Undoubtedly Christmas 2020 will be a different Christmas!

Wishing you and your family a Happy and Safe Holiday!

By Jackie Kloosterboer – Earthquake Preparedness Specialist, Speaker


Christmas 2017, I thought, was for the record books as a different kind of Christmas.  It was indeed a different Christmas than what I am used to, but now three years later, Christmas 2020 takes the cake!

A week before Christmas 2017, my upstairs neighbour let his tub overflow, and you guessed it, the water came gushing through the ceiling into my kitchen.  Water was everywhere.  A Restoration Company came to the rescue and informed me it would take a minimum of 14 days to get my kitchen back in action.  No cooking Christmas Dinner, no cooking any dinner.  On the upside, I could still plug in my coffee maker, but my cupboard contents were stored in blue Rubbermaid bins piled high in the Dining Room.  It was a Disaster!

But Christmas was going to be OK.  I had a plan!.

snow covered streetI was going to Nanaimo to spend Christmas with my family – I didn’t need to cook Christmas Dinner.  Christmas morning, the snow was falling like crazy as we opened our gifts, and I was getting a little worried.  We hadn’t anticipated the amount of snow that had fallen, and the forecast was for snow to keep falling.  Yes, I am a typical Vancouverite and driving in this much snow was not an option. There were already several accidents, and we were not willing to risk it.  Christmas 2017, we were homebound, with no kitchen, no turkey, and even if I had a kitchen, it was Christmas, and the stores were closed. What were we to do?

Plan B – we would go out for Christmas Dinner.  Have you ever tried to make reservations for Christmas Dinner? Very few restaurants are open, and those that are open were booked to capacity.  I guess we weren’t the only ones homebound this Christmas.

We did luck out and were able to make a reservation at a hotel dining room.  It certainly wasn’t the traditional family Christmas dinner I had been looking forward to, but it was a turkey dinner!  We also had a good laugh when the waiter brought us our dessert served in a teacup.  My only guess was they had run out of dishes, and all they had – a teacup; I don’t remember what the dessert was, but I do remember teacup.

I could go on and on about Christmas 2017.  I remember it as if it was last Christmas.  Is the memory so vivid because it was a spectacular Christmas – No, I remember Christmas 2017 because it was different, and we choose to make the most of it.  That is what made it memorable.  I love our family Christmases and given a choice, that is where I would be, but sometimes it just doesn’t work out, and 2020 will undoubtedly be a year and a Christmas to remember.

Christmas 2020

Christmas BulbsLady in Christmas hat with mask

I think we can all agree that 2020 has been a year that changed almost everything we do.  Who would have thought we would be self-isolating in our homes, wearing a mask every time we step outside our house, washing and sanitizing our hands countless times a day, and not to forget standing in line to purchase groceries?  Yes – 2020, we are happy to see you end.  Keeping my fingers crossed, I will be writing a very different post in  December 2021.

December 7, 2020, British Columbia announced (as many other communities did) that we could not have family gatherings. Christmas would have to be celebrated with the family that lives under the same roof.  No big family dinners, no big parties, Christmas as we knew it was changing in 2020. For many, this is a huge disappointment, not being able to spend Christmas with family and friends in 2020.

So what is one to do?  I encourage all of us to do the best we can and make the most of Christmas 2020.  Easier said than done for some people and families, but I believe we should accept Christmas 2020 for what it is, knowing it will be different.


The purpose of this post is to provide ideas you can adapt and build upon to help you make Christmas 2020 a good Christmas.  Hopefully, Christmas 2021 will be the Christmas we all look forward to.  In 2021 when we talk about Christmas 2020, we want to talk about a good different Christmas.

So what do we do to make Christmas 2020 a good different Christmas? Read on for a few suggestions that may help or inspire!


Holly Jolly Holiday Tips – COVID style

Holly Jolly Tip #1 – The Christmas Turkey!

Let’s start with Turkey – If you celebrate Christmas in the traditional fashion, it just isn’t Christmas without a Turkey Dinner.  We are usually rushing out to select a giant bird for Christmas Dinner this time of year.

This year a word of warning, if you are a family of 2, 3 or 4, do you need a 25-pound turkey?   Christmas 2020 – I don’t think so.

We will be looking for a 10-pound turkey or even a chicken or ham for smaller dinners.  We don’t want to be eating Turkey well into 2021.  So make sure you get out early to purchase your smaller Holiday Turkey.

My next post may be Left-over Turkey Recipes for 2021.

Holly Jolly Tip #2 – Zoom for Dinner

Plan a Zoom Call for Christmas Dinner, so you and your family and friends can connect. I agree; it’s not the same as sitting at the Christmas Table with family and friends, but at least it is an opportunity for you and your family to connect during the holidays.  Christmas decoration with spoons and forks

My son and his wife used Zoom for my Birthday during COVID, and yes, it was different, but we were together, they had my dinner delivered from my favourite restaurant, and we had some great laughs.  Several months later – I am still talking about this special Birthday.

Put some fun into your Christmas Dinner – create some friendly competitions with everyone on the Zoom call.  Challenge the “Chefs” in the house by seeing who can make the most creative Brussel Sprout dish, whose table is the most interesting, the fanciest,  or the most colourful.  You get the picture.  Have awards! Be creative and have fun with it.

Bulldog in Holiday SweaterJust when you thought you were safe from wearing the dreaded Holiday Sweater you have tucked away from last year, have everybody wear their Holiday Sweater to dinner. 

Holiday Sweaters are always good for a laugh, so keep that tradition.  Take the Holiday Sweater one step further.  Have family members model their holiday sweater or tell a story about why that sweater was chosen as their Holiday Sweater.

Turn it into a Sing Song!  Have families or individuals sing a Christmas song dressed in their Holiday Sweaters.  The options are endless.  Can you imagine what we will be saying in 2021 when we hopefully will be gathered around the table talking about Christmas 2020 and the Holiday Sweater Fashion Show!

Another great idea for Christmas Dinner is to play the Game Family Time 50 Conversation Starters; it keeps popping up everywhere.  It’s a game to Get Conversations Started.  As it says in the game description – you may find out things you never knew about family and friends.  I ordered mine today, so a future blog, possibly about what I found out about my friends and family. It is available on Amazon.

Holly Jolly Holiday Tip 3 – Christmas Gift Giving.

Many folks will leave the gifts on the family’s doorsteps to be under the tree on Christmas. Holiday Gifts on door stepIf you have family members that don’t live close by, use Amazon to order their gifts or find a local store that delivers, so they have gifts to open Christmas morning.  Just don’t do what I did – an Amazon Box arrived, and I thought it was something I ordered, and it turned out to be a gift.

One of my friends has older kids spread across Canada.  For Christmas 2020, they agreed on a dollar amount, and they would each buy their Christmas gift from a local retailer. That is double-duty – supporting local business, and in return, you get something special for Christmas.


Holly Jolly Tip #4 Holiday Activity – Christmas Light Tour

House with Christmas Lights

The ooohs and aaaaws as you cruise through your neighbourhood looking at the sparkling Holiday Lights on houses and trees.  People are getting very creative when it comes to decorating, and it has become a competition.

Load up your family in your car, get a hot chocolate and some marshmallows, and with Holiday music playing, take a look at your neighbourhood all decorated for the holidays.

Many communities are providing maps highlighting the Best Holiday Lights Displays.  If you are up for the challenge, maybe add a few more Holiday lights to your Holiday Display at your house.


I am sure there are hundreds of other ideas from Gingerbread House challenges to Christmas Carrol Sing-a-longs, and many other ideas you can add to the list to brighten up your Christmas.  I encourage you to do what you can to make Christmas 2020 a Good Christmas to remember – we could all do with a little good cheer.

Reach out to those who may need Extra Support this Holiday!

I can’t write this post without acknowledging that many people are suffering as we manoeuvre our way through COVID19, and we need to be aware of that.  Reach out by phone or Zoom to folks who may be having challenges or may require a friendly chat to uplift their spirits.  If you are in a challenging situation and need support, reach out and get support. 2020 has been a challenging year for many, and you are not alone.

Donate to your local Salvation Army, Food Bank or Charity and help these folks as they tirelessly support those who need support this time of year and all year long!


Christmas Bulbs

I really hope each and every one of you can make Christmas 2020 a good Christmas.  I know it won’t be like the Christmases we are used to, but let’s do what we can to have a great holiday! 

I wish you the very best and a very HAPPY & HEALTHY 2021.  However, you and your family choose to celebrate Christmas 2020.  Let’s try and make it a Good Christmas!

Happy Holidays