…while also meeting the need for human connection.
I remember, as a child, the month of December was full of magic and love, and chocolate. I’d bake all kinds of delicious cookies with my grandma and every morning, I’d get up early, because I couldn’t wait to open the door of the advent calendar and enjoy the chocolate even before breakfast.
But the most important day was the 24th – I’d count the days until Christmas Evening, the night where the whole family comes together to eat a delicious meal and then waits for the long-desired visit of the Christ Child, who brings all the presents.
The gifts were one part that made every Christmas so special, but what I even liked more, was the warm feeling, the feeling of being loved and held, when the whole family sat together – the cuddles, the kissing, my cousin and me “decorating” the poor dog with wrapping paper – I loved all of it.
Growing older, the magic faded a little bit, but never completely. And although Christmas looks very differently this year, instead of the whole family we’re only two, I decided to make it as enjoyable and special as every other year.
Here are my tips on how to enjoy your Christmas at home and without forgoing human connection!
#1 – Decorate your home
It doesn’t have to be as opulent as you maybe remember the decoration from your childhood, but you can always make your own advent calendar, advent wreath, put up candles and maybe decorate your windows. For me, it is all about lights – I put up candles and fairy lights all over the house and because I also flowers and plants, I decorate with poinsettias.
Obviously, there are no rules for decorating your home and making it all magical for your Christmas at home.
#2 – Cook a special dinner
Spending Christmas by yourself, with your partner or with just one or two family members this year, does not mean you have to go without an unforgettable meal. I always loved my uncles’ goulash with red cabbage and dumplings and pairing it with a red wine. I will cook it this year again, only for two people, but it will be so worth it.
Spoil yourself or your small group of people with the food that brings up the happiest memories.
#3 – Get into a festive mood
When we were children, our parents and grandparents would create this whole Christmas feeling – from baking, decorating, watching movies to listening to Christmas songs, it was a tradition and it might feel like without your family around, it does not make sense?
I disagree! Getting into a festive mood is up to you. You can cuddle up on your sofa, lighting some candles, eating your home baked cookies and watch a Christmas movie even without your whole family around. And listening to Christmas songs while dancing around the house, or cleaning, or decorating lifts your mood and definitely create a festive mood.
Pro-tip: Bake as often as you can, because the distinctive smell of cinnamon stars or vanilla cookies will force you into feeling all Christmassy.
# 4- Connect with your loved ones
I believe, this year we have all developed new ways of staying in touch and satisfy our need for human connection. Video calls or phone calls with friends and family have become the new normal. Every Sunday at 7 pm, I call my family at home and we have a video chat – it’s a perfect way to stay in touch, see each other and share some laughs together.
And we will do the same on Christmas evening!
#5 – Stick to traditions – and give them a twist
The tradition says, we eat goulash with dumpling and red cabbage, we listen to Christmas music, exchange presents and talk until the first person falls asleep. And my family and I do not see any reason to change that – except for the distance between us, there won’t be and difference.
We all cook the same meal at our homes, we will eat together, listen to music together and talk. Oh, and we also sent the presents beforehand, so we can even exchange them!
The only thing I’ll miss are the cuddles and the kissing.
Tell me, how will your Christmas look like this year?