One of the challenges since the start of the pandemic in March was still maintaining some semblance of a normal social life while being socially distanced. While some of the public health regulations have transitioned from fairly strict to moderately strict and now back to full lock-down for wave two of the pandemic, many of us will be spending the holidays away from loved ones. So how can we still stay together while being apart and enjoy the festivities in this strange, incomparable holiday season?
I found that over the past year, I’ve learned a number of handy tips to continue hosting exciting events online. Even though it’s not a replica of what holidays would be like in person, it can still help lift the spirits of you and your loved ones.
Watch Netflix Together
Despite having discovered this fairly late, I have enjoyed every second of this Chrome extension that can unite friends and families via Netflix. If your folks have access to Netflix, adding this Chrome Extension will allow everyone to watch at the same time in real-time. Recently having re-subscribed to my Netflix account, I was able to bond with friends overseas and in the United States for a Netflix party while hanging out on a Zoom call. If you’re a sucker for holiday movies like I am, this is a must try!
Stream your Board Games and Play Together Remotely
One of my favorite go-to activities with friends during the pandemic was hosting boardgame evenings virtually. Streaming (also known as share-screen) allows your friends to visualize your computer screen such that if you are playing a group board game such as Codenames, others can collaborate with you and move some virtual game pieces. This may require some coordination and knowledge of where to find online board games. One great website I’ve come across is https://en.boardgamearena.com/ There are many free board games available to enjoy with your friends and family. However, creating an account is required. Other options include purchasing some board games such as Jackbox via the Steam Application
Virtual Secret Santa
While Secret Santa Gift Exchanges may not look the same as in previous years, there are still many options that friends, colleagues and family members can enjoy a good gathering. There are various excellent secret Santa applications that will help match individuals in a group anonymously. Elfster is one website that my circle of friends have used in the past to help match individuals for a secret Santa event. If you’re looking to socially distance for holiday shopping, online deliveries are an excellent option as well. Then when the big day comes, be sure to create a Zoom or Skype meeting with your recipients and open the gifts in front of your friends and families.