In partnership with the Solidarity Fund
South Africans take December seriously. Truly, we prepare the entire year for that two weeks of rest , relaxation and festive cheer. We have a long-standing relationship with the DEZEMBA mood. Gautengers drive to Durban or Cape Town for a beach vacation each year. We take road trips to visit family in different provinces. We do boxing day and new years day on a beach somewhere. You could say that it’s our culture to move in packs during festive – but this year we have to learn to be lone wolves. That doesn’t mean the fun has to come to a complete halt. Instead of defying social distancing rules like a mampara; celebrating just needs to take a different form for now. We need to remain mindful of always making and sanitising. But it is not easy when you are supposed to be on holiday and outside. Let us sacrifice one festive season for future ones. Here are some summer fun tips for staying home this festive season.
Dress the part; ok so you wont move past your balcony, front door or front gate but a shorts and tank top can lift your mood.
It is also a good change from the sweats and lockdown pyjamas phase. Plan your day as if you are on a holiday. If you want to mix a cocktail or a mocktail before 11am go for it – it’s festive. Braai, yes the wood, coals and marinade is a clear sign you are on holiday. Not able to braai? We have you covered, you can braai in your oven. Place the meat on the oven grill, place a tray underneath to catch braai juices and voila braai meat.
One thing to remember is, this is not new to us. We have been finding alternative ways to celebrate and do activities within the confines of our living spaces for months now. Make a calendar for yourselves, and the children in your lives. Move the furniture, and build an indoor bowling alley. Better yet, have a festive season tournament with play-offs. It will be something to look forward to each day. Get around to reading those books, writing that short story and calling up everyone you have not been able to. Our lockdown started in autumn and baking banana bread was all the rage. Summers in south africa are warm and humid, learn to make your own ice cream or ice suckers. Online resources have really been a saving grace during the coronavirus pandemic.
It is an immense privilege to have a backyard and garden during this time. So appreciate it, and use it to its full potential. Hang up a sheet in the backyard, and screen a movie. Don’t have a projector? Build a shoebox one, it’s a fun activity and so much more satisfying knowing you built something from scratch that has a practical use. Many of us go camping this time of year, set up a tent using sheets. Lay down the mattresses, and use flashlights. Bring the outdoors in. Stargazing is even possible, and there are many mobile apps you can use indoors.
The coronavirus pandemic really thrust us into the unknown. Our imaginations have been working overtime for ten months. But look at us, we got here. We made it work, be it virtual or not. We found ways to navigate this new normal. There is no real substitute for a beach or camping site. But there is imagination and rethinking. We are a resilient people, and have always been able to make the most of the little we are given. Dream this festive season so we can have the freedom of the outdoors in our near reality soon.