We don’t need to press pause on the holidays this year – we can have a COVID Christmas while still enjoying the holidays and staying safe amid the pandemic. Over the last few years, we’ve heard so many people say the holidays are getting too elaborate and too expensive. And many people are exhausted when they return from the holiday break as it was go-go-go. This year appears to be the perfect time to consider going back to holiday basics. Reconsider what the true meaning of the holiday season is to you and your family, and look for ways to celebrate in a different way. Remember, change can be good.
You don’t have to give up exchanging gifts with those who are near and dear to you. You may shop differently, but you can still shop. However, this could be the perfect year to shorten the list of people you buy gifts for. Over the years I've often heard clients say gift giving had gotten out of hand with family and friends. And PS – you don’t have to increase the list back up next year. You can buy online. Remember not to get carried away as you do have to pay for the items. You can shop locally and safely within your community. Please listen to your local Health Department – by being very careful for the next few months we hopefully can have a more traditional holiday season next year.
If you shop online, you can have the gifts delivered directly to the recipient. Or they can be delivered to your home and you can arrange a time to safely drop off the gifts at their front door. As tempting as it might be, keep a safe distance between you and others. Just wave hi and bye. And make sure you remind the person not to open the gifts until Christmas morning. We still want Christmas morning to be special afterall.
This can be done virtually on Zoom or other platforms. Arrange a suitable time for family and/or friends to “get together” and watch each other as the gifts are opened. You will still be able to hear the oohs and aahs. And everyone doesn’t have to be on at the same time. It's a good way to extend the holiday cheer throughout the day. For example, grandparents might like to watch as the grandkids open their Santa presents first thing in the morning. It's important to note here that some families have been doing virtual gift openings for a number of years, as not everyone lives in the same city, province, or even country. It isn't only COVID that requires families to make changes in their holiday routines.
Gift-Giving at Work
You can also do something similar with your work colleagues. At Credit Canada we won’t be able to have our traditional holiday lunch, so management has bought small token gifts for everyone. They have mailed them out to us and have asked us to wait until our virtual staff meeting to open them together. This is their way of showing staff that we are not forgotten. Just so you know, my gift is sitting in my home office drawer waiting to be opened.
It's also possible to have virtual social gatherings or happy hours. At Credit Canada, we're experimenting with this. You simply login on your computer and join your colleagues (or friends) for a fun social event. This will be a new experience for many of us, but they say change is good. And a very BIG PLUS is that people won’t have to worry about the RIDE program. They will already be safely and comfortably settled in their own homes.
The Holiday Dinner
You can have a very nice holiday dinner with your household members. My son and I and one friend enjoyed a full Thanksgiving dinner this year. We had all the trimmings with none of the chaos. And there were leftovers for a couple of dinners and lunches. If you have family or friends who can’t or won’t cook a full dinner, you can share your meal with them. Simply box up some food (nicely trimmed) and deliver it to them. Again, stay safe. Or you could order them a meal from a restaurant and have it delivered. This is something they might not do for themselves, so it would be a nice surprise if someone else did it for them.
There is no doubt that 2020 has been a challenging year. But let’s deal with this challenge by thinking outside the box. We don’t have to do the same things year after year. I am sure many people will establish new holiday traditions this year.
Credit Canada Can Help You Have a Financially Brighter Christmas
If your finances are stressing you out and you're finding it hard to even think about the holiday season, let us help you. You can book a free telephone or video appointment with one of our certified Credit Counsellors to review your financial situation and discuss different options available to you.
Simply give us a call at 1.800.267.2272 to book your free appointment. You may never have thought you would need our service, but did you ever think that in 2020 we would be learning how to properly wash our hands? We're here to help you deal with the present, so you can move forward into a brighter future.
Happy holidays to all!
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