Christmas 2020 – what will it be like?

As Victoria remains in lock down and everyone is finding their own way to manage with everything that is 2020, many thoughts are heading towards December and Christmas.

Perhaps even more than usual, Christmas 2020 is both a sign of the end of the year (something more are looking forward than usual this year!) and the start of summer, and a sign of happiness, celebration and Christmas spirit.

Large koala in Santa outfit cuddling young girl

Christmas 2020 may be somewhat isolated…

But what will Christmas 2020 be like?

Here are some changes we will probably have to accept…

  • wearing masks is likely to be recommended or required while shopping and at Christmas functions. And I dare say many a public Santa will be wearing a mask – maybe it will be a beautiful red mask with white fur straps!
  • The Santas we see in shopping centres and the like are likely to be a bit younger than we are used to – this is already being seen in the recruitment process as we protect our older citizens from the Corona virus. This may mean smaller tummies and fewer real, long beards
  • Santa photos will be different. Children may need to be near Santa rather than on his lap – maybe kids sit in a sleigh and Santa stands behind them or Santa can peek around a Christmas tree or Santa sack to where the kids are sitting.
    Some places may just not have Santa at all this year. Maybe they’ll just have props or a large Santa cut out, and more people will need to be creative with a relative dressed in a red suit or utilising virtual tools. Or maybe perspex screens, like in many shops now, could be utilised

    Santa and a girl on surf boards in a wave tunnel

    Maybe standing on surf boards is a way to have Santa physically distanced from children this year!

  • Santa photos and visits may be bookings only to enable more control of numbers and contact tracing
  • Smaller gatherings are likely – it just remains to be seen how small will be mandated. Events like the Melbourne Zoo Christmas party, Mornington Train Santa trips, Christmas pageants and parades, popular Christmas light spots, the Gingerbread Village and even Christmas markets may be banned, while work and family celebrations may be restricted. Myer has already cancelled their Melbourne windows for this year.
  • Less travelling so interstate family is less likely to visit
  • Carols by Candlelight may also be limited this year which would be very sad. The big events, like the Melbourne Carols on Christmas Eve, could still be run and televised without an audience or a small audience socially distanced.
  • Santa won’t hand out gifts to keep distance and avoid contact – maybe children can take a gift from a sleigh or a table

    Santa and elf talking to a child in a shopping centre

    Seeing Santa walk around shopping centres, talking to children and families, is something we may not see in 2020

  • Christmas shopping may be spread out more – it is likely retailers will start promotions and sales earlier this year to reduce crowds in physical stores and manage the logistics of online orders. And for us as consumers, shopping away from crowds is a wise move, too, so get those Christmas lists started!
  • We may have more access to Christmas celebrations away from home as more events are likely to be broadcast instead of pulling crowds  – for example, the Adelaide Pageant will be in the Adelaide arena at twilight and broadcast this year so the rest of Australia may be able to enjoy it this year (let’s find the positives where we can!)
  • Christmas mass and church services may have to be virtual or severely limited in terms of how many people can attend and what they can do (eg no shaking hands or communal hymn books)

 

Santa handing a gift to a boy through a window

Santa will still give gifts for Christmas 2020!

However, for anyone concerned about Santa being able to visit on Christmas Eve, rest assured that he is still expected to visit children globally. Santa has delivered gifts during previous pandemics (and more localised health problems) and there have been no cases in the North Pole. Remember, he comes in quietly and wearing gloves so maintains social distancing in every house so I have no doubt Santa will bring joy to children’s  faces this Christmas.

Having said that, maybe he will deliver fewer gifts as sourcing materials and gifts in 2020 will be harder. And perhaps Santa will want to continue the more basic

A spoonful of happiness!

Walking through our local park recently, I spotted a new addition – Spoonville.

I have no idea who put this into our park, but am very grateful to them – I know that it turned my day around and gave me a huge smile when I first discovered it. And I have seen so many other people stop, smile and admire the growing Spoonville village.

Like the teddy bears and rainbows we shared earlier in the year, Spoonville is a very simple idea that many people can participate with to build community and create smiles in the challenging times that 2020 and COVID-19 have brought us. Adding a face and decorations to a spoon is all it takes to participate – and I love that the town sign states “All spoons welcome”.

And our local Spoonville does keep on  growing…

Have you seen anything like Spoonville?

Just today, I noticed that a local kinder also has some spoons in their front garden and  my daughter’s school sent out a notice that they have added a Spoonville village in their garden, too.

Set of colourful spoon people in a kinder garden bed

Kinder Spoonville

There is actually a website celebrating Spoony villages and Spoon people around the world! It is lovely to see a group of ‘people’ who can happily be close together without worrying about social distancing or spreading a virus!

If you start a Spoonville of your own, or participate in an existing one, let us know in the comments and maybe share a photo or two!

Rainbows make the world smile

We’ve had teddy bears and friends in windows and on lawns, and now we are finding rainbows popping up to cheer us all on during these unusual times.

Where have you seen rainbows in your area?

I have seen rainbows in chalk on the footpath, on paper stuck to windows and fences, flags hanging in windows and over verandas, colourful paper chains, and even rainbow dream catchers in windows.

Collage of rainbows in windows

Footpath artwork can raise the spirits of everyone walking past! And I love the colouring of the services pit cover, too.

 

Sharing some teddy happiness

We are in the  midst of a global pandemic which brings with it sadness, worry, new rules and tensions. It is a tough time.

However, there are lots of positive signs, too. People are connecting around the world as we all watch and experience the Corona virus. By staying apart, we are staying together is the new slogan – social distancing and reducing gatherings is a way we can protect each other and especially the most vulnerable in our communities. Our frontline responders are standing up and doing what must be done, and people are finding ways to show our gratitude.

And teddy bears are helping put smiles on our faces!

In case you haven’t caught up on this movement, many people are placing a teddy bear or similar toy in a window or other visible spot so that local children can see them. This means that a daily walk can be fun and positive as youngsters (and those young at heart of course!) can search for teddies and see how many they can find. It’s very simple and very effective.

One on my neighbours has been putting her teddies in different themed settings each day and some families are walking past daily to see what she has come up with!

Have you been spotting teddy bears and friends in your local area? Have you put any soft friends on display?

Collage of teddy bears in windows and trees

Aussie Christmas Scrabble!

Tinkles was playing scrabble this morning!

So yesterday, my son’s Christmas present from Sunday was put to use by Tinkles  and Ginger, and today my daughter’s present was in use – cheeky elves must think the presents were for them!

Aussie Scrabble is just like normal scrabble in that you have seven tiles to place as words on the board, but there are some extra cards to add an Aussie flavour – that’s as specific as I can explain as we haven’t yet played a game of it., and Tinkles hasn’t told me any additional details or rules!

Christmas elf and Lego dragon playing Aussie Scrabble

Tinkles plating Aussie Scrabble with the Lego Dragon she rode last year!

A closer look at the board, showed us some words appropriate for Christmas elves and for today, being Christmas Eve! If you can’t read them, they have made ‘Lovesanta’, ‘Tinkles’, ‘reindeer’, ‘elf’ and ‘Christmas’.

Lego Dragon and Christmas elf made Christmas words on the scrabble board

As long as Dragon knows how to spell Ginger, he can get a decent score on his next go in the game!

Elf snack time!

After a busy weekend and the fruit last Thursday, Tinkles must have felt she was allowed something a bit sweeter today… Or maybe she just needed to replace some energy after her big trip yesterday and car racing this morning!

Tinkles and Baby Elf having some morning tea

 

I like how Tinkles had spread out a Christmassy picnic rug (otherwise known as some Christmas fabric I had in the cupboard!) and used a high chair for Ginger the Baby Elf! Ginger had a big strawberry but Tinkles had a rather large slice of cake with her lemonade!

Christmas elves racing!

Amongst other things, Tinkles and Ginger watched everyone open presents yesterday which included my son opening a pair of remote control cars.

The kids had a lovely time racing the cars when we got home last night, and that must have appeared fun as we woke this morning to find three elves sitting on cars about to start a race!

three elves seated on remote control cars

At closer inspection, it turned out that Ginger was not alone on her car – Harry, Hermione and Ron (from the Harry Potter Lego advent calendar) were propped on the windscreen as well!

Ginger the baby Christmas elf sitting on a remote control car

There has already been lots of laughter at the elves racing around the house – I hope Tinkles and Ginger hold on tight!

Travelling elves!

Today, we are going to a family Christmas function – and we’re taking Tinkles and Ginger with us!

After checking the pantry and elves for where we last saw our Christmas elves, the kids ran around trying to find where they had moved to, and see what they may be up to!

Tinkles and Ginger in a container so they can be carried on an outing with us!

 

Tinkles' note says "I stuffed myself and baby in here so you can take me to see what happens at Mim's house this year!"

Tinkles’ note says “I stuffed myself and baby in here so you can take me to see what happens at Mim’s house this year!”

elves in a container with a pouring section of the lid open

Luckily Tinkles chose a container with a lid so the elves can breathe whilst in there all day!

 

Tinkles & Ginger hiding apart

It was Ginger, the newly named Baby Elf, that we spotted first today, sitting on top of some elves hanging on a window!

Tinkles took a little longer to find, but we found her cheeky face sticking out of a box of tacos! I hope she didn’t eat all the taco shells as I think that may be our dinner tonight now she’s put the idea into my head!

Naming a baby elf!

So for the first few days after the baby elf arrived, everyone was happy calling her Baby Elf 🙂

Then my daughter decided she should really have a name and began choosing names. After some thought, she asked Santa and Tinkles if she could help give the baby a name…

Tinkles responded with ‘Yes please”…

My children added a note into Tinkles’ letterbox with name suggestions…

The note to Santa reads “[She] wants Candy Cane and I want Ginger (short for Gingerbread)”

It took a day or so, but they received a response from Santa and Tinkles…

If you can’t read that, the note says “Dear kids, thank you so much for offering to help name Baby Elf! Tinkles and I, along with Mrs Claus, the other elves and even the reindeer, had been debating a name. We finally agreed to use your two suggestions, Candy Cane ad Ginger (short for gingerbread), and voted on it…

“So it is with great pleasure that Tinkles introduces you to Ginger!”

 

Tinkles merrily on high!

Ding dong merrily on high,
In heav’n the bells are ringing:
Ding dong! Tinkles the elfie
Is sit’n with faces grinning*

It was not until my son walked out the back door that anyone spotted Tinkles this morning!

Ding dong elf on high!

She is sitting on the roof of our two storey cubby! Goodness only knows how she got herself up there, but she is looking quite pleased with a bit of sunshine and a nice view.

Due to the slope of our land, the cubby roof and my eye height at the back door are fairly close so she is was fairly obvious once we went out the back door, but nobody had spotted her through the windows! My daughter had opened every drawer int eh kitchen and looked under every bit of furniture in the family room trying to find her 🙂

Tinkles had probably watched us search for her as she has a great view into the family room windows today 🙂

In the meantime, Candy Cane was back in her cradle with a new message for the kids…

Baby elf note "Last day of school - have fun!" Baby elf note "Last day of school - have fun!"

 

* Original lyrics of Ding Dong Merrily On High are by English composer George Ratcliffe Woodward (1848–1934), with a few personalisations by me to suit Tinkles’ latest escapade!

Elves getting excited by presents!

The kids spent a bit of time this morning walking around the house wondering where Tinkles and Baby Elf were (Baby wasn’t in her house so we assumed she was with Tinkles), but eventually found them sitting on a pile of presents eating some fruit!

Christmas elf with baby sitting on Christmas presents

I’m not sure if they are guarding the gifts or are itching to know what is in them now the pile has grown and we are getting close to Christmas! What do you think they’re up to?

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