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As we close out this strange year of global pandemic, people are learning to adapt the ways they gather and celebrate to virtual hangout and online get-togethers. While celebrating with your loved ones virtually won’t be the same as seeing them in-person, there are tons of warm and creative ways to connect across distance. Learning how to gather virtually this season can make the holidays warmer and help us in the future to plan social events even when we can’t travel to be with others. Want to make sure your virtual holiday gathering is a success? Here are a few pointers to help your event is extra memorable:
Decide on a Time Frame
Virtual gatherings often span great distances and can encompass multiple time zones. Unlike an in-person party, where the schedule can be looser, with a virtual event it is important that everyone knows when to get online and how long you’ll be spending together. Set a meeting time that works well for all your loved ones. Send out meeting links in advance that clearly state the meeting time and how long you plan to gather for.
It can also help to have a rough outline for your online gathering and perhaps designate someone to take the lead in conversations and activities. A virtual event leader helps especially when there are many people in the same meeting – they can call on people to share stories and initiate events like sharing holiday decorations or opening gifts or eating a meal together.
So many holiday traditions seem to be based around gathering in-person, but many can be adapted surprisingly well to virtual formats. Online traditions may even be easier to participate in for loved ones with mobility or hearing issues. Take for example holiday cooking – while we are used to sharing cooking traditions as we share a kitchen to prepare food, cooking together can happen over a Facetime call where everyone cooks the same thing together, sharing the process.
In the run up to the holidays, you can share traditions that involve crafting via a virtual hangout, or even play digital games with your loved ones across the distances. In fact, sharing many holiday traditions virtually doesn’t have to be limited to the holidays. Doing an activity together online is a great way to stay connected with those you care about while social distancing is a necessity.
Share a Meal
While it may seem strange at first, many family and friends are finding familiar comfort in sharing a meal with each other online. If you plan to eat together with your loved ones, make sure to coordinate your meal time in advance. As you sit down to eat, position your viewing screen so everyone in your household is in the picture and can watch online festivities. Need a conversation ice breaker? Take a food tour at all the tables you are sharing your meal with, asking everyone to talk about what they are eating.
While you won’t be able to “pass the green beans” through your wifi, eating with your loved ones can alleviate the isolation that many feel as we enter this very social time of year. Learning to share our experience across great distance will take some adjusting, but allows us to spend time with those closest to us in a way that doesn’t endanger the health of our communities.
Think About Accessibility
Virtual gatherings have a big advantage in some ways, especially for those with accessibility needs. Virtual hangouts allow loved ones to be included at the table regardless of their mobility. Those with hearing loss can better follow conversations when they can listen via headphones or take advantage of live captioning. Even moving into a future when we can gather in person again, we should remember to consider how accessibility needs are addressed in our festivities.
This year has really highlighted how much your home should be a place of comfort and ease. As we rely more on digital meetups and virtual, CC Sunscreens can ensure that your home is comfortable year-round. Sunscreens block harmful UV and excess heat from entering your home – you might even notice reduced glare on your digital screens! Ready to learn more? CC Sunscreens is just a phone call away. From our family to yours, happy holidays!