Happy Holidays! This year has been a year of change, flexibility and resilience. The holidays will be no different. With Zoom, FaceTime and Google, we can navigate these special days and enjoy cherished memories not easily forgotten. (Can anyone forget 2020?) While maintaining physical distance, take advantage of virtual visits and special moments. Need a few ideas? Here are some tips to celebrate the most unforgettable holiday season.
By now, you might be familiar with Zoom meetings. Did you know that there are other free video platforms for your virtual family get together? Each provider is a bit different, so trying a few out before the meeting might be helpful. Once you have decided, invite friends and family from all over the world for your event. Here are a few of the options:
- Zoom. Free 40-minute calls at a time, up to 100 people can join. Note: for some of holidays, Zoom has allowed unlimited time for calls. Check first.
- Skype. Free, up to 50 people can join the call. Note: picture quality may decrease with more people on the call.
- GoTo Meeting. 14-day free trial, fees charged after the trial period ends.
- Facetime. Free for Apple users. Note: if all of your group has an Apple phone give this a test run to determine how easy it is to see your group on the iPhone screen.
- Google Hangout. Free, maxes out at 25 users per call and the host must have a Gmail account. Note: This platform may allow closed captioning for those who need a bit of assistance hearing.
It’s great to be able to have a virtual chat with family, and adding a few fun games helps keep the visit last a bit longer. Many sites and apps have adapted to allow multiple users and make it easy for everyone to play from afar. For example, Houseparty is an app on your phone that combines video group chatting and games. Up to 8 people can play at once and this free app offers several different familiar games like Uno. For those special games that are not included, try setting up your own games using familiar staples like 20 Questions, Charades or Scattergories. Very often, a quick Google search can provide online tips from others to help you get started. Online games are a great way to stay connected, have fun and keep the party going.
What’s a holiday without food? Join your family at a virtual table, separately, together. Plan a set time, set the table, grab your favorite dinner and turn on the Zoom, or other like platform. And don’t forget dessert! A big part of the holiday season can provide another fun opportunity for all. Dessert awards. This can add whimsy, creativity and fun for the end of the meal. To get you started we love these honors: best looking dessert, most delicious dessert and most creative dessert.
As always if you need support during the holidays don’t hesitate to call: (301) 816-5020 or connect with us. We wish you and your family a healthy, happy and enjoyable holiday season filled with love, laughter and joy.