With every year that goes past, every season that races by as we adapt to a rapidly changing world, there is always one time in the western calendar where traditions remain largely the same, the celebration of Christmas. The way in which we enjoy it this year, however, has also been given the 2020 treatment, as restrictions look to shape a different kind of celebration.

As we begin to finalise our plans of how to celebrate Christmas this year, which members of the family to spend it with, on which day, a recent BBC Wales article quotes a government report, which states: If people can avoid seeing others over the Christmas period, perhaps postponing celebrations until later next year or meeting remotely, then this is strongly advised”. 

Whilst the word if” implies that this does not rule out meeting loved ones, it does appear that where the Technical Advisory Group looks to have tried to give the Government advice, it may have instead given the public another layer of confusion. I’m sure that if a member of the Welsh public were to be asked whether they can avoid seeing others”, they’re reply wouldn’t be straightforward.

What is an encouragement, however, is that this is advice and not a ruling. We are still able to celebrate Christmas with our Christmas bubble’. The advice comes from a scientific perspective that focuses primarily on virus transmission. It should therefore be no surprise that such advice is being given, for as we have all become aware of, more human contact results in higher transmission. 


The middle ground to be found from this report, the point in which the Technical Advisory Group seeks to balance scientific advice and also the public’s desire to celebrate Christmas, is in its advice on self-isolating before going to see family or loved ones for celebrations. They suggest self-isolating for 10 days before meeting loved ones in person, in order to limit the risk of transmission, but also in an attempt to give the Welsh public a sense of confidence as they celebrate together.

This year, however you decide to celebrate Christmas, I think it is important to do so with confidence. Do not be discouraged by the restrictions around hygiene, social distancing, and ventilation, but plan well according to the guidance, so that you can celebrate without feelings of guilt or confusion. Similarly, if you decide not to form a Christmas bubble and opt to self-isolate over Christmas, do so with confidence, knowing that you are limiting the risk of transmission. 

Finally, think of Jesus’ birth. Our settings for Christmas this year might seem strange, but they’re no stranger than lying in a manger surrounded by animals. This, being a setting of a baby who would one day die for our sins. Now that’s something I can celebrate with confidence.