Welcome back to another week with me and today I’ve got something special for you: a new post about holiday get-together activities we can do from a distance, but this time… I didn’t write this one. Today’s blog is a guest post and if you’re willing, I want you to guess who wrote this (I’ll give you a hint: it’s someone close to me who can apparently match my style quite well). You don’t have to guess, but it could be fun.

Regardless, the holidays are coming up, and with family and/or friends farther away than many of us would have liked this year, it’s difficult in a time when people want to get together, so, what can we do?

Well, here’s what my guest blogger had to say:


This week we’re going to talk about something that is probably on a lot of our minds as the holidays approach and coronavirus cases, at least here in the US, are rapidly rising: How can we make the tough decisions regarding spending quality time with our family and loved ones while staying safe?

Well, if you decide to forgo in-person festivities or can’t make traveling happen this year, I get it. So to mediate the circumstances, here are five option to preserve that quality time feel with others while also keeping distant and safe too:

Virtual games

virtual games and dice
Photo by Riho Kroll on Unsplash

This option is intentionally left vague because we’re all different people! This category can be adjusted in a multitude of ways to fit circumstances, preferences, time zones, really anything. You name it and there’s something you can do that fits into the “virtual game” category. Just be mindful of who you’re playing this game with and you can find something to fit whatever you want to do. You can play bingo over a zoom call, play BYOD monopoly (bring your own dice), do a scavenger hunt using Google Earths’ pedestrian mode, or even play some video games together online. This activity really is what you make it. I mean, did you see AOC’s massive live stream a few weeks ago of the game Among Us? The options are endless. Get creative and if you have any fun suggestions, I know I could use some more ideas. I’m probably not the only one either so feel free to share yours in the comments!

Meals

Who doesn’t like a good meal? And what better time to cook a delicious meal than the holidays! Whatever you’ve got the means for, whether that’s something extravagant or something small, this time of year tends to bring people together through food. You and your loved ones can agree on a meal to make or a find recipe to follow and make it separately! Even more fun, and possibly chaotic (in a good way), you could video chat during the cooking process or during the meal to make it even more special.

And if you’re up for it, I’m not the most competitive person, but if you enjoy the competition aspect of making food then find a way to make the whole ordeal a cook-off or if you live close by, make half and half and see how your dishes compare with one another to see who did a better job! Just don’t let the declaration of winners and losers damper the holiday spirit. 

And, considering that so many people may be food insecure this year and that you can’t invite neighbors or other friends that you would see on a regular basis over for dinner the way you usually could, know that there are safe ways to mediate this. If you’re concerned about someone not having anything, maybe cook an extra plate or drop off a meal for someone you love as a way to spread some cheer and remind them that you’re thinking of them during the holidays. A little goes a long way. 

Movies 

This one is simple but that doesn’t make it any less fun or enjoyable. As the weather cools down and gets wet, or snowy depending on where you are, it’s a good time to embrace it as (in my opinion) great movie watching weather from the indoors. Thanks to technology, you can not only embrace the weather for movie nights alone but now you can do so with other people even when you’re not in the same place. Using a service like Netflix Party that lets you watch a movie and share the stream with anyone else who has an account or alternatively, finding a movie online and starting it at the same time has become a popular way to group movie-watch.

Depending on your tastes, you can also find a physical DVD copy or even VHS is you have a compatible player. Yes, I do still know what a VHS is, though some people reading this might not anymore. There are some quality movies out there and the good thing about classic movies is that they never go out of style. And if you really want to get fun with it because people have more time at home these days, make a pillow fort or set up an indoor tent, find a projector, and make a thing out of it. So when you’re ready, que up your favorites and settle in for a relaxing night. Just don’t forget the snacks and the blankets.

Exchange gifts

Let’s be honest, there’s a good chance you’re doing this one anyway, whether those gifts come by way of words in saying what everyone is thankful for or something different. This year, I think that acknowledging thankfulness might be something especially important to do. With physical gifts though, one of the best parts of giving a great gift is being able to see the happiness and joy on the receiver’s face. So if you are doing physical gifts for holidays this year and you’re not opening them with the person receiving yours, consider doing a video call with them so you can see their excitement. It helps to maintain a sense of normalcy and it feels more personal than just giving someone a regular call thanking them for their gift. Right now, I think finding any sense of normalcy and personal connection we can get is vital.

Reflect and share memories

distanced phone calls with family
Photo by Akshar Dave on Unsplash

Last but not least, give your loved ones a call and chat with them about what your favorite memories are together or why you’re thankful for them. After all, the holidays are a great time to reflect on your relationships with others and appreciate them for what they are. And well, you know how those conversations go… It’s likely that it’ll go longer than intended once you get the ball rolling and once you start sharing heartwarming, funny, or embarrassing stories, you should probably make sure to block out a good chunk of time for it. 

Settle in and try to remember that the holidays aren’t just about the food or gifts and material things, but also the traditions and the people that built all these things up over the years. When you think about it all, you probably don’t remember the things as much as you remember the people and this year, people have been a lot harder to connect to. Find your best way to mediate that. If you get a chance, try to slow down for some reflection, take a moment to breathe, and remind yourself to be present to take it all in as it comes. Then enjoy all that this season brings with whatever these times look like for you. Here’s to the holidays.


These were only five ideas, by no means an exhaustive list of safe activities to do when you can’t see others in person, but these are the few that I thought could apply on a larger scale for a lot of us. If you can think of any others let me know in the comments and please if you’ve got any recipes, memories, or games, I wasn’t kidding when I said I wanted to hear your experiences and ideas! I’m especially curious if anyone has tried playing a scavenger hunt with Google Earth’s pedestrian mode, I want to know how that’s gone. With everything else, I’m sure others wouldn’t mind some new, fresh ideas too; there have got to be more than what I’ve compiled above, right?

So happy Friday everyone and I hope you enjoyed this guest post. Let me know what you thought too! Have a wonderful weekend and stay safe, I’ll see you next week.

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