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Virtual Holiday Gatherings

Published Dec 18, 2020
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Just because you can't gather with family and friends in person this year, doesn't mean you can't be together for holiday season.

Thanks to technology, families around the world can meet virtually and enjoy their holidays together. If you want to plan a virtual holiday party with your family and friends, check out these tips to make this a holiday to remember. 

There are many free and easily accessible virtual tools that will allow your family and friends to be together this holiday season. Many of these tools have improved drastically since the onset of the pandemic, with smoother performances and fun virtual backgrounds now available for use. Zoom and Google Meet, most often used for business meetings, also work great for large virtual gatherings, with meetings being accessible with just the click of a link! Discord is another great option, with more advanced video and audio options. It is free to use but requires an account and server setup, so this tool is best reserved for more tech-savvy families. 

As for the preparation and planning, it's best to pick a day and time in advance, so that all your guests can join in the holiday cheer. If your platform doesn't allow prescheduling, you can make a list of people you need to invite and confirm all emails and cell phone numbers ahead of time. Then when it's party time, you can easily contact everyone with the party details. 

You should take advantage of the circumstances and make the most of your virtual experience. Ensure the party doesn't fall flat by pre-planning activities that will make it feel like you're all in the same room! Try a cookie decorating party, virtual potluck party to share favourite recipes, cocktail hour with festive drinks, or line up some holiday games to play as a group.

Still want to eat a meal together as a family? Just have all guests make their favourite holiday meal and place the camera so it captures their table and themselves. Everyone can eat and talk to each other just as they would in person. You may even find yourselves exchanging recipes and learning about different cooking methods. 

Families can also exchange gifts by simply dropping off the gifts to family members a couple of days before the party. When it's time to unwrap the presents, you should have your camera available and take turns opening gifts.

Holiday gatherings won't be the same as last year. However, virtual holiday parties can be just as much fun when you take the time to plan them out.