The Holiday season is usually a time for workplace celebrations, families gathering with hugs and food, and friends connecting at parties. Sadly, this year will be different due to the current pandemic. There is anxiety and grief about traveling and gathering while keeping socially distanced. Since some family members are at high-risk, many people are deciding not to get together in-person this year.
Here are some ideas on how you and yours can enjoy a virtually holiday:
- Start planning now. Choose the technology you will use, like Facetime, MS Teams, Zoom, Skype, Cellphone, or Landline.
- Do some practice runs. If you have children, they may be well versed in this technology as they have probably been attending school this way.
- Plan the meal so that all family members have the same menu. Of course, some are better cooks than others. Share family recipes that are part of your holiday traditions.
- Kids can create table decorations and mail them to relatives' homes so that their spirits are present at the table.
- Create an agenda to get some conversation going.
- Agree upon a time to get on a "call" when we will all sit down to dinner and set up. Provide instructions on how to use your selected program; the family prayer- who leads it, include the children.
- Agree upon topics of conversation that are taboo – politics, election results, money, or other topics that create family conflict.
- Make the most of your virtual call. Remember, it may the quality of the time together not the quantity of time.
- Go around the table and ask each member to talk about one thing for which they are grateful.
- Take some photos of your table or screenshots of the family as you go and share them with the family later.
The holidays this year will be challenging, but with thoughtfulness and planning, we can make it memorable and filled with gratitude.