The bizarre year 2020 might be over, however, the new reality that it has created for the whole world remains the same even a year later. As parents, through the challenges we had to face, we also had to handle the fragile psychology of our children. After overcoming the first shock and accepting the situation that changed our daily lives, we tried to find different ways to spend constructive time with the children, stuck inside four walls. While our personal goal was to make this unconventional and difficult situation for our girls, less painful and distressing. After all the playgrounds and theme parks were closed, we tried to spend some time on a daily basis outdoors in nature. So, here are some things that we did as a family in Greece last year.
One of the advantages that we have in wonderful Greece is the sunny weather that prevails most days of the year, which is very important for the human psychology. Even now that I am writing and we are in the middle of January, I look out of the window at the clear blue sky, the green trees and the sunrays falling on my desk. So, at least that allowed us to go out and “escape” from the negative energy that surrounded us all that time.
In the area where we live in Athens, there is a beautiful parkland full of trees and green grass. Every time, I was preparing my backpack by putting everything necessary inside, such as water, wet wipes, hand sanitizer etc. Then, we put our masks on and went there for a walk. We were picking pine cones to make crafts at home, searching for anthills and exploring the beauty of nature.
At first, we were painting a lot, making crafts, reading classic fairy tales and playing various games. The girls enjoyed all the activities we did and appreciated the time we spent together. Every morning, I was eagerly asked, “What are we going to do today mom?” There was a particular day we played for six hours in a row. We hadn’t realized how the day went by, but we had enjoyed it a lot. When I play with my children, I become a child myself. I forget all my concerns, I laugh, I rejoice and most of all, I realize that the most precious time of the day for me is the time that I spend with my girls.
Sometimes, we were going for cycling. It was a great physical exercise for the girls and a way to light them up. Also, we were doing simple gym exercises at home or dancing in the living room. We came up with our own choreographies with the girls’ favorite songs, such as “Con Calma” and “Dance Monkey”.
At the beginning of the summer, we visited the waterfall Valanaris Drafi in the area of Penteli. Only nineteen minutes from our home by car. Truly, it was like paradise on earth, as we walked down a steep slope among some dry grasses, a beautiful waterfall with crystal clear cool waters appeared in front of us. We didn’t even have to travel, it was next to us. A waterfall in Athens. The children got very excited. There were only 3-4 people around, while my eldest daughter didn’t hesitate to dive in. It was a marvelous day.
Waterfall Valanaris Drafi
Greece has plenty of magical islands. We spent the summer vacation on our favorite island Tinos. One of the most beautiful and admirable islands in Greece. An island that radiates peace and positive aura. It has beautiful crystal clear beaches, ideal for little children. People are kind and hospitable. The traditional food is delicious. In addition, it has many attractions and picturesque villages to visit and walk safely. The top attraction of the island that has a unique history is the Virgin Evangelistria of Tinos. Every time I visit it, I am overwhelmed by an inexplicable emotion and awe. It calms my mind and soul. If you’ve been there, you may have felt it too.
Elia Seaside Restaurant
Agios Fokas Beach
Tinos Island (Chora)
December is my favorite month of the year. It’s Christmas time, New Year, my birthday somewhere in between and my name day. It’s the month of joy and happiness when we put our worries aside for a while. We decorate the tree and the house, bake traditional sweets, listen to festive songs, exchange gifts and smile more. So we tried to end the last year by doing all the things that would make the atmosphere in our home even more festive.
We watched many Christmas movies and read all the Christmas tales we have over and over again. We enjoyed hot chocolate with whipped cream, marshmallows and colored truffles by the fireplace and gazed at the lit tree lights in the dark. My husband and I made the tracks of Santa Claus next to the tree using flour, so the children would see them next morning. We made Christmas sweets and treats with the girls and filled the table with them. In conclusion, the year ended with pleasant moments. I wish that 2021 brings to all of us countless happy and beautiful moments.
How did you spend the year 2020 with your kids? What activities did you do and what places did you go to? I will be happy to hear from you!
With love from Greece
Read also this