It’s the most wonderful time of the year – and potentially the most stressful.
While Christmas brings along plenty to be cheerful about, it can feel like the pressure’s on during the festive period. A YouGov study found more than 40% of people have felt stressed in the run up to Christmas. Another survey found that as many as 51% of people feel stressed due to the pressure of finding Christmas gifts.
This year, Covid-19 has added a heaping dose of anxiety and uncertainty into the mix. Frankly, we don’t blame you if you’re feeling overwhelmed.
That’s why we’ve put together a guide to surviving Christmas 2020. Whether you’re looking for Christmas present ideas, planning tips or shopping strategies, we’ve got plenty of advice to share.
Tackle planning early
Even though it falls at exactly the same time each year, it’s amazing how quickly Christmas sneaks up on us. It’s also tricky to make plans right now, when we’re not sure if a traditional family Christmas is even going to be possible. You could begin making two provisional Christmas plans: one that outlines the best case scenario of a relatively normal family Christmas and another with potential social restrictions in place.
Preparing for Christmas with just your household, or making sure your extended family are on board with the tech needed for a virtual celebration, will stop the festive season lockdown blues from setting in. Make the most of video chat services, online games that can replace board games, or even non-tech options like letters and personalised Christmas gifts or cards.
It’s also wise to get presents out of the way nice and early. Our Christmas gift boxes are the ideal option for that fussy family member or friend. Instead of resorting to yet another box of chocolates or toiletry set, you could give them the chance to take part in thousands of experiences all across the country.
Outline budget expectations
Finances are tighter this year, and limited budgets are only going to be squeezed more with the pressures of festive gift giving. But you’re not alone if you are worried. Around five million people in the UK find a normal Christmas financially stressful, meaning the figure is likely to rise this year.
Instead of suffering in silence and paying for your generosity later, it’s best to be upfront about your situation as early as you can. You could suggest everyone sticks to a smaller budget, or that you get each other one thoughtful gift to keep costs down.
We’ve got a selection of exciting gifts under £50 to show them you care without breaking the bank. Make sure you also take advantage of pre-Christmas sales like the Black Friday offers to get the best possible deals.
Support smaller businesses
The pandemic has impacted local and independent businesses the most, so it’s important to support them as much as you can. Instead of buying all your Christmas treats from the supermarket, try and explore your high street or town centre.
That sweet shop you’ve never noticed or butchers you always walk past could have delicious options to make Christmas special. You might find that the local bakery sells the tastiest mince pies around. And picking up produce at your local greengrocers could even save you money too – it’s a win-win situation.
If you’re not sure how to support other businesses in your area, browse our experiences by location. You can give friends and family the chance to dine out at their favourite restaurants, visit their local spa for a pampering session or take the whole family for days out at nearby attractions.
Give them something to look forward to
Many of us have missed out on holidays, important celebrations and our favourite hobbies this year. And without anything else to do during lockdown but shop online, some people now have more trinkets in their house than ever before. So why not help your family make up for lost time (and avoid filling their house with more stuff) with the chance to make fantastic memories?
Thoughtful Christmas gifts that show family and friends how much you care are going to be even more important this year. There’s something for everyone at Red Letter Days, from track days to tank driving and short breaks. If they’re happiest at home, you could send them a Christmas hamper filled with their favourite treats. You’ll find fantastic Christmas present ideas for grandparents, siblings and spouses right here.
Sign up for Christmas gift inspirations
Even though this Christmas might not be perfect, there are still plenty of ways to make it memorable and relatively stress-free. If you’re in need of some more Christmas gift ideas or want to be the first to know about our offers, sign up to our mailing list. We’ll send you inspiration and deals right up until the big day arrives.