The build-up is beginning to Christmas 2020, Covid Christmas! – A year like no other, Covid-19, Black lives Matter, EndSARs Nigeria, Trump out of the White House! Even I, based in the UK and not an American, am getting vote Trump emails. Incredible right!? An unprecedented number of hours in front of a screen: Netflix, Prime, BBC news, Skype, Teams or Zoom? Queuing in malls and supermarket entrances as opposed to queues at checkouts. Nothing is the same as it was this time last year; it is a lot to take in, a lot to take on, and a lot to get our heads around.
A great year to start my Executive master’s in Management and Leadership at Cranfield University. My initial meeting with my course mates and subsequent lectures were over Zoom. More time in front of the screen but great because I think the camera makes me appear taller and slimmer. Perhaps I need to step out more often for some fresh air!
Time to re-think Christmas…
But the way I see it, we have an opportunity; let’s make this the best Christmas yet! Whose secret Santa are you going to be? Christmas is about goodwill and giving so let’s make sure we live up to that in the best possible way this year. After all, it has been like no other year. Let’s start by giving in a different kind of way. What do we have in excess this year? Time! Time! Time! Who can we give our time to? We’ve saved time not traveling in and out of work, not going on holiday, and (in theory) money as well. I have realised that time is like money; no matter how much I cut back on my monthly expenditure it is never enough to go round. How do you get back? You give.
Random acts of kindness
Who can we do something for that wasn’t expecting it? Small gestures go a long way, coffee vouchers to strangers who look stressed out… (You can purchase these online).
Check on your friends, your neighbours, reach out and send them a random message to make sure they’re ok, it could make their day! Offer them a virtual cuppa. Contact your local food bank to see if you can help give to families in need, register for the Olio App to offer up food that you don’t need yourself for free. Offer to go shopping for elderly or vulnerable friends/neighbours.
Building virtual community
So we can’t see much of each other face to face, but there are things we can do online and remotely to build a sense of community…
- Christmas jumper competition
- Family/Friends Quiz
- Virtual Cuppa
- Hampers of food dropped at a loved one’s door
- Personalised Christmas cards
How is this year’s Christmas 🎄 shopping going to be done! All online! How can we make the gift list different? The whole idea is to encourage us to challenge tradition. How can we make our gifts more environmentally friendly? How can we get away from unwanted and unnecessary gift giving and the fallout from this? We can make a pledge to look and what we buy and how we buy it… Ask yourself:
- What is this made from? Is it eco-friendly?
- How is it made? By who and where was it made?
- How can I wrap it? (paper/paper tape/material wraps)
- Is this something that the person really wants? (there is no harm in asking for gift lists and plenty of apps which make it easy to put a list together and share with loved ones)
Then there’s charitable giving, to make this Christmas about others and giving globally, for example:
- Operation Christmas Child:
- Sponsor a child: https://www.compassionuk.org/christmas/
- Adopt a family: https://www.sheltered.org/christmas-adopt-a-family/
Christmas like never before…
It is a year like no other… make it a Christmas like never before. Let’s count down to the best Christmas yet ☺️. It’s time to do things differently, but maybe, just maybe some of these ideas might make future Christmases better too, with more community, more sustainability and more love.