have a finish-it-up shopping trip to a big city with lots of shops starting with brunch and ending with an early supper. It's been how we've celebrated our anniversary for years, even if not on the day. He works out of town and his schedule often has him across the country on the actual day. We started this when all the older kids were little and we really couldn't afford a get-away so we'd just make good use of one day of a sitter and spend it buying what gifts we were missing. I truly hope we can still do some variation of that.
I was also planning to surprise him with a birthday party this year. His is on the 30th and it's kind of a biggie. Again, we'll see. I'm going to prep for all of it like it's happening as planned.
I will pick up things as needed. I have lists for menus and have been picking up tp, paper towels, cleaning products, etc with each grocery order. As far as cleaning goes, I do not live with the illusion that anything I've cleaned now will be remotely clean by then. I live out in the country on a farm with kids and dogs everywhere. Things don't stay clean or organized here for more than 5 minutes.. If, God forbid, they have us try remote learning again, cleaning and wrapping and crafting is going to be a challenge.
Since we live away from all family, we won't have any of those types of plans and our friends are moving away this week so they won't be here. We do have another set of friends here that we will hang out with more now since our family friends are leaving, but I don't think it will be like what we have now. I know there are things that I have wanted to do on the island at the holidays that we have yet to do in all the years we have lived here like go downtown for the lights parade and see the city lights, but with Covid i'm not sure we will be able to do them this holiday season either. We'll have to wait and see.
Last year was the first year we have ever had a real tree and we will do that again this year, getting a Hawaiian tree, especially since it will be our last Christmas here (most likely). I'm not sure about Black Friday. There are definitely some items i'm already thinking about looking for (mini fridge and a wireless printer). I'm not sure if i'm willing to venture out if the virus is still in a high level of its existence though. No item is worth risking my family or my health over. I will be doing a lot of online shopping this year, but that's not new since we have lived on the island.
I will do my best to decorate earlier and continue with the baking that I normally do and keep our normal traditions alive. I don't see too much changing for us really except maybe not being able to get certain items and having to improvise or not being able to go out and about like usual, which has become the norm anyway. We will adapt and overcome no matter what. I'm definitely in the more homebody mindset....comfy and cozy at home this year than out and about. I don't see this going away anytime soon so I don't think there will be any social holiday events happening that we have to worry about being invited to in large groups.
As far as cleaning, we have been cleaning regularly. With 5 people in the house ALL the time, it has to be done. I won't do any extra or special cleaning. I would like to start going through things for our impending move early next summer so it doesn't sneak up on me. With no expected guests there won't be any white glove cleaning going on here.
This is a topic that I have been thinking about for a while.
I think that out Christmas here will be mostly unchanged. There are 3 living in our home and DD and DFSIL live a few minutes away. I am hoping that we will have a family get together the Saturday before Christmas where we will have a small gathering and have a very simple menu of foods that should be easily sourced. Our big family meal on Christmas day at my Mum's has been planned and we have started to purchase and store those foods. This will be very similar to what we have every year so no real difference there. We have enough already in the pantry and freezer to make a lovely meal if things change.
Baking will continue to be the same and we have already got a decent stock pile of flour and sugar. If things change closer to Christmas we will revise our menus, we will scale back if needed.
Shopping has been the hardest thing for me, not being able to go out to shop means I am doing online shopping which has been a little hit and miss. I have a list of alternate gifts that will be used as well as bought gifts if I can get things. Some IOU's will be used if things are not back to normal. These will be for mani/pedi's when the salons open etc. A lot of my gifts this year will be from the supermarket as they are open. Will do something like a breakfast basket for DD which will have pancake mix, syrup, teas and coffees etc.
I am not one that likes change very much, I like my traditions and the sameness, it is comfortable to me. I know that if things change this Christmas it would be necessarily bad it will be different and I just have to make the most of it.
You all seem to have a great idea of what you're doing! Lots of baking too - it's inspiring. Definitely something I'd like to incorporate into my Christmas this year. I love the cozy vibe as well; that's something I can definitely endorse with good coffee, tea, comfort food. I have my own manifesto for Christmas this year, and it's "Less, but better". I want to focus on a handful of things, but do them exceptionally. The food and drinks reminded me of this. DH and I are big coffee drinkers, so I'm going to learn how to make some brilliant coffee at home. Now is the perfect time to nail it! Also with food: we've always bought a TONNE of food at Christmas and either pigged out on it (and stopped enjoying it but ate because it's there) or it's been wasted. Lockdown, and not being able to get things I always took for granted, has taught me that my family really doesn't need that much - and instead of overcompensating by buying lots, buy less, buy better, and do a good job of it!
The only Christmassy thing we discussed prior to the Covid outbreak is DMIL potentially coming over to ours on Christmas day. We haven't discussed it with her, and we have no idea if she'd want to or not as she has five kids to choose from (and we're not having the traditional Christmas dinner this year: we're having curry!)
Both of my kids are Scouts, and Christmas is HECTIC in Scouting! It isn't uncommon to be out six nights a week doing SOMETHING, so I have no idea if that is going to happen this year. I have no relatives on my side, and DH's siblings/parents are typically busy people, so we usually manage to spend the day with them at various weekends on the run up to Christmas. We usually end up ordering tonnes of pizzas and just chatting and laughing at the kids' shenanigans. Last year my kiddos and my niece made a monstrosity of a gingerbread house whilst Dsil and family were at ours. We'd all love to do that again, but again - who knows!
It's my DD1s' birthday the week prior to Christmas. We usually go out and do something, but this year... Outdoor activities in December in the UK aren't...Fun lol, and the thought of trying to "social distance" in somewhere like a cinema etc in PPE doesn't sound appealing either.
As far as at home activities etc, I am going to be investing a lot of time/creativity/effort in trying to do SOMETHING. Not sure what, but this is going to be something I'll start looking into soon. I'm just going to get into the mindset of everything is going to be in lockdown, so plan to stay in, and then if everything is open/back to 'normal' - great!
Shopping is probably going to be online. I still haven't ventured into a real shop other than a supermarket, despite most retailers being open. I just can't get excited about the queuing to get in, the not being allowed to browse, etc.
I pick & mixed my own cleaning plan by taking bits from HGP, H&H etc. As sad as it sounds, I always look forward to starting it in September! That really kicks off the Christmas excitement for me. Regardless of what KonMari says, our house is definitely too small for us (add in that the kiddos are Home Ed and that requires equipment/resources/MESS!) and keeping things organised/spaces clear is a challenge. Covid has made me realise how messy our home can get - not being able to take things to charity shops etc and have stuff piling up... This year I am definitely delegating jobs instead of trying to do it by myself.
I think, like a lot of people, the plan for this year is expecting to be at home, expecting the meals and gift shopping to be 'quirky'. Anything going back to normal is a bonus!
Plan A - keep doing as usual (maybe skip NY's eve supper as it was mil's bday and she died last week.. just do games and evening buffet)
Plan B - Invite each family seperatly (my husband's and mine)
PLan C - Just us and the kids
Rabble you got me thinking... if it's a low-key Christmas I think I'll plan for some crafting and games.
Online shopping and grocery store shopping will be for Christmas gifts.
If sheltering in place, I am trying to find something in DH and I can do together. I do have some puzzles. Maybe I could talk him into driving around to see Christmas lights. We haven't done that in years. We have a Precious Moment nativity set that he made many years ago when the kids were little. He is going to fix it up and repaint. We hope to put it out this year. It isn't simple, as the pieces are made to go the roof and was designed to fix our former house.
I do not plan to shop Black Friday or Cyber Monday as it should be done.
We may have to give up our new tradition of gift buying for each other. Last year we bought gifts for the 5 senses if we are sheltered in place.
im very lucky my kids live like 5 min or 10 min away. we will have breakfast here and open gifts. dinner at my daughters like we always do. i will still decorate day after halloween. hope to see all the lights like we usually do if all put them out. baking cookies with the gkids . hope to be threw shopping by black friday