Here’s how to ensure this festive season feels every bit as soul-warming as usual…
Sacrifice and compromise have been major themes of 2020, but there’s one thing the population is collectively refusing to strike off for good this year: Christmas.
With this festive period holding special significance for so many, prepare to witness lights being hung early, last-minute Christmas Eve dashers completing their shopping lists by mid-November and even the biggest Scrooges discreetly foot-tapping to Michael Bublé under the table.
And even though our celebrations might look slightly different this year, that doesn’t mean they’re going to be any less joyful – we’re just going to have to be a bit more inventive this time around.
So with that in mind, here are five ways to ensure your Christmas is one of the best ones yet…
1. Reinstate the classic Christmas card
What happened to sending Christmas cards?
We remember a time when we’d lovingly scribble out cards for all 30 of our school classmates, but the tradition sadly died somewhere along the road to adulthood.
However, in an age of communicating digitally, the simple pleasure of opening an envelope and reading handwritten words inside feels like a more tangible way to connect with the friends and family you might not get to see in person.
That’s why we’ll be reinstating the physical Christmas card this year.
For a conscious option, look to 1TreeCards, who plant a tree for every gorgeous watercolour card sold.
2. Level up your gifting game
Sadly, your tried and tested “but my presence is my present” line isn’t going to fly this year, so making sure our gifting is up to scratch is vital.
Jewellery is a sure-fire crowd-pleaser in this department, and Swarovski’s Christmas Collection is a fantastic place to start.
Make someone’s morning on 25 December (even if you can’t be there to witness their happiness in person) with something sparkly, like the dreamy Twist Rows Pendant – featuring a unique twisted design with lined rows of white crystals – or the equally stunning gold Time Bracelet, finished with a statement sparkling crystal pavé link.
Alternatively, why not treat yourself? There’s never been a more fitting time to practise self-love, so gift yourself a pair of Swarovski’s Tennis Deluxe Cluster Earrings to spark some serious inner joy (and wow your family on that Christmas Day Zoom call).
3. Practise positive thinking
While the current state of the world may seem daunting and at times confusing, remembering that it’s just temporary and maintaining a positive outlook is all too important.
It might sound trite, but it’s genuinely worth stopping to consider the pros of celebrating a more low-key Christmas this year.
Embrace your empty social calendar with cosy nights in front of Netflix and relish spending time with your close-knit household or support bubble instead of jostling with strangers for a place at the bar.
And if you’re not heading to your family home for Christmas this year, be thankful you don’t have to spend a week sleeping in your cramped childhood bed.
Make the most of your alternative Christmas, knowing that soon enough you’ll be able to celebrate the time in your usual style, in all its crazy, 100mph glory.
4. Do some volunteering
Christmas is a time for compassion, so why not use this year as a chance to give something back over the festive period with some volunteer work?
Perhaps you’d like to serve Christmas lunch to the homeless, keep an elderly person company or pick up groceries and medication for the vulnerable in your community as a NHS Community Responder?
Keep an eye on your preferred charity’s website for details on applying, or otherwise head to Doit.org, where you can simply type in your postcode and browse volunteer opportunities near you.
Warm and fuzzy feelings, guaranteed.
5. Donate some treats
Christmas is a time to reflect on the things we have – family, friends, food, a roof over our heads – and to think of those who aren’t so lucky.
As well as those charities providing basic services like food and shelter, there are a host of others striving to ensure that those less fortunate also get to enjoy some Christmas treats, in addition to the essentials.
For example, The Salvation Army are running an appeal for Christmas present donations for children who might not otherwise receive a Christmas present.
The Good Hamper Co. are doing something similar - offering you the chance to send a free hamper filled with chocolate and sweets to London-based homeless charity Whitechapel Mission when you buy one for yourself.
Both are great ways to share a little Christmas joy with those for whom it might be in short supply.
Looking for some gifting inspiration? The new Christmas Collection from Swarovski is filled with perfect pieces guaranteed to spark delight for either yourself or a loved one. Shop the range here.