Everyone enjoys gathering together for holiday celebrations. This year, though, the gatherings may have a different look and feel. Because eating together is a higher risk activity—especially when eating with those who live outside your immediate household—virtual gatherings are encouraged this year. But can a virtual gathering be fun? According to our colleagues at Duke Health they absolutely can be! Here are some of their suggestions for events to help all relax and reconnect safely during the holidays:
Host virtual holiday trivia
A quick round of trivia is a familiar way to encourage interaction during a virtual party. Pick a host and divide into 'breakout rooms' to create teams—Zoom can do this. Create a time limit and send out question through email or the Zoom chat function. Teams reply via email or Zoom chat. Score the answers and announce the winner. Include prizes!
Send goodie boxes
Send everyone who will be at the virtual celebration a goodie box about a week before the party. Some suggested items for the goodie box: hot cocoa mix, a holiday mug, cookies or holiday treats, holiday accessories like headbands or hats, activities such as puzzles or crafts or games, gifts cards or online subscriptions. If food is really important, order individually boxed meals to be shared together while on Zoom and playing a game or listening to the holiday play list.
Create a holiday playlist
Invite everyone to add favorite holiday songs to a playlist using a service like Spotify. Play the songs during your video all. It can even be a guessing game: Who added which song?
Participate in a local food drive
Holidays are a time for giving, and that includes giving back to those in need. Hold a food drive and announce the total donation during the virtual celebration.
Host holiday BINGO
Create a customized BINGO card (see a sample). You can add inside jokes, family traditions, or references to a specific team member. Players get a point when they learn information from another participant that will fill in a square. Give prizes! Even $5 gift cards make it more fun. You may want to allow a week or so before the gathering to allow folks extra time to contact each other. They can email completed cards back to the host for announcements at the party.
Virtual doesn't need to mean boring or lonely—it can be fun and sociable. And most importantly, safe for all members of the family.