It’s happening! It’s on! Whether you’re feeling it or not, the countdown to the December holidays has begun.

Due to COVID-19, the world faces travel restrictions, widespread job losses, and the beginning of what is already being described as one of the most biting recessions in modern history. For many of us, there are no annual increases or bonus paychecks this year … it’s tough!

A remote destination sipping pina coladas while watching the kids play on the beach might not be on the cards right now, but a memorable holiday certainly is. You have likely set up a routine for your kids while under quarantine, so continue to encourage routines around meals, naps and bedtimes during the holiday season. But more importantly, maintain positivity. Be kind to yourself mom and dad, don’t be pressured to create a backyard Disney World. Children will be happy if they see their parents happy.

The destination of choice will most likely be your own backyard, or somewhere that can be reached within a days drive and planned on the fly. Until a vaccine is in hand, nothing is certain. Still, there are plenty of fun things to do at home. But it’s always best to do a little planning.

So, get those ideas on paper. Some of the usual activities might not be possible given the unpredictability of the pandemic as well as financial constraints, so ask your kids to come up with a list of activities that they would enjoy. Be sure to draw up a budget for fun activities beforehand. Getting their input could be a game-changer!

Also, sharpen their skills. You may feel that your kids need a little catching up. You can do your part. Create a reading challenge with a fun reward at the end like an ice cream party, movie night, or a new toy. Nurture their confidence in the kitchen; apart from learning to make yummy dishes, kids also develop mathematical skills, safety measures, cleanliness, motor skills and more.

It might be fun to do a little camping outside. Turn this into a weekend adventure. Play board games or read bedtime stories with a flashlight. Roast marshmallows and look at the stars; if you prefer not to camp outside, bring the tent indoors.

Stay cool. Create a retreat they will adore. If you don’t have a pool, opt for an inflatable one. Kids will appreciate the ability to splash around. You might want to stock up on water guns or a slip and slide for variety.

If you are desperate to get away for a few days, investigate a house swap option. Sometimes simply making sandwiches somewhere else could feel like a holiday! It may take a leap of faith, but it’s a viable option. It’s best to start with someone you know. Or another option is to do a little aspirational travelling. (The best thing about this one is that you don’t have to dig for your credit card!) Whether your journey to Spain or the adventure up the Eiffel Tower becomes a reality or not, it can be fun – and educational - to research it.

The December holidays might look a little different this year as we are forced to press pause on travel, but that does not mean that you can’t plan a no-holds-barred staycation.

Happy planning!

Source: harpersbazaar.com, iol.co.za, qz.com, budgetinsurance.co.za, countryliving.com

DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.