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Tips for a Christmas away from grandchildren

23rd November 2020

The Christmas countdown has begun and although the government is working on a plan to try and enable families to celebrate Christmas together, it is going to be slightly different this year and families might not be able to celebrate like they normally would.

It is unclear what restrictions will be in place, but if the country returns to a tiered system, then the rules in your areas tier will once again apply. This could see no more than two families mixing indoors and outdoors with higher tiers not being allowed to mix with other households indoors at all over the festive period.

It is, however, likely that some grandparents across the UK will not be able to see their grandchildren this festive period and this guide shares some tips for grandparents who will be spending Christmas away from their family.

Send presents for grandchildren to open on Christmas Day

With the lockdowns and restrictions in the build-up to Christmas, it has meant shops have had to close and, in some cases, longer waits for people doing their shopping online.

Kathy Lawrence, the editor at When They Get Older, recommends getting your shopping done early. She said: “Get your shopping done and shipped early to make sure your grandchildren have your gifts to open on the day.”

If you suffer from mobility problems and need aids around your home like walk in baths or need other mobility aids, meaning you will struggle to deliver the presents yourself, then you should try to get a close friend or family member to come and pick the presents up from your doorstep so they can be delivered to your grandchildren.

If you struggle with online shopping, you can consider asking your friends or family to help you with buying presents.

Video call your grandchildren

Christmas is about spending time with your friends and family, but if you are unable to do so this festive period you can instead look to video call your grandchildren.

One way is to use Skype or Facetime so that they can chat with you and tell you about their day and what they have been up to.

Kathy Lawrence talks about why video calling your grandchildren on Christmas Day is a great idea: “Be together – but online. Use apps like Zoom and WhatsApp to share moments from present opening to flaming the pudding, or even running your own version of Gogglebox.”

There are lots of games you can play as well via video call and Adventures in NanaLand talk about some board games you could look to play: “Almost any game will do! Let your grandchild choose their favourite board game. They can set up the board on their side and move the pieces. Try playing Pictionary – just have a set of cards on each side and then focus the camera on a paper or whiteboard as you draw. There are several fun games to play over Skype together like Tenzi, charades, even some card games. Just adapt so that each of you can see and hear each other.”

Organise Christmas later in the year

If you are unable to spend time with your grandchildren and family this Christmas, you can consider celebrating it at a later date.

This is something that Kathy Lawrence recommends for those of you who will not be able to see or video call their grandchildren on 25th December.

She adds: “If you can’t connect online, plan an alternative Christmas for ‘Febmas’, or whenever it’s safe to get together again, complete with decorations, lunch, and maybe even an extra visit from Santa.

“Don’t worry that the children are missing out. It’s an opportunity to start new traditions and still enjoy the day.”

By organising Christmas at a later date when it is safe to do so means it will be double the fun for you and your grandchildren and you all will be able to enjoy the best Christmas celebrations together.

Play online with your grandchildren

Another great way to spend time with your grandchildren this Christmas is to play e-games with them and there are plenty that you can choose from online and on a mobile phone.

Thanks to modern technology, there are plenty of online games for grandparents and grandchildren to play together no matter how far apart they are. The other great thing about grandparents playing an online game with their grandchildren is that children have real-time supervisors in the game with them, meaning parents can give their child more freedom and privacy without having to worry about any potential dangers.

Here are some popular interactive games that grandparents and their grandchildren could play together online this Christmas:

  • Uno – A popular card game where you start with seven cards and then must match the number, symbol or colour of the card placed in the middle. You will need to download the game onto your phone or tablet and connect with each other to start playing.
  • Pokémon Go – This app allows users to hunt for Pokémon characters in real-life spots outside. Even though grandchildren and grandparents will be in different spots, you can still hunt together and compare the Pokémon you have caught.
  • Compete against each other in your own trivia quiz – Kahoot is a popular platform that allows grandparents and grandchildren to create their own quiz or play already-created games. The site is free-to-use or you can upgrade.

Even after coronavirus, grandparents playing online games against their grandchildren is something that can continue. Grandparents who struggle with their mobility and need a stairlift or other mobility aid, might not be able to see their grandchildren as often as they would like and this is a great way to keep in touch with them.

READ MORE: The best free online games to play

Become pen pals

If a grandparent is less tech-savvy, then you can instead become a pen pal with your grandchildren over the festive period.

A two-way activity like becoming pen pals is a great idea and it could also help your grandchild with their writing. You can look to send a continuous story back and forth, journal what you have been up to or send a series of questions that your grandchild must answer.

You can even get your grandchildren to send photos of themselves with their letters.

These are just some of the Christmas tips that you can follow if you are spending Christmas away from your grandchildren this festive period. Here is a reminder of what the top tips are:

  • Send presents for grandchildren to open on Christmas Day
  • Video call your grandchildren
  • Organise Christmas later in the year
  • Play online with your grandchildren
  • Become pen pals

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.