Following the government's announcement that up to three families can gather in a bubble between December 23rd and 27th, millions of us could potentially return to our original, pre-Covid plans. However, Boris has emphasised that we should ‘be responsible’. The government's statement made me wonder what my work colleagues are planning for the festive period. So, I asked them, and this is what they said...
I'm currently living with my boyfriend Lewis's family, so it makes sense for us to stay with them this Christmas. There's more room at their house and better scope for parking! Christmas is a time to celebrate with the whole family, though, and I want to see my side of the family, too. That we have Christmas dinner together will be very important to my mum and dad this year, as it will be both my sister's and my last Christmas 'at home'; they therefore want to make it as special as they can. With the restrictions still in place, I'll want to respect the rules of Lewis's family; though I will continue to live at their house, they've said I can see my own family as much as possible over Christmas.
The change of restrictions won't affect us that much. We'll follow our usual Christmas plans and go to my stepdad's house, where me, my mum, my stepbrother and stepdad will spend time with my brother, his girlfriend and their dog, and my other stepbrother, his girlfriend and their dog. It will be the first time we'll have all been together since January, so we're looking forward to it very much.Technically, we'd be four households coming together, as two of my brothers have their own places; however, there will only be eight of us overall and we don't think it would be fair to leave out one branch of our family. I'll then go to my dad's in Barnsley on Christmas day evening and spend Boxing Day there, for another 'Christmas Day'.
This will be one of the most difficult Christmases we'll have ever had. As a family, Christmas is a big deal for us all to come together, but because of the restrictions, we will have to choose which family to see. My fiancee, Emma, is a triplet, which means we either get to see her family or we see mine. We've decided to mix it up this year and make the five days our entire Christmas, so that we can see everyone and spend time with them.
On Christmas Eve we will be with Emma's family, waking up at her dad's house. Hopefully Santa will visit; we normally get up and unwrap our presents with the dogs. (If you've never seen a dog unwrap presents, Google it, you won't regret it!) After that, we all help to prepare Christmas dinner. As there's normally ten of us or more, it's a real family effort that requires more than one oven.
We then play games whilst eating. This year, I'm going to do a Christmas themed murder mystery. I might call it 'who gobbled the turkey?' with a different clue/puzzle between courses; the whole occasion sounds like heaven, and just what this year needs. After scoffing ourselves silly, we normally put on a Christmas film for the grandparents whilst we crack open those Christmas games that only come out once a year.
Boxing day will be very different, as it will be spent at my parents' house, so I can see my family and essentially repeat what we'll have done the day before. So, two Christmas days and two Christmas dinners!
It’s going to be interesting for us. We normally go away in our campervan, but I think we will be better staying at home this year. My in-laws live next to us, but as there are three children in their family that usually go round for Christmas it will be interesting to see who gets picked!
We stay within our own household on Christmas Day anyway, so the restrictions won't affect us in that respect. We do, however, usually gather with the wider family on Boxing Day, which can equal 17 people altogether. We're cancelling our Boxing Day meet up this year, which I think will be difficult for my parents, who are both in their seventies. Covid aside, we're not the type of family that sees each other randomly throughout the year anyway, though we do make the effort to come together on birthdays and at Christmas. My parents have been holed up for months with only the odd doorstep/garden visit from any of us; as a result, I don't think Christmas is something they're looking forward to.
For me it means having to drive four hours 'down south’ (we currently live in South Yorkshire), to Somerset, to celebrate Christmas with my partner's family (it's her ‘turn’). This will involve taking extra food and drink with me; I'm not sure why, but the further south you go, the smaller portion sizes seem to get.
What are you intending to do this Christmas? Tweet us @intheknowemag
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