The global Covid-19 pandemic has dramatically changed how we celebrate the holidays in an effort to keep our loved ones safe and healthy. Instead of meeting in person at grandma or grandpa’s house, people stay home and look for other ways to connect. This means approaching the holidays with an open mind and rethinking some of our favorite traditions. It also means taking advantage of some of the readily available technologies, such as Zoom.
Some Creative Ideas for Remote Fun During the Holidays
Below is a list of some activities that can be done remotely and involve family members from across the age ranges, building a sense of closeness and community during the holiday season.
#1 Cooking via Zoom: A New Culinary Tradition
A highlight of everyone’s holiday season is preparing the Thanksgiving turkey or the Christmas ham. A socially distanced holiday celebration means that we cannot share in the same food, but we can share in the same experience. Set up Zoom as you walk through and prepare some of your favorite recipes. This can be an excellent time for grandma and grandpa to take the lead. Everyone on the Zoom call will prepare the same dishes. Then, when they come out of the oven, you can compare how well your recipes worked. If you want, you can even have your holiday meal over Zoom, sharing the entire process from beginning to end. What a joyful experience!
Sometimes Zoom can be challenging for older adults or people who have not used the technology before. Your older loved one’s caregiver may be able to help them navigate the ins and outs of Zoom.
#2 A Virtual Holiday Cookie Exchange
Building off of the cooking idea, baking is another holiday staple. Everybody loves Christmas cookies and has their own unique favorites, such as candy canes, Christmas wreaths, and sugar cookie snowmen. To help celebrate the holidays virtually, you can bake several dozen cookies and box and send them to your relatives with a special note inside. This is a great way to share the festive spirit. It is also great for your taste buds, allowing you to sample a wide range of holiday treats, especially if you carefully coordinate with other participants to make sure that everyone is making a different kind of cookie. In addition to sharing the cookies, you may also want to share your recipes.
If you are sending cookies to an older adult, make sure to consider any dietary restrictions that they may have. It may also be kind to send additional cookies for caregivers who are in the home.
#3 Celebrate Your Faith Safely and Remotely
Many people find holiday church services an important part of celebrating this season. To help maintain public safety, many churches worldwide have taken their church services virtual, posting services on YouTube or hosting events on Zoom. Look up various options that match your faith tradition and plan on extended members of the family joining the same service remotely. Or, since the holidays are about learning, exploring, and expanding your boundaries, you may want to check out a church service in faith that is not your own. This could be a great starting point for interesting conversations with your family members.
#4 Host a Family Sing-Along
Music is another important part of the holiday season. We all love Christmas carols, and signing them along with others makes them even more festive. A Christmas sing-a-long is another activity that may work very well over Zoom, and it is especially significant if someone in the family plays the piano or the organ to give background music.
#5 Enjoy a Holiday Reading Event
Christmas stories are another favorite in many families. One holiday tradition for many is reading Twas the Night Before Christmas. This great story works well for a Zoom read along among many households. And, for more ambitious families, you can always pick a chapter book and devote some time each night in December for a virtual reading.
#6 Remember to Turn on Your Zoom before You Open Your Packages
And don’t forget the single most important event of the holiday season, which is opening packages on Christmas morning. Grandparents and other older adults don’t have to miss out on the children’s joy either, as this can also be done via Zoom. And make sure to snap pictures of the event and post them on Facebook or Instagram after the event so that everyone can share in the holiday cheer.
#7 Enjoy the Great Outdoors with a Remote Snowperson Contest
For families that love the outdoors and live in areas where the climate cooperates, you can also build snowmen remotely over Zoom. And, if you are looking to add a little spice into the mix, you can arrange a competition for the best overall snowman with the winning family getting a prize.
Pointers To Keep In Mind
The activities described above are just the tip of the iceberg on exciting options for you to consider as you look for ways to celebrate a safe and socially distanced holiday season. Remember, creativity and an open mind are essential for these activities to work out. It is also important to remember that not everyone in the family will be as technologically savvy as everyone else. Therefore, it is important to keep the technology simple. Zoom is generally user friendly. In addition, it is also a good idea to have a dry run through with the technology before the big day so that people don’t end up frustrated on the holiday.
Also, some family members may not have the tools and equipment at home to participate. In this case, you may want to think about gifting them an early holiday present of an affordable Chromebook or an iPad. With great deals coming up, you can likely get the necessary technology for well under $500. Consider this an investment in togetherness. Your older loved one’s caregiver or home health care agency can be a great resource for providing you with more information about what technologies may or may not be user friendly.
For Additional Assistance
If you need additional help on facilitating a remote holiday celebration or need more long-term assistance with helping your loved one navigate the aging process during the Covid-19 pandemic, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at Passion to Care. We pride ourselves on providing the very best services that allow our clients and family members to make the most of every day, during the holiday season and beyond. And we are here to give you the answers and the support that you need.