It’s that time of year again, christmas cookies, decorating trees, presents, and time with family and friends. This year though, 2020, many will have to celebrate Christmas in separate houses away from family and friends. Although we may be physically apart for Christmas 2020 we do not need to spend Christmas without friends and family.
Let’s say it, we have hosted and attended virtual events all year, it’s time we host a virtual Christmas. A Christmas that our kids will remember as out of this world. Specifically as we focus on the fact that Christmas truly is about our loved ones, and not the presents themselves. So, let’s take that to heart and incorporate our loved ones near and far in a virtual Christmas.
Some people might be stuck in their ways and think no way, a virtual christmas is not the same. To their point this is not the same, but be sure to remind them of the importance of family and even if it’s virtual time, time with family is always well spent. Also, remember that cheer is spreadable, you know you’ve heard of how smiles are contagious. Start with a warm smile and turn up the cheer and Christmas spirit to help everyone feel the love.
Let’s talk logistics. Your virtual Christmas can be as simple as a phone call to say you are all starting a Christmas movie at the same time and another phone call at the end of the movie to talk about it. Or your entire Christmas day can be shared on Twitter or Instagram for families to share their pictures and comment on each other’s day. For the most elaborate virtual Christmas you will want to include everything already mentioned and video calls on platforms like Duo and Houseparty.
One helpful gadget you may want to invest in is a phone holder to make your virtual Christmas more enjoyable. Honestly holding a phone all day is not something anyone wants to do, and it’s very uncomfortable. Below I recommend a phone holder to help make your life easier, your video calls more enjoyable, as well as prevent hand and arm fatigue.
Now let’s get into the nitty gritty details. What are you going to do on these phone calls or share in these photos or posts?
Below we will start with a list of activities and then discuss a schedule for a more formal virtual Christmas invite.
16 Ideas of Activities to do on a Christmas Video Call or Post Pictures Online About or Make Phone Calls to Chat About:
- Play a Board Game
- Decorate Your Tree and Listen to Holiday Music
- Decorate Cookies
- Make Gingerbread Houses
- Read a Christmas Story
- Have a Cup of Cocoa and a Candy Cane Together
- Wrap Presents Together
- Open Presents Together
- Ship Each Other Holiday Packages and Save Them to Open on a Video Call
- Make a Wreath Together
- Tour Each Other’s Homes to Show Off Christmas Decorations
- Ugly Christmas Sweater Competition
- Write Christmas Cards
- Make an Ornament Together
- Have a Decorating Contest (this can be of gingerbread houses, bedrooms, doors, trees, a window, the sky’s the limit)
- Watch an Episode or Two of The Great Christmas Light Fight show on ABC
I know it’s only mentioned in the activity, decorate your tree, but as a rule of them Christmas music always sets the mood for a Christmas experience. Now that we have ideas floating around of what we will actually do, let’s talk about the schedule.
Before we jump into the details of a schedule let’s take a minute to think about flow. To spend time with those not in your house schedule calls throughout the entire day or weekend. When you schedule calls or video calls, plan them around specific activities, like listed above. Be sure to space the video calls out so you don’t become burnt out. Planning the video calls around activities help you spend the holiday with those you can’t be with physically so be certain to coordinate activities with calls.
Alright, now for a schedule. You can choose any days that work best for your family, but I recommend to have scheduled calls coordinated with activities specifically on Christmas Eve afternoon and evening, as well the afternoon and evening on Christmas day.
Now that we have a schedule, time for invites! There is something about receiving a notice that says “You Are Invited or Join Us”, that makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside. So with Christmas spirit in mind let’s spread the cheer.
Invites can be sent in text messages (group or individual messages), emails, facebook messages, or old fashioned paper invites in the snail mail if you plan ahead soon enough. Whichever option you select try to include a picture of yourself and others in the household decked out in Christmas decorations. Try to send the invite out with enough time for others to get any material needed for the get together like dig their decorations out of the basement, just an example.
In your invite be certain to include the following details: program or app the call will take place over (like duo or houseparty), the day and time, and what you all will be doing. You can also include a list of material that you expect them to need if the event calls for it. Please see below for an example.
One activity I haven’t touched on is eating meals together virtually. Personally I’m not a fan of eating with others virtually but if that is really important to your family know that you can schedule that call as well. Specifically if you have that phone holder I referenced above it will be like they are at the table with you.
When you have the calls be sure to have Christmas lights on and Christmas music playing in the background to set the mood.