Christmas is going to look very different this year. No Christmas parties, no big family get-togethers, no late night shopping on Oxford Street. With the recent announcement that London is going into Tier 4, lots of peoples’ Christmas plans have been scuppered.
Here’s how you can celebrate the festive season while abiding by the rules and staying safe.
What exactly are the rules?
People living in a Tier 4 area are not allowed to leave the place they are living unless they have a reasonable excuse. You cannot meet other people indoors, including over the Christmas period, unless you live with them or they are part of your support bubble. Outdoors, you can only meet one person from another household. These rules with not be relaxed for Christmas, so you are no longer allowed to form a Christmas bubble. You can only celebrate with people you live with.
Find out more about the restrictions here.
For many, the Tier 4 restrictions means that they won’t be able to get together with all their loved ones. Luckily, we’re not strangers to a video chat, and this year has taught us how to socialise through a screen. Pick your favourite video chat software, schedule in a time with your friends or family, and get chatting!
You can play virtual bingo, do a Christmas scavenger hunt, organise a Christmas pub quiz or have an ugly Christmas jumper competition. You could even do some Christmas karaoke on Sync Video, watch some of the best Christmas films together on Netflix Party, or make some DIY Christmas decorations together. Here are even more ideas. The choice is yours!
Spending Christmas at home without your loved ones will be strange, which is why it’s even more important to do what you can to ensure you have a fun day regardless. Got a festive dress or a Christmas tie that you wear every year without fail? Put it on! Is there a film that you watch every Christmas Eve? Snuggle up and enjoy it. Craving some mulled wine? Make some!
If the traditional Christmas menu isn’t quite your cup of tea, now’s your chance to have whatever you want on the day. Create your own special menu with all your favourite foods (Brussel sprouts optional) and tuck in! Here are some tips for making Christmas feel more like Christmas this year.
Looking after your mental health
This year has been difficult for us all, with many people struggling with their mental health. Christmas is usually a joyous and fun time of year, and the recent restrictions mean it will be incredibly different to what we’re used to. Make sure to keep in contact with your loved ones — even a text or a quick chat could help you both feel better. Check out our blog on how to keep positive and motivated during these tough times.
The news seems to be filled with a lot of doom and gloom at the moment. If you find yourself feeling disheartened whenever you receive a news alert on your phone, why not try disabling notifications. Allocate a certain time to check the news to help reduce the stress that the stories might bring.
If you’re spending Christmas alone this year, make sure to check out Mind for some brilliant resources and support.
With the coronavirus vaccine now being offered to the most vulnerable, things are starting to look up. Although this Christmas will definitely be an unusual one, that’s not to say we can’t still have some fun and enjoy it.