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Does the thought of families being allowed to mix over Christmas make you feel anxious or relieved?

Three households can form festive bubbles so families can meet for Christmas.

The arrangements will apply from December 23 to 27 after talks between the UK Government and leaders from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

People will be able to join “Christmas bubbles” to allow families to reunite over the festive period.

The UK Government and devolved administrations have agreed the approach despite concerns about the spread of coronavirus.

The temporary easing of measures will allow three households to mix in a bubble from December 23 to 27.

Social distancing will be relaxed within the bubbles, giving people the chance to hug friends and family for the first time in months.

Boris Johnson acknowledged the measures would not add up to a “normal Christmas” and urged people to exercise caution – particularly when meeting with the elderly or the vulnerable.

“We can’t afford to throw caution to the wind. The virus doesn’t know it’s Christmas and we must all be careful,” he said in a video message posted on Twitter.

“I know this doesn’t equate to a normal Christmas and it won’t work for everyone. It is up to each of us to think carefully about how we use this time-limited special dispensation.”

A joint statement issued by the four UK governments said they had been working closely together to find a way for family and friends to see each other, recognising it must be “limited and cautious”.

Each Christmas bubble can meet at home, at a place of worship or an outdoor public place, but existing, more restrictive rules on hospitality and meeting in other venues will be maintained throughout the period.

Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford told the PA news agency: “We have to recognise that Christmas is a very important time for people, and that you have to have a set of rules that people will be prepared to operate within.

“While I have hesitation, because of the state of the virus in Wales and across the United Kingdom, it is better that we have a common set of arrangements that give people a framework that they can manage within and act responsibly within as well.”

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “We know that for some, contact with friends and family is crucial during this time as isolation and loneliness can hit people especially hard over the Christmas period. The ‘bubble’ approach aims to reduce this impact.”

But she warned there would be no further easing of measures for Hogmanay and “even this short relaxation will give the virus a chance to spread”.

She added: “Just because you can mix with others indoors over this time, that doesn’t mean you have to.

The bubbles will have to be exclusive over the five-day period, meaning people cannot shift from one group to another – although children whose parents are separated will be allowed to move between them.

People aged over 65 in care homes will not be able to join their families for Christmas.

In families where three children live away from home, they would not all be able to return for Christmas.

However, university students returning from halls at the end of term would automatically form part of their family household.

Although social distancing will not be necessary, people will be advised to exercise restraint and judgment if they plan to mix with vulnerable friends or family.

What are your views? Have you made plans yet? With the vaccine coming and an end in sight does mixing over Christmas make sense to you? Is it important to give families the choice? 

Does the thought of families being allowed to mix over Christmas make you feel anxious or relieved?

501 people have already voted, what's your opinion? Anxious Relieved

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olivep
17th Dec 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
..... and what about New Years Eve - will people be allowed to party in large groups/gatherings, indoors/ outdoors? I hope not .... a pandemic is a pandemic it doesnt go away just because of festive celebrations.
A 3rd lockdown is imminent I'm afraid.
viking
9th Dec 2020
0
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Always anxious at Christmas due to a relative lacing everyones drink with Schnapps.
sparrer
4th Dec 2020
0
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I'm having dinner with my family including two great grandchildren I haven't see for months. Three households total. Then coming home because I don't trust myself not to cuddle the little ones. Sad but a lot better than many will have.
Alexander McEwan
4th Dec 2020
0
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Both my wife and I are in the high risk group but we are looking forward to distributing the Christmas presents to all our family, who are living in different areas.
SueC62
4th Dec 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
My adult grandson has sadly been influenced by those who think it's all about control etc. I don't know to what extent he's ignoring restrictions or whether it's a case of following the rules and just sharing stuff on FB. Our family get together is usually quite subdued and he does tend to disappear quickly after dinner to meet his mates. I don't know if the other nana is going to be there as she is a high risk. I'm not sure it's worth the drive to sit in what will be a chilly dining room with the windows open, for a few quiet hours, and then drive home having potentially exposed myself to risk. But I'm also anxious that if I don't go, that will cause upset. Generally my son and daughter-in-law are very laid back. My son's already said I'm welcome but it's my decision....
PurpleHat
1st Dec 2020
0
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I am not surprised to see the high number of voters who are as anxious, as I am.
My Christmas card list has become much shorter this year as age
and illness takes my friends and contemporaries. Strangely the passing of Shaun Connery, the seemingly indestructible, has unsettled me most of all!! We were much the same age.

I have a new great-granddaughter whom I have not been able to meet. but her parents are both working, and at a distance for travelling. At 8 months she will not be able remember me.I can barely remember much until I was 3 or more. I need to be around a bit longer!.

My daughter who herself is over 60 and has health issues, and I, we have kept out of the way as much as possible. I do not think that this point in time is a good time to throw caution to the winds when in another 12-15 weeks we may have a viable vaccination scheme, and more hope for the future. Practical over sentiment may pay off!
So we will do the best we can, send out our love and greetings, and have ourselves a merry little Christmas and a hopeful New Year!! Best wishes to you all!!
Retiredyorkie
1st Dec 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
So far we have had lock downs, followed by rising numbers of Covid and deaths.

3rd December will be for some all out shopping followed by depending on which tier they are in close up socialising,

December 24th to 27th December family and friend socialising and then come January another lock down to rising numbers of Covid .

The choice is yours -
Wilf
1st Dec 2020
0
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I think you are right we will be heading for a 3rd lockdown in January-but the vaccine programme should be starting by then
Retiredyorkie
1st Dec 2020
1
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We can live in hope - these vaccines seem to have been rushed through lets hope they work as they are supposed too

Usually it takes longer to develop new vaccines so how many corners have been cut one wonders.

May be I am being a bit pessimistic.
Wilf
1st Dec 2020
0
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I do think with technological advances a lot of the testing has been much more rapid than say even 20 years ago. Lets hope so!
Retiredyorkie
1st Dec 2020
0
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As you say *Lets Hope So*
ecarg
2nd Dec 2020
0
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Sorry the choice isn't purely ours we will all suffer the consequences of those who do not follow the correct procedures whilst socialising over the five days of Christmas
SueC62
4th Dec 2020
0
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From what I've read, from reliable accredited sources, the rush hasn't been to do with the creation and testing of the vaccine itself but that the wait for funding, that normally takes years, has been removed. I think it was the same article that said the mumps? vaccine only took 12 months.
viking
28th Nov 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
Interesting that so much emphasis is being made over Christmas.
In this country we are being bombarded with the fact that we must accept multi cultural society and all that goes with the different religions. Christmas is an anathema to certain religions , so how can this situation improve integration.
Lionel
28th Nov 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
Viking, I believe we must now admit that all government since Adam was a lad is a cobbled mish-mash of expensive nothings. At the end of their term politicians struggle to list their achievements and never mention the cost of those minor changes to the country.

Profound policy changes are made to placate the few (LBGT, racial matters and feminism to name but a few). There hasn't been a coherent policy direction in the fifty odd years I've kept an eye on politics. It's just been a mess. To quote Nicholas Parsons on Just a Minute, without deviation, repetition or something else I can't now remember.

Relaxation of restrictions for five days this Christmas is to placate those celebrating that festival. In the New Year we'll be hearing other faiths whingeing because they didn't get the same privilege for their religious festivals.

How does this help integration? It doesn't. Even America, the first modern-day multi-racial society, cannot make it work. I believe our governments have given up on integration and just left everything in free fall.

Thanks chaps!
swizthewiz
27th Nov 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
allowing university students to leave their halls and return home for Christmas is an open invitation to disaster.They should be told to isolate the covid by keeping away when after all families will not be allowed to visit their elderly ones in care homes for fear of spreading the virus.Is it okay for students and the like to disregard the rules and hold rave parties with drinking and drugs in groups of 80 or more and remain unchecked?this country seems to be adopting the principle"there is a rule for some and not for others"If we are going to defeat this devastating virus then the politicians of this country need to work hand in hand with the people.
ecarg
27th Nov 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
Where as we have control over what we and our own family do regarding visits over Christmas and do all we can to stay safe,others may not be as carefull but we will all suffer the consequences in the New Year
Retiredyorkie
1st Dec 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
Well said and very true
Maggiefaulkner
27th Nov 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
I am very relieved as I have not seen my son and his partner for 6 months - this is the only time of the year when we can get together with my daughter - there will be 6 of us, and we are all being very sensible. I believe we, as older people, are generally intelligent enough to ensure our own safety. My anxiety levels were going through the roof thinking that I would not see them. I don't want to be one of the growing band of people who are too scared to leave their homes. I don't expect everyone to feel the same, but that's fine - so far, we still have freedom of speech, if not action. x
Billythequiche
26th Nov 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
We are a very close family and were used to the kids and grandkids visiting every week. Visits outside helped were not the same, especially since winter came. Don't get me wrong, we are not suffering as much as many others, just saddened.
We will be entertaining a few of the family over Christmas. I think the "amnesty" is sensible as a total lockdown over Christmas would have been largely ignored. Also, as we have seen before, certain sections of the population would have delighted in publicly flaunting their defiance of the law and put many at risk.
Helen1957
25th Nov 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
The best Christmases we had when my children were young were when my husband worked on Christmas Day and we had to work out our own schedule to fit around his shifts. We didn't have any visitors, it was just us.

People make too much fuss over Christmas. This year I have opted to spend it on my own. I have managed since March. There are plenty of other ways to communicate with your family and friends. I'm hoping for a big get together for Easter.
Wilf
25th Nov 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
It's very dangerous! I worry that we will have another increase after Christmas. The Australians had total lockdown for a few months-result humans 1-Covid 0. Now in a nation of 25 million no Covid-Boris and team take note!
viking
25th Nov 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
We will just have to see the scorecard after Christmas, then make a judgement on who was to blame [ that's the favourute game at the moment ] because society says that someone must take the blame !!
Wilf
25th Nov 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
Very interesting comment Viking and so true-especially the media MUST always have a scapegoat!
NDW57
25th Nov 2020
7
Thanks for voting!
I do not understand this obsession with Christmas. Does it matter when you see your loved ones? I would have thought that it matters more IF you see your loved ones. When families mix inevitably there are a range of ages - youngsters who could have a very mild dose of asymptomatic COVID and older members who have health issues already. If people wish to reduce the size of next Christmas's gatherings, go ahead and carry on just like you did last year. It might reduce the size of your presents bill !
Nel42
25th Nov 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
My grandson who lives with me is upset he can’t have fun with his cousins at Christmas but their parents are hosting two people from different parts of the country so there is no way I am going to risk catching Covid 19 after staying protected since March. We will have a second Christmas for all the children when this is over, how ever long it takes.
HappyHippie
25th Nov 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
both my husband and myself have health issues so it would be silly to risk it, we both want to be here when this over so we really enjoy time with our friends and family
TanisT
25th Nov 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
It's down to personal choice.
We are all aware of the relaxed rules,but we dont have to practice them if we prefer to keep us,and our loved ones safe.
Nat11967
25th Nov 2020
5
Thanks for voting!
Christmas should be postponed until Spring! Or whenever...
SueC62
4th Dec 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
Totally agree. I'm of the view that, if you are sensible and follow the advice, Christmas won't be anywhere near as enjoyable as normal, so why not postpone it until after the vaccine has been rolled out? I have friends who every year used to have a 'Christmas Party' for their friends but because of their then business and family commitments, it never took place until June!
Scots
25th Nov 2020
7
Thanks for voting!
It is and has been a trying time. Why waste all that effort and risk passing the virus to our families.
It is one Christmas out of our lives, enjoy it with those that are currently in your safe bubble.
There is technology use it to see, speak to and keep connected with others others over the Christmas period.
Help to keep the virus down and hopefully reduce at this time.
Another spike in the new year is the last thing any of us need.
swaneldo
25th Nov 2020
6
Thanks for voting!
Much as we are all sick to death of the completely confusing rules and regulations which have no logic to them, I'm not sure alcohol and human contact starved people are a good mix. It is human nature that once families and friends get together, they will be desperate to hold their loved ones close to them. Having a few bevvies will exacerbate the general feeling of bonhomie whether you know the person or not LOL.

I'm not anxious, but I feel that when we get into the new year, things may be a great deal worse again. I will continue to avoid shops; crowds; etc as I have done throughout.
jeffsoo
25th Nov 2020
5
Thanks for voting!
I think the problem is that we have come so far and can see light at the end of the tunnel it would be crazy to throw this away just because of a few days
anubis
25th Nov 2020
6
Thanks for voting!
We won`t be mixing over Christmas, Instead of cooking lunch for 14 on the day and 5 Boxing Day it will be just the 3 us, I will deliver presents for my grandchildren on the morning and wave to them from a safe distance. We have made it this far and so close to a vaccine its silly to throw away all the sacrifices we have made all year I look forward to a safe family gathering in the summer. I love them all dearly and its heartbreaking but I want to be around for walks on the beach and building sand castles next summer with them and so many safe hugs.
ecarg
25th Nov 2020
7
Thanks for voting!
A question of priorities 5 days of socializing against weeks of further lockdown .
Have a scaled down Christmas and minimise contact, plan for a larger celebration in the spring when hopefully the worse of Covid is over.
JMRFife
25th Nov 2020
4
Thanks for voting!
Definitely anxious
Speccybecky
25th Nov 2020
8
Thanks for voting!
Can’t help thinking I’d rather persevere with restrictions and keep the virus at bay. Christmas is only another day and if other religions didn’t get to mix at their celebrations, why should we. Christians don’t need to be with other people to celebrate their faith. We haven’t seen our son and granddaughter in person since March, indeed we won’t be able to travel to see the new baby when she’s born and that’s awful but we wouldn’t like to be responsible for infecting them. Hopefully things will be be better by the summer.
Mirimiri
25th Nov 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
I am going to meet up with my daughter , her partner and 5 boys in the morning of Christmas till 3pm , then back to mine for a buffet with my other daughter and partner. I think my sons and their daughters will be over to mine over the Christmas period . I have rheumatoid arthritis and osteo arthritis. I can barely walk due to awaiting hip replacement surgery. I am very anaemic and I inject methotrexate for the rhuematoid arthritis. My immune system is not high , but I am a Christian. I know that god , whom I talk to every day and pray to every day , is more powerful than anything in this world and takes care of me and my loved ones . I have seen god,s hand in my life and the miracles he has performed. I believe this virus is god,s way of stripping away all the consumerism that people take so much for granted , as god is saying put your faith in me and the heavenly realms , not in this world and not in money of this world.
Speccybecky
25th Nov 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
Surely that means you will be mixing with more than the allowed 3 households....
Lionel
25th Nov 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
God also tells us, through Paul, to obey those who have authority over us because they have our best interests in mind.

You might like to dispute this at present but bear in mind you'll be arguing with the Living God, in whom I too have a profound faith. Not many of us, if any, have ever won an argument to the Father.

My mother had both sorts of arthritis for forty years and now I have some too. My heart is with you my dear.
[deleted]
25th Nov 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
Lionel
26th Nov 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
I'm so pleased God has given you the free will to ignore Him.
[deleted]
28th Nov 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
Lionel
1st Dec 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
Thanks for the smile here 1940 Bri, it's well needed.
JudithK38
25th Nov 2020
5
Thanks for voting!
I'm anxious about this, I believe it's a step too far and though I would love to be able to have a more normal Christmas I do worry that it's going result in a spike in the virus. My daughter was unlucky enough to catch Covid and was really poorly and has said stay safe this virus is awful. Both my husband and I are shielding so we will be ultra careful. Christmas will take a back seat this year.
46fit
25th Nov 2020
6
Thanks for voting!
I am an anxious, as it is proven that household mixing spread the virus, surely just for one Christmas so that we can perhaps see an end of this virus in sight, that people can keep to their own homes, we have self isolated since the beginning, haven't seen family for a year or more,
This is fuelling the Covid fire.
Marley444
24th Nov 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
I have just been discussing this within my current family bubble, and whilst I know it is up to us to do a risk assessment, I can't help thinking that the new rules don't make sense in my old head! As Boris says, the virus doesn't know it is Christmas and won't be taking the day off - I just saw a scary public health video on TV with funny coloured dummies at a dinner table spreading germs and that on its own has fuelled my anxiety. Coupled with encouraging us to open windows - my husband is going to have a field day with the heating thermostat!
swaneldo
25th Nov 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
I think it's getting near the time to start putting a tent up in your garden for your husband Marley ... y'know ... just to keep him safe and in the fresh air. You can stay inside so you don't breathe over him ... turn up the thermostat; open up the Quality Street; turn on the TV and have a bottle of wine nearby LOL
Marley444
25th Nov 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
I am still laughing at your reply 😀 such a great idea - I will order a nice box of the finest chocs, a bottle of prosecco, order some more gas and get that tent ordered! I have just told my husband of my new plans for Christmas! LOL!!!!
Munsterlander
24th Nov 2020
9
Thanks for voting!
Maybe we should all postpone Christmas this year and have a quieter more traditional time and then really break out the festivities in the spring with us all been vaccinated.
MrsPat
24th Nov 2020
5
Thanks for voting!
Makes me feel quite worried as we will have our kids back for the festive period and while they are very careful we feel we are vulnerable. It's difficult for a few days forced fun.

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