Expert Advice: Having a Safe Christmas in Times of Covid

by parenting expert Emma Bradley

 

At the time of writing, we are in a national lockdown in England and the question on everyone’s lips is what about Christmas? Is it too early to put the tree up? Will we be able to see family and friends during the holiday season? And how can we best prepare and stay safe at the same time?

At the moment we understand that this second lockdown is a temporary measure until December 2nd, and we are all keeping our fingers crossed that we will be able to celebrate with family and therefore I am making tentative plans. As for the tree question--go for it if you want to! I have seen on social media that many are hurrying the year along by pulling out the tree and Christmas decorations. One thing for certain is that Christmas will be different, there are unlikely to be many, if any, Christmas parties.

 

How to Prepare for a Safe Socially Distanced Christmas

 

Follow guidelines

The best bet of course is to follow national guideline. And if we are not able to see each other in person in each other’s houses, look at how we can work within the confines of the law. Firstly, we can meet one other person outside in public places, therefore arrange a nice walk with a friend or family member. You can spend some time together and of course that is the greatest gift of all.

 

Self-isolate

Covid-19 is rife in universities and we asked our daughter to self-isolate before coming home to us as this made sure that we were as safe as can be. If we are allowed to mix between households, this could be the approach you take--especially if you have older relatives that you want to see. Self-isolate for 14 days and you will know that you can see them safely.

 

Take kids out of nursery

If you have children at nursery you could take them out early to Mid-December in order to lower the risk of catching Covid-19 over the festive period. If we are then able to see wider family relatives then you will know you have taken sensible precautions. A babysitter can easily take over childcare at your home in case you need to work, which is much safer environment.

 

>> Looking for childcare? Find babysitters in your area now.

 

Rely on sitters & your support bubble

Support bubbles are allowed for single parents, childcare reasons, mental well-being and single people. If this applies to you, talk to your ‘support bubble’ about Christmas plans and how you will celebrate together. Also consider seeking help from housekeepers to run errands as well as from dog sitters, to especially protect your elderly loved ones so that they can stay at home safely.

 

Take advantage of video technology

If you are unable to see family in person then make sure you keep in contact using technology. Many of us are now proficient on Zoom and Facetime. There are some really innovative ways to engage on Zoom. Young children often don’t stay still online but are more likely to stay around for longer if granny is reading a story to them or grandad is playing a game of eye spy or similar. My 11-year-old even managed a game of Disney Trivial Pursuits with her best friend. We set up the board and I had posted half the questions to her in advance. They then both rolled a dice and asked questions using just the one board. It was great fun and just as competitive as playing in person!

 

We won’t be able to hug our family and friends this Christmas, but we can definitely show them how much they mean to us. I am encouraging my kids to go personal this year, for example we are making homemade gifts, including cookies and homemade crafts. Rather than thinking this is second best, take a look at Etsy and independent sellers and see how popular these gifts are! Being more home based, we have time on our hands. So let’s use that time to show off our skills and learn some new ones!

Christmas will be different in 2020, but we can still make it special for our families. We just need to follow social distancing guidelines and look after each other.

 

 

About Emma

Emma is a qualified teacher, school governor and parenting blogger with three children. She writes at www.emmaand3.com and can be found on Instagram and Twitter talking about parenting teenagers and money saving topics.

 

>> Looking for childcare? Find babysitters in your area now.

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