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“Online Learning” by leanforward_photos is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Sooo….who’s ready to go back to school now?

Whilst many kids were initially excited at the prospect of sleeping in and attending classes in their pyjamas, as Covid dragged on, many felt isolated and suffered unexpected feelings of anxiety. Now that they’re back in the classroom, is this all just a distant memory? Or is it affecting them still? After being anxious for months in lockdown are kids now anxious about going back?

Well, in a word, yes. Despite their at-times-alien behaviour, it seems teenagers are human beings just like us! haha …and the simplest way to understand what’s been going on for them is to look at what has happened for us. All the uncertainty and change and fear….they have felt it too. During 2020 and 2021 almost everyone around the world has realised how powerless they are – having our societies brought to their knees by the “invisible enemy”. We have all felt isolated and lonely at times too, locked away in lockdowns and quarantines.

This has especially been the caes for young adults, with 18-24 year olds having been most impacted by loneliness over the past 2 years. What a time in your life to be kept apart form others. I’ve worked with teenagers for the past decade and most of them have told me more than once how much they HATE their school, their teachers, their peers…. but, they have HATED being isolated more than anything else, ever. And for 18-24 year olds, locked OUT of tertiary education facilities, nightclubs, pubs, group sports and gyms at a time in their lives where social interaction is arguable MOST important, has resulted in many struggling to see the value in living.

But…now it’s all over right?

Well, nothing is likely to ever be the same and in research conducted by Bupa UK, there are some positive shifts in priorities to consider. Nearly two thirds of UK parents surveyed now priorititise their children’s health and happiness above academic achievement – which is a massive paradigm shift, it’s HUGE!

It’s no secret Christmas is in 3 weeks. I don’t think 2021 has felt like a full year to anyone, but here we are! And what does 3 weeks out from Christmas mean? It means it’s time to source last minute unique gifts for your people to show them how special they are – or how special YOU are, that you can find such awesome gifts! Seriously, though, gift giving is good for psychological well being and after the past 2 years, I’ll take all the help I can get!

Honestly, this year I have a much shorter list than usual, and I’m not brave enough to spend a day out physically shopping. But I did find myself placing an order for Christmas Cracker cookie favours for the staff at my daughter’s preschool – and then thinking “Why not cookie favours for EVERYONE?!” haha

And it seems I wasn’t alone with this thinking, as I was too late to increase the order! Haha

Looking at global trends, it seems the global cookie industry is forecast to expand by over 5% before 2025, with growth expected in niche markets. The ecommerce trend, supercharged by the pandemic will drive sales online. So ordering shortbread cookies in Christmas shapes, with their coloured fondant tops displaying Christmas messages, is exactly what being in December 2021 looks like.

Cupcakes had their moment in the early 2000’s, thanks in large part to film and TV such as Bridesmaids and Sex and the City. But today, it’s all about the humble (or not-so-humble) cookie.

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