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With vaccination rates steadily rising across the nation, many Australians are looking forward to travelling interstate this Christmas in order to spend the holiday season with all the friends and loved ones they may not have been able to visit throughout the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Not all families are heading out on the road this summer, however, with many opting to stay put for Christmas in order to keep their celebrations COVID-safe.
Families with immunocompromised family members are also choosing to keep their Christmas a remote celebration to ensure that all loved ones can enjoy the season's festivities equally.
Discussions surrounding whether you'll be celebrating in person or via digital communications or even a mixture of the two are likely to preface your Christmas this year, so you and your loved ones must consider the following elements when finalising your plans for this coming holiday season.
Giving meaningful gifts this Christmas
There are a growing number of gift-givers searching for personalised gifts in Australia for a few reasons of note. If you and your loved ones are expecting to be apart this Christmas, giving the perfect gifts may help bridge the distance between you. This is where personalised gifting experiences can come into play.
The extra sentiment that comes with personalised gift-giving really comes from the added energy and thoughtfulness that goes into finding or creating that personalised gift itself.
Your gift's recipient will likely be able to ascertain just how much consideration you placed into their gift right upon their first receiving it, which will naturally prompt them to feel incredible gratitude, ensuring that your relationship stays strong even in the face of COVID-19 concerns.
Alongside elevating the atmosphere of Christmas Day even when celebrating remotely, personalised gifts are also increasingly likely to be cherished by your gift's recipient over generic gifts, meaning that the funds and resources that went into creating your gift won't have been spent in vain.
A well-planned personalised gift that aligns with your recipient's interests - like some engraved steak knives or pens or a monogrammed bathrobe - may also be dear to your gift's recipient for decades to come.
Crafting quality time with plans for a hybrid Christmas
At this point in time, we may all be more than familiar with the concept of the hybrid work model.
This essentially entails workplaces balancing in-house workdays with working from home days to provide professionals with greater flexibility and liberty when planning their own individual workweek and managing their workload.
The hybrid work model has gone on to inspire the concept of 'hybrid events', which is basically an occasion that has physical guests as well as guests that are attending via digital channels like webcam streams.
You can organise a hybrid Christmas party to ensure that friends and family that may live in other states and aren't able to travel can still participate in their family Christmas celebrations even from afar.
Hybrid Christmas celebrations will effectively allow you to enjoy quality time with family members who can attend, allowing you to focus on catching up with absent family members or family members attending your event digitally when you can finally see them once again.
You can also ask your family and loved ones if they have any preferences as to what activities will be taking place during your hybrid Christmas celebrations to make sure that everyone has a little something to look forward to alongside anticipating the family reunion.
Taking the path less travelled on your summer vacation
As we mentioned earlier, a lot of Aussies are still forgoing their right to travel this summer out of concerns for how their travel plans may impact COVID case numbers across Australia.
Suppose you are planning on travelling interstate or even internationally this summer. In that case, however, it's wise to select a destination that may not be receiving as much tourist attention over other destinations.
Queensland is bracing itself for an influx of tourists this summer, which may cause the state to experience a rise in case numbers that could subsequently bring with it a January lockdown.
You and your loved ones can avoid risks of getting caught on the wrong sides of state borders by travelling within your own state or simply by organising a trip to a destination that's less likely to experience heavy tourist traffic, like Darwin or Hobart.
You may find that taking the road less travelled will result in you and your loved ones having a surprisingly relaxing and truly recalibrating vacation this summer.
Organising virtual Christmas meals and festivities
Finally, there's no denying that your quintessential Aussie Christmas tends to include some customs and traditions whose absence makes Christmas feel incomplete, even if these customs can be found nowhere else in the world.
Such Christmas Day activities like a good game of backyard cricket or a trip to the beach, can't really be substituted for a digital alternative as easily as your Christmas Lunch can just take place over a Zoom call.
So how do you retain these beloved Christmas festivities in your digital or hybrid Christmas?
The answer is simply to spend that time either indulging in direct digital alternatives (i.e. playing some games online instead of backyard cricket, or reminiscing over photos from other family holidays rather than heading to the beach), or creating some new activities specifically for your COVID-safe Christmas.
Although you and your loved ones may feel a little blue at the prospect of having to have yet another COVID-safe Christmas, staying safe this holiday season will undoubtedly ensure that Australians stay free to live, travel, and celebrate with one another with zero inhibitions throughout 2022.