1. Stay in your pyjamas some of the days of the Christmas holidays. This sends a signal to the world that you are not at work. You are announcing yourself formally as housebound and cannot fetch the coal or get milk in the shop. Other family members will rise to these challenges.
2. Switch off your mobile phone for some of the days. Treat yourself to extended time periods without being interrupted by messages and emails. You will also come to realise how much time you waste reading useless information.
3. It’s hard to beat a good movie. Do your research. Close the curtains. Switch off the lights. Place popcorn and crisps beside you and a fizzy drink. We all need a bit of fantasy at the moment. Make these movies family occasions.
4. The greatest gifts that you have in this life are the people who love you. These are precious jewels and surround yourself with them. Never take them for granted. Now there is time to truly connect with them all. Do not waste it. Do things with them. Listen properly to what they say and let them know how much you love them.
5. The last number of months have been tougher on us than we truly acknowledge. It has been very unsettling and a lot of anxiety hovers around. Watch the news less often and jump into a hobby. Reconnect with something that you used to love doing or start something new. We need hobbies to take us away from life stresses.
6. Zoom, FaceTime or Skype will never be the same as meeting people in person. But this is all we have at the moment. Use them to reach out to people that you cannot meet this year. Organise a quiz or a singing session.
7. If you can afford it give to the poor. Loose change can transform the day for someone begging on the street or lying in the wet. Maybe, you can arrange for a generous donation to a charity group who looks after the homeless. Let your children know what you’re doing.
8. Christmas celebrates the birth of Christ. If you are a Christian – this is possibly the biggest day in your religious calendar (along with Easter). You could arrange to visit the crib or manger in your local church/town. Or talk about the Christmas story to your children. It’s a beautiful story of love and hope and shouldn’t be lost in the tinsel
Wishing you and all whom you love peace at Christmas and renewed energy and hope for the coming months.
(C) Shane Martin