Just because the usual events are cancelled it does not mean you cannot have fun this Christmas. Disability consultant Helen Dolphin has put together her top tips for getting into the festive spirit, despite Covid.
Christmas is certainly not going to be the same this year. Where I live the annual singing round the Christmas tree event is cancelled, there’s no Christmas markets, no inviting the neighbours round for a mince pie, and no nativity play or visits to Santa’s grotto for my three year old son. However, just because the usual events are cancelled it does not mean you cannot have fun this Christmas, albeit in a slightly different way. I have put together a few suggestions to help you get into the Christmas spirit and found a few Christmas events you can still take part in.
Visit some Christmas lights displays
Wherever you live there will be certain streets or houses that put on amazing Christmas light displays. A drive round in the evening to look at all the Christmas lights near you is certainly a good way to feel a bit of festive cheer.
Go to a Christmas drive-thru
Although there aren’t the usual winter wonderland events to walk about there are some winter drive-thru experiences on offer. Although you won’t be able to get up close to the reindeers, for some disabled people, who in the past have avoided these type of events because of muddy paths and busy crowds, they do offer a new opportunity to visit Christmas light displays . Before you travel do check any national and local lockdown requirements and do be aware that most of these events require you to book in advance and stay in your car. This is not an exhaustive list, there may be other events nearer to you so keep an eye on local event listings.
South Cheshire – This year the Weston Christmas lights show which raises money for the Donna Louise Hospice for children is staging a drive-thru “Starlit Garden”.
North Wales – At Reindeer lodge in North Wales a drive-thru Christmas safari complete with reindeers and a Santa’s grotto.
Plus, Santa’s Drive-Thru Christmas adventure will take place at Bryn-Y-Grog Hall, Marchwiel, Wrexham. There will be the opportunity to drive through an enchanted forest and see magical creatures such as unicorns.
Somerset – At Somerset Reindeer Ranch you’ll be able see lots of reindeer, a Christmas Light Tunnel and even Father Christmas from the comfort of your own car.
Oxfordshire – Blenheim palace will still be holding an Illuminated Light Trail through the palace gardens. This is one of the few events where you will be able to walk through the attraction where you’ll be able to see a scented fire garden, colour-changing neon tunnels and fairy-fire known as Will-o-the-Wisps.
National Trust – In previous years many National Trust properties have put on Christmas light displays. However, they are currently reviewing what they are going to do this year in light of the latest Government guidelines. However, do keep checking this National Trust website to find out if anything is happening near you.
Christmas online sing-a-longs
If like me, you love singing then why not sign up to an online singalong concert? Most are being held to help raise money for charity and are a great way to lift the spirits and do some good at the same time. You can always arrange for other members of your family to join you from their home. These are just a couple online singalong events I have found.
Tenovus Cancer Care Virtual Christmas Singalong and Christmas Lights Switch-On – Saturday 5th December 2020, 3.00–5.00pm. The concert will feature an afternoon of Christmas classics, sung by vocalists from across Wales, so you can sing and dance along from the comfort of your living room. The event is free to join but they welcome a donation.
London Symphony Orchestra Free YouTube Singalong – Sunday 13th December 3.00pm-4.00pm. A chance to sing along and celebrate the festive season with the London Symphony Orchestra from the comfort of your sofa. There will be seasonal favourites and works from the gospel word.
Online Christmas get togethers
Unfortunately, many of us won’t be able to spend Christmas with all of our family, so it’s a great idea to plan some online Christmas get togethers or calls. As socialising is not always so easy online you could organise a Christmas quiz or Christmas bingo. There are plenty of Christmas quiz ideas online to get you started. You could always send a few Christmas goodies in advance to help get the party started.
Send a baking package
Lockdown meant that many people who never normally baked suddenly found they had the time. If you have a renewed love of baking why not share it with someone else and send them a baking package so you can bake together? Clearly don’t send the eggs and butter in the post but all the dry ingredients would be fine. If you didn’t want to find the ingredients yourself, you could order them from an online company who send out the ingredients as well as cake tins, baking paper and cake boards. Once their ingredients have arrived you could set up a Zoom or Facetime call. Alternatively, if you live nearby to the person you want to bake with you could always drop the ingredients off at their door.