Until there are safe options for celebrating together, especially with those you love who are in more at-risk age categories, virtual celebrations are a great alternative this holiday season.
Here are five ideas to try this holiday season from the experts at AARP.
1. Do some cooking together.
Celebrating apart for many families is not a new concept, but twists for your standard video call might be a fun way to connect. Join a meal kit delivery service for your children and have grandparents lead the cooking lesson over video. Families can recreate similar activities on their own using family recipes or hire a professional to lead cooking demonstrations around a specific meal or drink-making class.
2. Schedule a virtual movie night.
With a little planning there are many ways for families who are apart to enjoy a movie together. Using Teleparty, previously known as Netflix Party, is one idea that allows viewers to watch a movie in sync and chat with each other in the same window.
You might even do this two nights over the holidays and first watch one of the kids' favorite movies and the next time watch a classic that is a grandparent favorite.
3. Try crafting activities.
Remember cutting out paper snowflakes as a child? Well, it still has some holiday magic. Put together a craft kit and mail it out to all members of your family. Hop on a video call and start decorating away. It’s so fun to see how everyone decorates and a great way to spend some creative time together.
4. Game night can be for everyone.
Another great idea is to host a game night. Families can organize traditional games like bingo or scavenger hunts over video chat, or even create online games for the family to play together. Try Kahoot!, an app/website that lets you build your own trivia games, or Houseparty, group video chat app with built-in games. There are lots of these apps and sites, so do some research and discuss what your family would enjoy and what apps your grandparents can access through their mobile devices.
5. Share family memories.
There are so many family traditions around the holidays and spending time together reminiscing is an important way to keep those traditions in place. If your family normally sings before opening gifts, pick out a couple songs to sing together over the phone or video chat and have everyone open a present. Remembering those you have lost through the years and celebrating them through sharing funny stories is also a wonderful way to instill family history in your children and keep their memories alive.