Guilty Pleasures of a Lockdown Christmas

I saw a lovely cartoon last week where the mother was on Zoom explaining how she was getting used to the idea of not seeing the family, and the husband, out of shot, was opening the champagne.  So, how is your Christmas going to be affected and have you noticed a secret bonus to it all?

Guilty Pleasure 1 – The Perfect Excuse

If you’re lucky enough to have a family that is craving your company, but you’re not sure it’s a wise thing to do, the pandemic gives you some marvellous excuses not to meet up. They all begin “I’m so sorry, but… “:   

  • “. . .we can’t come to you as you’ve already got three households”
  • “. . .you can’t come to us as we’ve already got three households”
  • “. . .we’re/you’re in a different Tier so we/you can’t travel”

If this year does nothing else, it can serve to remind us all how valuable life is and how simple Christmas can be.  My tips for Christmas 2020 are to do whatever you consider safest and most appropriate within the rules and reflect on how to capture this moment where, at last, it’s ok to do what you really want to do.


How is Christmas looking for you, what do you think you’re going to be doing or don’t you even know what options you’ll have?  Because not knowing and not having options is difficult for a human being as it creates indecision and can put you in a quandary.  If you’re in this position, here are some tips to make this Christmas something to look forward to.

Guilty Pleasure 2 – This is your time

Christmas comes but once a year – so why not use this as your excuse to indulge yourself.  You can treat it like a military operation with certain steps to be gone through.  Here are my suggestions:

What’s best option for you?

Consider the safest option, which is to see only a few people and stay close to where you live.  You could contact any local friends and see if you could connect with one of them.  Maybe you could share lunch or both talk on Christmas day.  Alternatively, think of places you might go on your own.  There are bound to be people offering community companionship in your area.  You just need to track them down.  Make your choice and stick to it.

What are you going to eat?

We’re very fortunate in this country in that, even with the French closing their borders, there’s no shortage of food, so decide what you’re going to have out of what’s available; Chicken, Beef, Lamb, Pork, Vegetarian or Vegan there’s a fabulous choice.   If you’re on your own, this is the time to pick your absolute favourite food and tuck in with great relish.  Knowing what you’re going to eat is something to tick off your to-do list.  Make your choice and stick to it.

What are you going to do with your day?

Especially, if you’re suffering from anxiety, it’s important that your day is planned.  So, divide your day into segments and decide what you’re going to do in each of them.  For example,

08.00-10.00       breakfast, and get up
10.00-11.00       prepare lunch
01.00-01.30       cook lunch and enjoy the morning
01.30-02.00       eat lunch,
02.00-04.00       wash up and have an after-lunch nap
04.00-06.00       watch television
06.00-07.00       get supper ready
07.00-08.00       eat supper
08.00-10.00       choose something brilliant to watch
10.00-11.00       get ready for bed
11.00-08.00       settle down for the night

This way, you can build-up your day from scratch and put slots in for all the things you’re going to do.  The secret, of course, is to: Make your choice and stick to it.

How will you fill any quiet gaps in the day?

This is where you can choose things you really like doing that will keep your brain occupied.  It’s about having your toy-box ready.  Things like jigsaws, crossword or codeword puzzles, quizzes, reading, playing cards, computer games etc.  For example, you could use this to fill the time when lunch is cooking

Filling every moment of the day in this way gives you an agenda to follow, so you won’t find yourself dwelling on any thoughts of lack or limitation.  As I always say: Make your choice and stick to it.

Finally, remember that whatever you decide to do with your day is absolutely fine and actually, THERE’S NOTHING TO FEEL GUILTY ABOUT AFTER ALL.

You have a choice as to what you think about this Christmas.  Either it’s awful or it’s different.  What you think about it will make a difference to how it seems.  We’ll look back in years to come and say to one another, Do you remember Christmas 2020?” and, actually you will.  So, you owe it to yourself to make it a memorable one.

Whatever you do with your day, I wish you a very Happy Christmas.

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