How to Have a Perfectly Imperfect Family Christmas

by Dr. Amanda Gummer

Some parents can feel under pressure to create the perfect Christmas, but this year, with the Covid crisis still in full flow, the chances are we shall all be having a simpler festive period. But simple doesn’t mean worse, as there are a lot of positives to a lower key Christmas.

Given the current restrictions in place, parents won’t have the guilt of missing the nativity, or the challenge of having to cook for a huge group of people. And whilst it is understandably disappointing not to have the usual big family get together and immerse yourself in the festive season, for many that is a whole lot of stress that has just evaporated.


First, let’s look at the things we won’t miss - the rushing around, family arguments with relatives you only see once a year, stresses of the last-minute, overcrowded Christmas shopping. If you focus on what you have you’ll always have enough, if you focus on what you don’t have you’ll always feel lacking. So enjoy the upsides of some of the changes and exchange the frantic festivities for a deeper connection to what’s really important.

Take some time to think carefully about the gifts you give. Do your research on toys that will stand the test of time and really engage the children in your life - The Good Toy Guide is the perfect place for that - Take time to make thoughtful gifts, from photo books to home-made goodies. Not only do these save you money, but they really do show you care.

Enjoy getting the house just right for you all - and without needing to host the rest of the family you can do things your way and let the kids get involved too. Chances are you’re going to be spending more time than usual in your own home this Christmas so get the whole family involved in making some decorations and even planning and preparing the festive feasts. You can also start new traditions with star-gazing walks or snuggly Christmas storytimes, and children will love getting rid of some energy dancing to all your old favourite Christmas songs - get rockin’ around that Christmas tree!


Arrange some fun games or activities that you can share with family and friends on a video call. Think about the games you normally play together and think about how they can be adapted to play remotely.

There are other opportunities to switch things up a bit this year - try swapping the traditional Christmas card for a family TikTok, or create your own puppet nativity to perform over video call to the grandparents.

This is certainly a year to remember and Christmas is a great time to make some of those memories really positive.

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Written by

Dr. Amanda Gummer

Child Psychologist & Founder of Good Play Guide
Child psychologist and development expert Dr. Amanda Gummer is the founder of Dr. Gummer’s Good Play Guide. Established as the UK’s leading expert on the importance of play for childhood development, Dr. Gummer’s guide at is a hub for tips and advice and ensures parents are able to know which toys and apps ( The Good Toy Guide and The Good App Guide ) offer developmental and entertainment value to their children. Amanda’s book, ‘Play: Fun ways to help your child develop in the first five years’ is available on Amazon and at good book shops.

Articles on are a mixture of informative pieces, anecdotal accounts and professional advice from our panel of Bloggers, Writers and Experts. The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official view of Your Baby Club UK

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