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Christmas this year is not going to be quite the same for most of us, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have some festive fun. Here’s five creative Christmas tips from McCarthy Stone.

 

Decorate your outside spaces

From natural holly wreaths to jolly inflatable Santas and strings of twinkling lights, decorating your outside or shared spaces spreads joy and strengthens feelings of community.

McCarthy Stone homeowners and employees have been busy bringing Christmas to life across their developments, from organising tasteful trees, ‘stars of hope’ and best-decorated door competitions.

 

Fancy making your own Christmas wreath? Read this guide.

 

Keep in touch – virtually

You might not be able to meet face to face with everyone you’d like to this year, but it’s still important to make time for a proper natter with those you love.

WhatsApp is a fantastic free (as long as you have WIFI) way to keep in touch with family groups, friends and neighbours – and not just at Christmas.

Once you’ve set up a group it’s simple to share messages, videos and photos as well as to make group voice or video calls.

A group video chat can be a lot of fun and Zoom is perfect for an intuitive casual catch up.

It’s free (for a 40-minute meeting anyway.) and the app can be downloaded to any device.

For more support and ideas read McCarthy Stone’s advice for online gatherings, including tips for hosting virtual parties, here.

 

Feast on festive foods

There may be less of you around the Christmas table this year, so use the opportunity to please yourself and indulge in festive foods and drinks that you really like. Not keen on turkey? Have a steak instead.

In need of inspiration?

Find festive recipes and fine wines to partner Christmas foods here.

Did you know?

McCarthy Stone homeowners benefit from Morrison’s telephone delivery service and get free next day delivery .

So no fears of not being properly stocked up!

If you don’t feel like cooking this year there are some onsite bistros for homeowners, but in places still affected by restrictions they’ve had to come up with creative ways to enjoy festive meals.

For instance, Seymour Court in South Shields  is offering home deliveries of cream teas and hot Christmas lunches.

Consider volunteering

Volunteering plays a big part in McCarthy Stone developments, but never more so than when the pandemic first struck 

It was striking how many benefits – from a sense of purpose to new friends – it brought the volunteers as well as the people they supported.

The McCarthy Stone Foundation can put you in touch with rewarding volunteering opportunities, including teaching children to read. 

Give thanks to those who’ve brightened this difficult year

It has been a tough year, but it’s important to remember to be thankful too, for the incredible key workers who have made a huge difference to all of us, and the neighbours who brought milk round when we were self-isolating.

McCarthy Stone has a lot to be grateful for in 2020 – the main thing being that their infection rates were much lower than in the wider population*.

They even received a Special Recognition Award from House Builder Magazine for their employees’ amazing efforts in keeping homeowners healthy and happy.

McCarthy Stone is also incredibly grateful for their homeowners’ resilience and fortitude. It really is a community of remarkable individuals.

From daredevils to artists, fundraisers to WW2 codebreakers, McCarthy Stone celebrated just a few of them through their Christmas Crackers Awards – find out more here.

McCarthy Stone is the UK’s leading developer of retirement communities offering elegant retirement properties to rent or for sale.

For more information, please visit McCarthy Stone or search for properties here.

 

*From the start of this year up to the 20th October, 111 of 20,000 McCarthy Stone homeowners tested positive for COVID-19. This means infection rates within McCarthy Stone communities have been 27 per cent lower than in the UK population of over 65s and four times lower than that of the over 85s.