Facing the holidays under the threat of masks, hand sanitisers, and lockdown, it might be tough to feel excited about welcoming Santa into our homes, especially as we consider the experience of the little ones around us. If we compare our own happy holiday memories filled with family to those of the ones our little ones are forming, void of hugs and smooches and singing and events, you may feel that their experience falls short. As your five-year-old sings Rudolf the Red-nosed Reindeer with her classmates on Zoom, you may be thinking…enough!
At the same time, some of us do not usually fly home for the holidays and usually take the opportunity to travel and sample Christmas in various sunny destinations, while sharing your travels with the family through modern technology. You and your children therefore may be at loss at what to do, and not feeling up to channelling the Christmas spirit, for all the reasons we have already mentioned.
We are all so over COVID-19, but vaccines are on the horizon and we cannot give up during the last mile of this race. According to the World Health Organisation, “This is indeed an unprecedented time for all of us, especially for children who face an enormous disruption to their lives. Children are likely to be experiencing worry, anxiety and fear, and this can include the types of fears that are very similar to those experienced by adults, such as a fear of dying, a fear of their relatives dying, or a fear of what it means to receive medical treatment.”
Parents are encouraged to talk with their children about what is happening and give them the opportunity to express their fears and concerns. Their worries may run to thoughts about festive events. Like adults, children have expectations around annual rituals. They may wonder why their friends are not visiting or why gramma will not be coming. Be sure to discuss the family plans and why they may not see their friends and family this year. Listen well and allow space for their grief.
But, do not completely despair! In some ways, COVID-19 has made our lives simpler. There are opportunities in the lockdown. Maybe instead of party after event after obligation this season, you can take the time to read a traditional holiday book with your child (perhaps How the Grinch who Stole Christmas or A Christmas Carol), make simple ornaments for the tree (construction paper garlands or shimmery pine cones with glue and glitter), or go for a walk or a drive to see the neighbourhood lights. Any of these activities go well with hot chocolate and gingerbread cookies, the making of which are great family activities as well. Also, don’t forget silliness – there is nothing like a snort of hot chocolate among family members when hearing a good joke.
This year is the time to make new traditions for your family, and make it a Christmas that your family will remember for all the good reasons.
We at JC Legal wish you all the best during this season!
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