It’s been one helluva year, 2020. And so, as it gradually draws to a close, many South Africans will be looking forward to the holiday season. This is typically the time to switch your mind off work, prepare for the festive season, just chill, or hang-out with friends. Typically it is also the time when we spend more money on gifts, parties, spending our bonuses (for those lucky enough to receive such a blessing) on luxury items, or new clothes, or going away on holiday.
But now many more people are unemployed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, many are still ill, and the burden to support family and friends has shifted to those who do still have an income.
With the economy under severe pressure, businesses might understandably be reluctant to be generous with bonuses and the anticipated annual increases. So it’s going to be a holiday season with a difference.
But this does not mean that the typical fun of this holiday season needs to be forfeited.
Let’s face it, now more than ever, our spirits need a little lifting. Our children will be anticipating the excitement that comes with the festive season. With some careful planning we can still make the most of this time.
So for this season excessive spending will probably be out, and typical fun-filled partying will need to become far more mindful to prevent accelerating the spread of Coronavirus.
Now our gifting can shift from buying expensive goodies, to giving things we already have, or making things ourselves, or thinking of ways to create meaningful experiences.
Our time together can focus on the quality of being together – like doing things out in nature.
What all of this does require is some planning – some preparation. And that too can be fun. After all the joy of living is largely about people doing things they find valuable together. Material goods come and go – good memories last.
Try these great ideas:
Homemade happiness – gifts made with love
Simplicity is the key – choose one or two easy to do items to make using inexpensive ingredients. Start now – it usually takes longer than anticipated. Give some thoughtful attention to beautify the wrapping.
Decorative boxes of festive biscuits
Follow this step by step guide to pure delight. You will have to restrain yourself so that there are some left for gifts.
Chunky jars of tomato salsa
Jamie’s recipe is a real winner, but do go slowly on the chilly, especially if there are children in the family.
This scrub is something your friends will love ,and at the same time it won’t break the bank!
Small is beautiful
Instead of big parties, plan a few small gatherings where everyone can bring something to share
People are so used to quick one-liner WhatsApp invitations – how about making it special with some effort to feel like a ‘real’ invitation? There are online invitations you can customize.
Celebratory table decorations
Explore Pinterest to find simple but beautiful designs using leaves and sticks and things from around the house
Homemade welcoming drinks
Try these they are guaranteed to have everyone talking and asking for the recipe.
Get out there
Share the outdoors together enjoying nature’s free gifts. Fill your being with fresh air and sunshine on your shoulders.
Research picnic spots in your area. Maybe the bottom of your garden is actually the best spot. Make some picnic food and just hang out for the afternoon.
Every province has hiking clubs, find them on the internet and check if they recommend a safe route for you today for a morning or afternoon jaunt.
Lying on the grass gazing up at the stars can be overwhelmingly beautiful. Then if you want to identify what you are seeing in the sky you can use various apps. Here is a recommendation.