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One week 'til Christmas to-do list: Area mom blogger suggests keeping it local

Posted at 6:36 AM, Dec 18, 2020

"It's the most wonderful time of the year"...and we have a week left to take it all in.

Seven days out from Christmas, York County mom and runner of The Mommy Cooler blog Bernadette Watkins says she's still got some shopping to do.

"There's still time to really get some stuff out there," Watkins told News 3. "I want to throw support especially behind our local businesses this year."

If you're still looking for gifts, Watkins suggests local shops for something unique or you can always opt for handmade. Madein757.com is a great place to find local artists and artisans, she says.

With the pandemic pushing some to call off Christmas plans with the extended family, Watkins included, she says use technology to your advantage and hang on to those yearly traditions as best you can.

"[My family has] an ongoing link on Google [Meet] or Zoom sometimes where our family would jump in at various times of the day. It's almost like they're with us here, but far away in their own little place," she said. "But I think keeping up with traditions is what's keeping my family going this year."

But there's always room to start new traditions.

Think of the line from Mariah Carey's Christmas classic, "all the lights are shining so brightly everywhere..."

Watkins suggests taking the family to one of Hampton Roads' many Christmas light displays.

WinterFest on the Wisconsin in Downtown Norfolk is a brand new event this year.

And with so many out of work due to the pandemic, Watkins says families who aren't struggling financially can always find ways to help in their community.

"With the holidays, I would say adopt a family. You may not be able to get directly to that family but there are things that people need and you don't have to do it where they know it's you. You can be anonymous," she said.

YWCA of South Hampton Roads has links to sign up for Adopt-a-Family here. United Way of the Virginia Peninsula also has a Holiday Needs page for anyone looking to help.

But Watkins says as important as it is to give, the self-care is a must, especially during the holidays.

"Each person in the family should have their own specific time where they can take time to decompress," she suggests. "I also have a therapist that I talk to sometimes and that helps me manage all the things that I'm going through."

For more last-minute holiday suggestions and information about parenting and families, follow Bernadette Watkins on her blog, The Mommy Cooler.