How these super-mums are making a locked-down Christmas extra special for kids

How these super-mums are making a locked-down Christmas extra special for kids

It might not be a conventional Christmas this year by any means but there’s no reason why it can’t be a special one for kids nonetheless. In fact, if we just look at locking down from a slightly different angle for a moment, we may even be able to see that an intimate festive period is a great way to make the most of each other’s company and reconnect with our families once again.

It’s not just about spending time together, it’s about spending quality time together. Now that we have enough breathing space to sit back and appreciate the little things in life, maybe the one-year pause on the rush of festivities is a welcome consequence of the pandemic.

‘iGlobal’ caught up with three super-mums who are always going above and beyond to make birthdays, anniversaries, key milestones and day-to-day life special for their families. We wanted to know how Suzi Mann, Sunita Shah and Kajal Pankhania are going to pull off Christmas Day in the middle of a global pandemic, without a Christmas miracle!

Feel free to steal some of their ideas below.

Suzi and Raffio’s survival boxes

Broadcaster, TV presenter and personality Suzi Mann has a special bond with her 10-year-old son Raffio, after having gone through the incredibly heart-warming and courageous decision to become a single mother overnight soon after he was born.

In December 2011, she adopted her 18-month nephew, who was subject to a care order due to the severe and complex nature of his parents’ needs. Suzi and her family had only just learned of Raffio’s existence eight months prior, and as much as her brother had wanted to care for him, his personal circumstances wouldn’t allow him sole custody.

Since receiving the most precious gift of her life in the form of her son, Suzi has been breaking the stigma around adoption with funny videos and candid blogs about her experiences, including most recently writing for Metro. Raffio has become an online personality in his own right by helping his mum and acting in her content pieces and campaigns.

Together they will be preparing a Christmas-themed breakfast with reindeer pancakes this December 25. By way of tradition, they will still be dressing up, binging on Christmas movies and engaging in a spot of baking in the afternoon.

Despite Suzi’s plans to work until Christmas Eve, they will be extending a generous gesture to their elderly neighbours by putting together and delivering Christmas survival boxes, containing sweet treats and essential items to get them through the holiday.

“It’s important for us to look out for the ones who will be celebrating alone this year. While we can’t be together, we can still show we care,” she says.

This year, Suzi plans to spend less time running around and more time relaxing one with Raffio. Despite their distance with the rest of the family, they have Zoom and Teams calls planned, plus plenty of virtual games to get creative and festive with.

Sunita Shah’s Yoga cards

Sunita Shah, speech and language therapist and founder of ‘The Jai Jais’ book series, is looking forward to having some down time with the children and engaging in mindfulness activities.

It has been an eventful December for Sunita, celebrating five years since the beginning of ‘The Jai Jais’ and launching her much-anticipated ‘Legends Series: The Hanuman Chalisa for Children’ with Malvi Raval, Rishi Handa and James Ballance.

‘The Jai Jais’ was founded with the mission of introducing young children to Hindu deities and festivals through storytelling and picture cards. Since 2015, they have published over 20 books across five series for children aged 0-12, which are adored all over the world.

She told us that this is a good time of year to be a ‘tuned in parent’ and to listen to how children have processed this whirlwind of the year.

“Praise their resilience and hear what they have to say. A great way to create a safe space for them to share with you is interactive activities like making a den or storytelling. Stories allow children to enter an imaginary world and vent their experiences without feeling like they’re sharing anything that will make them feel vulnerable,” Sunita shares.

Her very own ‘The Jai Jais’ yoga cards are a great starting point for parents looking to do the same at home!

Another way to burn energy during the holiday season is physical activities and participating in general life skills at home. Children are not getting as much exposure to extra-curricular activities as they were pre-Covid, so making maximum use of parent-child interaction at home can help greatly with their learning and development.

Kajal Pankhania and Aurelia’s wish

Kajal Pankhania, founder of the @aurelias_wish page and formerly known as @blonde.mummy on Instagram, thinks creating time capsules is a nice way to reflect with the children.

“Collecting memories from what has been the craziest year ever is a good way of showing them appreciation for what they have,” she says.

Kajal has been actively breaking the silence around still born children and baby loss on social media since May 2019 when her daughter Aurelia India was born sleeping. Since the life changing turn of events, Kajal has built up the courage to turn her pain into power by helping other parents like her and husband Nik.

This year, Kajal's eldest son Virràe has been busy decorating the Christmas tree with mementos of his little sister, including personalised baubles and ornaments. There's even a present under the tree from his sister who has written that she will always miss and protect him.

Kajal is looking forward to having a quiet Christmas at home with her boys, Virràe (6 years) and Remy-Ray (7 months).

*If you’ve found unique and special ways to make the most of a locked down Christmas, be sure to let us know here. Happy Holidays!

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