Family Gatherings Take on New Meaning This Year; Here is How to Stay Connected

By Inter Valley Health Plan

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko from Pexels

The holidays this year are unlike any other. We are forced to question things like “is it safe to attend a Thanksgiving family gathering?” Or “can we have that many people together at once?” One thing is for sure, with the presence of COVID-19, health remains a top priority and we must get creative with how we celebrate the holidays.

We’ve just experienced a very different Halloween with many houses not giving away candy and kids swapping trick-or-treating with indoor scavenger hunts. Now that Thanksgiving and other holidays like Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa is around the corner, it’s time to go virtual! Here are four tips to stay connected with our loved ones.

  1. Share a virtual meal. They are a variety of food delivery services and if planned in advance, each member of the family that can’t get together can be sent the same meal. Once on video, each person can enjoy their delicious meal with each other and share stories just like they were together at the dinner table.
  • Connect with thoughtful gifts. Ahead of the holidays, you can create baskets that you can drop off or send to your loved ones enclosed with thoughtful gifts. Think about your famous Christmas cookies you bake every year or your daughter’s favorite bottle of wine. Maybe you can frame a picture of the whole family from a previous Thanksgiving with a special note attached. Consider making masks using your grandkid’s favorite color or design. Seeing thoughtful gifts will remind your loved ones about how special they are to you and vice-versa.
  • Set up a video call for the special day. A video call is a must if you can’t see your loved ones on the actual holiday. You don’t want to miss your grandkid’s faces when they open presents from Santa Claus or light Hanukkah candles. Simply set up a video call in advance and set up the computer so loved ones can virtually be there with you.
  • Start new virtual traditions. If movies have been a family holiday tradition, this year you can set up a video chat and share a good movie with a loved one. While it doesn’t compare to being at the theatres together, you can create the atmosphere with popcorn, dimmed lights and have fun talking and laughing about moments in the movie.

If baking is your holiday staple each year, send the recipe to your loved ones and plan to bake together on a video chat.  Decorating can be just as fun as the actual baking, so if kids are involved, be sure to add lots of decorating supplies to the list.

Maybe decorating the Christmas tree is an annual tradition. Again, set up a video chat and do this together. Turn on holiday music and share special ornaments with one another and talk about the memories attached to each one.

With a little creativity, we can remain connected and enjoy the holidays with our loved ones and stay safe. Feel free to share your ideas and add to the list!

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2 thoughts on “Family Gatherings Take on New Meaning This Year; Here is How to Stay Connected

  1. great information! The holidays will be very different this year. I usually have people who have no family join me at the Thanksgiving table but this year I cannot do that. So, I will be delivering meals to those people so they at least have a dinner to enjoy and your idea to have them join the table via video conference is a great idea. I will set up a zoom dinner for all and we may all have dinner together! Thanks for a great idea!

    Liked by 1 person

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