What will Christmas look like in 2020?

2020 is proving to be the year of uncertainty however what we are certain of is that Christmas is definitely not cancelled. Creating timeless memories and preserving traditions are still on the to-do list - with just a few adjustments along the way.

Here are 5 Christmas traditions that will look different this year:

1. Santa photo

Santa Photos

For months it was unsure whether our yearly snaps with the big jolly man in red would even be on the books, however it looks like most of the major retailers are expecting Santa albeit some extra steps and precautions. Customers will be seated at a safe distance from Santa and the traditional portrait image will be replaced with a landscape shot to allow for physical distancing. We've done some research and found the below 4 major Retailers offering Santa photos! Don't forget to plan ahead though. Book your session online as limited spots are available due to COVID restrictions. Happy snapping!

2. New year's Eve Fireworks

Sydney Fireworks

The fireworks display is one of the biggest events on Sydney’s calendar. But after a year of COVID restrictions and social distancing, we wondered if it would happen at all this year.

Although the 9pm fireworks have been cancelled, the main display event at midnight won't be! To avoid massive crowding, the NSW government is reserving prime viewing positions in the harbour for frontline workers. This is in a gesture of thanks for all the frontline workers efforts during the bushfires and pandemic this year.

The NSW government also plans to lock down the city, allowing only those with tickets to enter. Hospitality venues in the CBD will be restricted to workers and those with pre-booked tickets. The current plan is that workers and patrons will need to register for a permit to enter the Sydney CBD and all others will be turned away. Most of the usual vantage points will be roped off or inaccessible. For more information, you can visit the NSW Government website for the most recent updates on Sydney's NYE 2020 plans as they happen. (Source: Lifehacker)

“2020 has been a tough year for everyone. New Year’s Eve celebrations will be a symbol of hope and optimism for next year. It is also an opportunity to thank people across NSW who have stepped up during this difficult time.” - NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian

3. Christmas Parties

Christmas Party

Whether you get to enjoy the fun of an office Christmas party will likely depend where you live and how many people can gather.

Gatherings in NSW are dependent on the size of the venue. Corporate events cannot exceed 300 people or one person per 4 square metres, whichever is the lesser. People are also not allowed to sing, dance or mingle while out at bars, meaning it may have to be a sit-down Christmas party (max. 30 people per table) this year and activities like karaoke are currently off the table.

In Queensland, an office Christmas party looks more likely with fewer restrictions currently in place on group gatherings and venues. All patrons in food and drink venues must currently be seated when eating or drinking however nightclubs can operate in accordance with an approved plan. Click here for more information on QLD restrictions.

Victoria remains under the harshest restrictions in the country however on 8 November some restrictions were eased. Indoor gatherings were capped at 40 patrons per venue, subject to the 1 per 4m2 rule and a maximum group size of 10. Hopefully, from the 22 November onwards this will be increased to 100 patrons per venue and a maximum group size of 20 patrons.

Mr Andrews said he wants Christmas to be "as normal as possible" for Victorians and is working toward having most restrictions eased by the time December rolls around, however while families might be able to gather, the chances of large corporate Christmas parties seems slim.

In South Australia, there are minimal restrictions around group gatherings, however no shared utensils are allowed to be provided during group events.  Communal food or beverage service areas are banned, meaning your office Christmas party probably won't have a buffet or communal punch bowl this year.

If you live in Western Australia, your chances of having an office Christmas party are high given the state's current COVID-19 situation. Cheers to that! (Source: 9news, nsw.gov.au, qld.gov.au, vic.gov.au, sa.gov.au)

4. Endless beach days

Christmas on the beach


Heading to the beach this summer will be very different. Entry will be restricted during busy times and drones will patrol some coastlines to ensure there is social distancing.

Groups of more than 20 won’t be allowed and the NSW Government says beachgoers should “keep a beach towel length between you” (1.5 metres).Waverley Council, which oversees Sydney’s popular Bondi Beach, says entry will be blocked once capacity is reached.The council will put barriers in place and “beach ambassadors” will be positioned at entry points to let people know they can’t enter.

Entry to the Bondi to Bronte coastal walk will also be restricted once capacity is reached.“If groups exceed 20 people, rangers will speak to the group and remind them of the current PHOs (public health orders).

If large groups refuse to disperse or move on, then police will be called to assist,” Waverley Mayor Paula Masselos said in a statement.“Please, if our beaches or parks look busy, come back another time or use that time to visit our local businesses who need your support.“Again, this is not going to be a normal summer, we all need to adapt and do our bit by staying safe when visiting our public places.” (Source: News.com.au)

5. Late-night Christmas Shopping

Online Christmas Shopping

Big sales, big crowds, big profits—holiday shopping is big business. Many stores typically depend on strong sales in Q4 to hit their annual goals and put them on a path towards future growth. 

But like nearly everything else in 2020, holiday shopping this year will be anything but typical.

Here are five ways holiday shopping will be different in 2020:

1 . Shopping Will Start Earlier

Most years, the unofficial start of holiday shopping is Black Friday, but this year, it’s already begun in mid-October. Surveys have found that 3 in 10 shoppers will start their holiday shopping earlier than usual this year. 

Instead of waiting until stores are crowded in mid-December, shopping early allows customers to be more socially distant and safe. Logistical problems of large, last-minute crowds can also be frustrating and expensive for retailers, who are encouraging shoppers to start early. Spreading out holiday spending also lessens the impact on shoppers’ wallets, many of which are already strained this year.

2 . Sales Will Move Online

Instead of in-store door busters, the 2020 holiday shopping season will feature predominately online shopping. Many areas still have COVID-19 restrictions in place that limit the capacity and hours of stores. Most consumers still aren’t comfortable shopping in store and are instead taking their spending online. 

Some estimates put holiday e-commerce sales growing up to 35% this year. To meet the demand, retailers are building out their digital capabilities with improved apps and online shopping experiences. Brands with strong digital offerings like intuitive mobile browsing, simple payment options, chat bots and accurate personalised recommendations will come out on top. 

3 . Expect Shipping Delays

The huge growth of online shopping and deliveries will likely put additional strain on the logistics and delivery systems that are already reeling from COVID-19. Many consumers have come to expect shipping delays over the last six months, but they could become even worse during the last few months of the year. Some delivery companies are preparing for the holidays by hiring thousands more drivers, but the strain on an already fragile system could still impact customers, especially as some delivery companies increase their fees to cover additional costs for safety and cleanliness. 

To alleviate the shipping delays, many retailers are emphasising their BOPIS (buy online, pick up in store) services and curb side pick-up. Customers may be more likely to purchase from stores where they can quickly pick up items instead of having to wait for deliveries.

4 . Some (But Not All) Customers Will Spend Less

One of the biggest questions surrounding holiday shopping this year is how much people will spend. With economic uncertainty and many people facing job losses or pay cuts, some shoppers may be spending less.

But at the same time, other surveys have found that 66% of consumers plan to spend the same amount on holiday shopping or even more this year. In many cases, consumers are willing to spend more to keep traditions alive. And with fewer people travelling over the holidays, consumers may have more money to spend on gifts. 

What does this mean for the holiday shopping season? Spending will be uneven. Some consumers will be eager to have some sort of normalcy and spend their usual amount (or more) on gifts, while others will cut spending because of economic uncertainty. 

5 . Non-Traditional Gifts Will Be Popular

Forget the typical gifts and stocking stuffers—this year, people will think outside the box. While retailers will still sell a large amount of clothes, shoes and electronics, experts are also predicting that consumers will flock to non-traditional gifts that can build relationships. After spending more time than normal at home, many consumers will give games, streaming service subscriptions and vouchers for future travel. People will also choose to pamper themselves at home with more health and beauty gifts. With the pandemic still in full effect, consumers will likely spend more on at-home fitness equipment, comfortable clothing and home décor to make the most of their time at home.

(Source: Forbes)