The year-end is always a time for celebration and festivities, and although many of us feel let down due to the lack of travel, there’s plenty to celebrate too. The year was like none other and brought with it challenges that we could never anticipate. But with 2020 coming to a close, it is time for fresh beginnings, a time for hope and a time to give thanks for all that we have.

Here are 5 ways to make Christmas special this year:

1. Family

Christmas is all about family and if there’s one thing that this year has taught us, it is the value of relationships. Everything else fades away but relationships with our family and close ones are what keep us going in the darkest of times. Let Christmas be a time to give thanks and appreciate those around you. For only he who is surrounded by love is truly rich.

2. A time to give

Who doesn’t love gifts? And when Santa brings them by the truckload, it easily makes Christmas everyone’s favourite festival. But what if you turned things around this year? Instead of expecting gifts, what if you only gave them, and not to those who are blessed like us, but to the more unfortunate. Turn Christmas into a festival of generous giving, of opening up your heart to nonreciprocal gifting, hoping only for the good wishes of those whose lives you manage to touch through this gesture.

3. Build memories

If your country allows you to travel, pack your bags and go now. Book a fabulous private villa and settle in for the Christmas season. But if you’re not so lucky just yet, fret not. The festival season is all about making memories, so what if they happen to be within the borders of your own town? Plan a picnic, visit the zoo, or head out for treks nearby. Be a tourist in your home city, and explore it in a way that you would a new destination.

4. Plan

Whatever said and done, nothing can truly replace travel. So don’t replace it. Just see it as a slight delay. Spend your holidays planning for next year’s travel. Take your time to research and find your dream villas in idyllic destinations. Scout for hidden deals and book early so that you have something wonderful to look forward to in the coming months.

5. DIY

Last but not the least, Christmas is all about togetherness. Why not use all this free time to do home improvements projects together as a family? Build a bookcase, do a spot of gardening, or even try your hand at baking. A new delicacy on the table every day is sure to put everyone in high spirits.

After all, Christmas is not just a festival. It’s the season of giving, a reason to celebrate, and a time of the year to look back and reflect at all that we have to be grateful for. Take joy in the small things and make Christmas 2020 special for yourself and your family.