We know this holiday season will be unlike any we have ever had, but that is not necessarily a BAD THING! We can grow and stretch to embrace the change (and technology) to create memorable and meaningful celebrations at a distance!
Here are some of our favorite ways to celebrate at a distance!
Drive By Caroling
Pack yourself and your family in the car and plot a course to Grandma's house! Once arrived, park safely, hop out, and invite your loved ones to their front door to be serenaded by you and yours, at a distance of course!
Rinse and repeat at your friends and family's houses!
Holiday Lights Scavenger Hunt!
Each year, my family heads across the Cascade Mountains to the most adorable German-style town in America- Leavenworth, Washington! Each year, my uncle puts together a scavenger hunt for items we have to be on the lookout for and it is a great way to force us to pop into all of the shops to see if we can't eagle eye things that might be on our list! Well...COVID kept us away this year but he got CREATIVE by putting together a holiday light scavenger hunt that we all got to participate it! Check out his list HERE!
As we found the items, we took pictures or videos because PROOF or it didn't happen! And the winner of our hunt get's a "major award" so there's a lot on the line! My uncle assigns points to each item and awards "bonus points" if you find something extra or over the top. And there is always extra points for being creative ;)
The point of the hunt is that you search for items on your list from your *car*! So pack a hot cocoa, put on Andy Williams Holiday album, and take your sleigh through your neighborhoods to find what's on your scavenger hunt list!
What can make this a ton of fun is that everyone in your family can participate- all over the world! Give them the same list and set a time to meet together via Zoom to share your pictures! When you are reviewing your list, have each participant send your the pictures via text and then you decided if they get full points.
Drive Through Light Displays
Here in Western Washington, it is not the holidays until you have driven through Fantasy Lights!
Google search local drive through light displays in your own home town and set a date to drive through!
Digital Gift Opening
Get those presents shipped early! Then schedule a time with your loved ones to open each others gifts together, digitally. Even though you are not together, the magic of openings gifts is still there.
Digital Jeopardy is one of my favorite games to play over Zoom- we always have a blast and we learn something new! You will need a computer for this one but trust me, it's worth it! Click HERE to see an awesome online version that is ready to go.
Charades is another GREAT game to play via video chat because it always ends in laughter! I have found THIS to be an excellent resource to setting it up. But really, all you need are some team members not in the same room together and a theme!
Good Housekeeping has a wonderful list of games to play virtually! Check it out HERE.
Bingo is another great game to play at a distance, and easy to set up if everyone has bingo cards at home.
And if you or others don't have a Bingo set, use one of THESE free Bingo templates that you and yours can't print from home to play with!
Just a simple trivia game over video chat can really spark conversation and create fun memories! My mom always has THIS trivia pack on a coffee table during the holidays and it's my sisters favorite thing to do when we are all sitting around the tree during the season! But you can as the same questions with your group digitally!
My favorite "go-to" conversation starter pack is Table Topics! They have question cards for almost every occasion and they just stay in my coffee table drawers! For Zoom, bust out a pack and let the questions fly! You will have fun hearing everyone's answers and I bet you will get to know everyone better too!
Find a new or favorite holiday recipe that is packed with protein and make it together with your friends and family via Zoom, FaceTime, Facebook Video, or any other video chatting application!
If you have littles that you want to include, making Holiday theme Rice Crispy Treats with them via video chat is fun and easy! instead of making mine extra thick, I make mine in a sheet pan and then use holiday cookie cutters to cut them into fun shapes! And instead of eating mine, I wrap them up right away and delivery them to my neighbors to spread some holiday cheer and keep my macros in check. (Ok...maybe I have ONE!)
Similar to trivia, compile some thought-provoking questions and purchase a "chat-pack" like Table Topics and ask your friends and family the questions via video chat! You will find hours have gone by as you all reminisce and grow together!
This one is fun to play with multiple generation and is a great way to pass down stories that are meaningful in your family. If you want to save the event, make sure you hit Record in Zoom to have forever.
Check out some of our chat pack recommendations HERE!
Similar to the Memory Lane activity, ask your friends and family to submit pictures before your celebration and compile them in a simple slide show, like Google Slides. Then share your screen and have people reflect on the memory together! You can even record some of the memories and turn the event into a memory book later!
This is another great activity for all of the generations in your group.
Pick up your favorite holiday book, settle in next to a fire with a cup of high-protein hot cocoa and read aloud your favorite holiday story!
This is a GREAT activity if you have budding readers because they can read to YOU.
COVID has been bearable thanks to technology that can connect us! Here are our go-to tech platforms to help you create some magic at a distance
Zoom- Free for the first 40 minutes, can be used on your phone, tablet, and computer!
FaceTime- Apple products only
Instagram Chat- Private video calling for up to 6 people!
WhatsApp- Private video calling features embedded in the app
Google Slides- A free slideshow program!
We know this won't be easy, but the time and energy we put into learning new technology and planning out celebrations that we can enjoy from a distance will make this season merry and will help us think outside the box when planning all of our future celebrations!
If you found this post helpful, let us know! And if you have something to add to it, let us know too! Remember- you've got this and we've got you!