Christmas Day: Reconnecting with family

22nd December 2020

UKZN Extended Learning

– by Nkosingiphile Ntshangase

The 25th of December, Christmas Day brings about fond memories for people across the world. The festive season comes with its magic that lifts everyone’s mood and puts them in the spirit of hope and happiness in preparation for ushering in the new year of endless possibilities. The festive season usually strengthens the bond of families and opens up an opportunity to bridge the gap in some relationships that may have lost connection throughout the year. COVID-19 disrupted the lives of many this year, and it may have been easy to get lost in all the chaos. This is the perfect opportunity to reflect and focus on your family. Most families will gather and reminisce old memories they have shared, and in the same breath, make plans to create new ones. That is the power of the festive season, bringing families together for a common purpose.

The festive season can also bring a lot of commotion with the shopping and travelling so it is advised to do so safely and responsibly during this time, and amidst the second wave of coronavirus infections. However, we cannot let this make us lose sight of how special this holiday is and make sure to spend quality time with your loved ones and momentarily detach yourself from those every day worries. Partaking in holiday activities as a unit and spending more time together can strengthen family bonds. Such traditions can be considered a necessity as over time, the family can be spread apart for the most part. Spending time together during Christmas is a way for families to connect and strengthen emotional ties. This needs to be passed down from generation to generation as it creates continuity of the spreading of love. The ritual of coming together over the festive season also sends a subliminal message of social values when introducing new additions to the family thus creating long-lasting bonds.

Here are some ideas on how you can celebrate Christmas Day:

  1. Learn about your family’s cultural heritage
  2. Create simple family traditions. (e.g. baking cookies, decorating the Christmas tree together, wear matching pyjamas on Christmas eve etc.)
  3. Buy fewer gifts and give more handmade gifts
  4. Cultivate gratitude
  5. Donate or give to an important cause as a family

We are living in a world that is connected yet so disconnected, and spending time with family can be something taken for granted. However, it is never too late to make new memories and create new traditions as long as you don’t lose the essence of what it means to be family.

Merry Christmas and a happy new year from UEL!