Unfortunately some family holiday traditions for all of us are being passed over this year due to social distancing and other pandemic restrictions. Dining together at a favorite restaurant and big family gatherings may not be in the works this year.
But if you’re a glass half full kind of person, perhaps some new traditions can be born in 2020, or adaptations can be made to the tried and true holiday customs so they can be observed in a different way this year.
We’ve already heard of things like drive by Christmas greetings and neighborhood parades. Doing things together via video conference is not the same as being together, but can be fun in a related way. Dodging each other in one kitchen while making a holiday feast may become cooking together over Zoom™. It can still be fun baking cookies or other treats with the grandkids via video, too.
I read about ‘Dinner Roulette’. Basically you get a group of family and friends on a video call, randomly draw names for each other’s households, and then order food to be delivered to the name you picked. Kind of the secret Santa thing, where nobody knows who is getting food for them, nor what the food will be. Everyone orders at the same time so the food will arrive at everybody’s house about the same time. Then you can have fun comparing notes on the meals.
Some friends put together a caravan of cars full of family to drive around looking at Christmas lights with each other while social distancing. Afterwards they went to their own homes for hot chocolate and visited by video conference to discuss and pick the best light displays.
I even heard of an extended family doing a scavenger hunt via video call. They all got the same list of items and had to find them in their own homes as quick as they could, and then show the others their collections via video.
Others have played board games, watched movies, read books, built gingerbread houses, looked at the stars all together, but apart. Some famous actors have even done plays by reading individual parts from their homes while zooming.
Those musical families may be able to coordinate an online concert or sing-along in lieu of Christmas caroling or gathering around the piano or guitar.
Get creative about how you can make being apart seem more like being together, and you will end up making new holiday memories.
A very contagious virus has temporarily changed how we live, but that does not mean we have to accept the current situation without adapting to create new ways to celebrate together. The point is, as Charles Swindoll said, life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.
These options may not be anywhere near actually being with each other. But we are fortunate to live in a time when the Dick Tracy video call is a reality. And the fun thing is video conferences can be recorded, shared, and viewed over and over, so you can laugh with each other again and again. Hopefully, while watching them together in the same room next Christmas.