It’s no question that the holidays look different this year; the latest restrictions put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19 mean travelling to see family is not an option. Luckily, Zoom, FaceTime, Skype, and Facebook Messenger can be used to connect while in-person visits can’t happen. Here are some ideas on how to keep in the holiday spirit by using these communication tools to reach out to friends and family.
- Host a digital dinner:
- Multiple applications like Skip the Dishes and Just Eat allow you to deliver a meal to anywhere, not just within your community. Many local restaurants also offer delivery service direct to your door. Why not order a meal to enjoy with your friends and family and enjoy a safe, socially distanced dinner date?
- Arrange some socially distanced singing
- I know that growing up, carolling was one of my favourite things to do. Video call your friends and family, and have a rousing sing-a-long! There are many choices for carols, but Michael Buble’s Christmas album always gets a play or two during the season at my home.
- Holiday baking is a staple in many, many households; there is nothing like the smell of shortbread or gingerbread cookies wafting through the air! You and your family can choose a new recipe to make. This is my favourite shortbread cookie recipe and this is the icing I use. Or or break out an old favourite!
All four of the applications I mentioned above – Zoom, FaceTime, Skype, and Facebook Messenger – are fairly easy to use. Zoom and Skype require a separate download to your phone or PC; FaceTime is available to iPhone and Apple users, and Facebook Messenger includes a “video call” button. Skype and Zoom are perfect if you want to include more than one person in your call.
Hints for a successful virtual visit:
- Have a stand of some sort available, or lean your phone up against a glass to ensure everyone can see you.
- Good lighting is a must! Video tends to be on the darker side at times.
- Power up – a fully charged device makes video calls easier. I always have my phone plugged into a power bank, as video calls tend to take up a lot of battery.
However you choose to celebrate the holidays and spend time with friends and family, Happy Holidays from the Hansson family!