Lock Down Christmas Traditions We're Keeping
Reader's Digest UK|December 2021
If all goes to plan, this Christmas is set to be everything it should be. But last year, with coronavirus restrictions in force throughout much of the UK, a lot of us had to re-think how we celebrated the festive season. Not being able to take part in the usual Christmas traditions compelled many people to create some new ones. And some of these new traditions were so successful, that they're being kept this year. We spoke to people opting for them in 2021 again.
Zoe Lea

WE CAMPED OUT UNDER THE CHRISTMAS TREE

When it became apparent that a lot of activities wouldn’t be allowed, Grace Olsen thought of ways she could bring the festive spirit to her two children, then aged five and seven.

I was a bit sad that you only get a few years of magic Christmases when they are little, and I was gutted that we were missing out on lots of stuff during one of their best years. I just wanted to try and create as much extra magic as possible.

This came in the idea of camping out under the Christmas tree. As the family would normally go to enjoy a live pantomime in December, Grace got the idea of watching a pantomime on television—but with the added excitement of sleeping under the tree.

We brought down the duvets with Christmas covers on, loads of pillows, made a bed on the floor and got into our pyjamas. We then watched the panto in the dark with just the lights from the tree. We always have a big, lovely real Christmas tree and with the lights flickering and glowing, with us all cosy and festive, it just felt really magical. The kids thought it was absolutely brilliant and both fell asleep curled up under the tree.

Will she be doing it again this year?

Yes. Absolutely we'll be doing it again! We will probably go and enjoy a live panto if we can, but we’ll definitely be doing the Christmas tree sleepover at some point.

I MADE MY OWN CHRISTMAS PRESENTS

Roxie Broun, who runs the website Mum Days and Escapes, has always loved the outdoors, but with the restrictions in place last year, it meant she spent more time in nature than ever. This led to making her own Christmas presents in the form of sloe gin and candles.

We have always spent a lot of time outside as a family, but lockdown meant that I myself in particular really started to appreciate nature even more. It led me to read about foraging and all the wonderful food you could make with the things you could find locally. Sloe gin seemed an easy thing to try and I thought it would make a nice gift as it already has Christmas connotations. The candles came about because I wanted something I could make to go with it. I had a candle-making kit back when I was a kid and remembered it being quite easy! I made them cinnamon and orange-scented so they smelled lovely and Christmassy.

There’s also the added bonus that a handmade gift holds so much more thought than a shop-bought one, and it’s something that Roxie loves about the new tradition.

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