Every year it comes around quicker than you think: the Christmas season. Suddenly the neighbour's window flashes to "Last Christmas". In spite of all our good intentions, we are still drawn to the shops with their gingerbread, biscuits and chocolate Santas. Then come the presents…

But how do we spend those Christmas days, especially in extraordinary times like now, with the maximum possible self-determination? With minor stress and irritation mixed in with a lot of happiness and love – including for ourselves?

Enjoy family time and appreciate me time

For many, the celebration of love means having enough time with the family – when the best gifts are not lying under the tree but sitting at the table. People eat together, tease each other over board games, talk about anything and everything. We value those shared moments even more in the current extraordinary situation. Suddenly, being with the family means much more than in past years.

If you are unable, due to exceptional circumstances, to spend Christmas with the whole family, it doesn’t mean you won’t see them at all. A video call can be a good alternative. Simply set up a laptop or tablet – and you can see them opening their presents, join them for a virtual Christmas dinner or maybe even try out some new board games in front of the camera. Try it out, even if it can't replace a warm embrace. You will be amazed how close you can be despite the distance.

Moreover, the celebration of love also means taking care of yourself. Having a break and some me time help to recharge your batteries. Take a minute to look back on the year – just you. Pick up a book or go out and discover the winter landscapes. Remember, relaxation is at least as important as spending time with your loved ones.

There is no magic formula for the celebration of love. Nonetheless, one thing is for sure: decide in self-determination what makes you happy – then your loved ones will be happy too.

Season’s greetings from Swiss Life.

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