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It goes without saying that this Christmas we need to follow the recommendations and guidance of the Health Authorities as much as we need to on any other period of the year. This means that many cannot hold the usual Christmas Celebrations and Family Traditions around the Christmas Period. Understandably this can make this year’s Christmas a difficult period for us, where we may find ourselves missing the things that we usually do, or the people we usually spend time with. However, as with many other situations, we are left with a choice to make; How will we approach this? I wish to encourage you to choose to get creative. I will be sharing a few ideas on how this can be done.

  1. Showing Thoughtfulness

The Christmas Period seems to generally invite many to invest in letting others know that they are in their thoughts; such as through gift giving, inviting people for an event, sending a message to say happy Christmas, sending a card and so on. Think of what you can do this year to still show the people that you care about that they are in your thoughts even if you cannot meet them. Perhaps this year you can write a heartfelt message or a letter in their Christmas card. Or perhaps your children can make a drawing that you can include with their card. Maybe drop off some cookies or anything that you enjoy baking during this period. Give a call to people you usually send a message to, especially if you know that perhaps they are also struggling with not being able to see their loved ones this Christmas. The point is to translate the energy that comes from missing the people you care about into doing gestures to let them know that you are thinking of them.

2. Create the Atmosphere

Some enjoy the atmosphere that is created around Christmas; such as the decorated shop windows, the lights at the squares, the Christmas music in the streets. In this case, for this year, you can be more aware of the atmosphere that you wish to create in your home. Perhaps focus on catering for all the senses; such as scents (a candle maybe?) that you associate with Christmas, preparing a playlist of music that you enjoy listening to during this period, try experimenting with baking new recipes, lay out textures (such as a blanket) that gives you the feeling of warmth and so on.

3. An Opportunity for Something New

While this year we might miss our usual traditions, what about focusing on trying to create a new one? It could be that this attempt does not work as well as our usual traditions, in which case we can go back to our usual traditions in the Christmases to come. On the other hand, it might work well and it could turn out to be something that we decide to keep. One example could be having a video call on Christmas with those who cannot be present with us on the day. Perhaps this year, there will be a lot of people who will not be able to be present with us on the day, so a group video call might be a good idea. However, in the coming years there may still be people who are working on Christmas, others who are abroad, or who are celebrating their Christmas elsewhere; so perhaps you might decide to continue creating some time to have a video call with such loved ones even in Christmases to come.

Rebecca Cassar is a Family Therapist practicing the Systemic Approach. She specializes in offering therapy to families, couples and individuals who are experiencing distress in their relationships. She can be contacted on rebecca@willingness.com.mt or call us on 79291817.