In this day and age, more and more people are choosing to gather online during the holidays instead of in person. Perhaps your family is far away, or spread far across the world. Perhaps weather, finances, health, or world conditions are preventing travel. Whatever the case, even if you can’t get together in person, technology means you can gather, no matter how far apart you are! Here are some virtual holiday gathering ideas to make it even more amazing.
Master Your Technology
The most frustrating part of a virtual gathering can be the technology. Coordinate with your family to choose one app that everyone will use for your gathering. Make sure each household has a device (smartphone, tablet, or computer) that will work for video conferencing. Skype, Zoom, and Google Meet are all great free app options that work on a variety of devices. Make sure those who will be attending your gathering have the app (if necessary) and know how to use it. With Zoom and Google Meet, you don’t need to have a special app, just a link created by one household that is shared with everyone else. Make sure you have a reasonably fast, stable internet connection, too, or your gathering might not go so smoothly. You might try sitting closer to your router or using an Ethernet cable to speed up your connection.
Create New Traditions (or put a virtual spin on old ones)
Since you aren’t together in person, things might need to change a little bit. If your tradition is a holiday gift exchange, you can still do this virtually! Just make sure everyone has their gifts and opens them together on-screen. If you usually go caroling together, perhaps you could sing together in your homes instead. You could start a new tradition, like a cookie-decorating contest where you all show the cookies you’ve made, and vote to select a winner. Another fun tradition might be asking every member of your gathering the same question, like what their favorite meal of the year was, or the highlight of their week. You can play games like Charades or Pictionary through video conferencing almost as well as in person. Make sure you keep the spirit of the holidays alive through traditions new or old, even if you’re gathering virtually.
Decorate Your Space
Since your family and friends will be able to see what’s behind you in the video chat, make sure to decorate! Hang lights, turn on your Christmas tree, light a fire, or even just wear a Santa hat. It’s fun to see everyone’s decorations, and helps things feel much more festive.
Plan a Meal Together
Even if you can’t all eat it together in person, you can still have dinner together. Maybe you could all make different twists on the same meal or dish, and eat on camera as though you were at the dinner table. You could also share a recipe that each household makes and eats for your holiday gathering, or all order from the same restaurant.
With these fun virtual holiday gathering ideas, you can celebrate no matter what your circumstances may be this year. Wishing you happy, healthy, and safe holidays from Stellar Living!