Connecting and Celebrating the Holidays Using Video Technology
The holiday season is approaching, and it’s a time for family and friends to gather, including virtual gatherings! With the wide spread adaptation of video communication technology, like Zoom, FaceTime, Google Meet Up, and others, everyone can be invited to the party. Happily, video conferencing is not just for techies, the term “Boomer Zoomer” has become a popular adage in the last few years as the Boomer generation proved that, not only could they use video conferencing adeptly (via Zoom, for instance), but they really benefited from using the technology.
Here are some of the benefits you can get from using Zoom and other technology this holiday season:
1. Uniting Families Across Distances
Getting on camera with your wide flung family will create a virtual holiday gathering place, allowing families who are separated by miles of land or ocean to come together and share news. It’s a way to partake in the festive spirit of the season as if everyone were in the same room.
2. Creating Lasting Memories
The holiday season is a time for creating cherished memories. Video conferencing enables everyone to actively participate in family traditions, old and new, whether they’re across town or on the other side of the world.
3. Easing the Sting of Isolation
So many people experience feelings of isolation during the holiday season. By using video technology, it can provide a lifeline of connection to loved ones, support groups, spiritual gatherings, and professional counselors. It’s a great way to reduce that sense of loneliness that can come with the holiday season.
4. Sharing Festive Family Traditions and History
Using this technology, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and other family members can share and pass along their cherished holiday traditions, share their favorite family recipes, and tell stories about the family. It’s a wonderful way to strengthen family bonds, maintain long time traditions, and preserve cultural legacies for all generations.
It Can Be More Than Just Chatting Online
Besides having an opportunity to connect, there are a number of creative ways to make a video conferencing session more festive! Here are just a few creative ideas to get you started:
1. The Virtual Gift Exchange
Set up a virtual gift exchange where each family member draws names and buys a gift for the person they’ve chosen. You can open the gifts together on a video call, sharing the joy and surprise of seeing what everyone received. You can set up a conference call about a month before the gift giving season to draw names, or you can set up a Secret Santa selection to make your gift giving and getting a secret until the big day!
2. DIY Ornament Crafting Session
Creating Christmas ornaments or other crafting project together during a video call can create a sense of shared creativity, especially if everyone has a crafting specialty in the family. By sharing ideas and showcasing individual creations, participants can draw inspiration from one another, turning the ornament-making session into a delightful, virtual crafting party. You can share about the inspiration for your decoration and any stories that will lend background or nostalgia for everyone.
3. Holiday Recipe Share and Cook-Along
If your family is a group of foodies, then sharing favorite holiday recipes can be a delicious way to bond over favorite holiday foods. Every family seems to have that one dish that everyone loves and wants the recipe for future family gatherings or to prepare and share with friends. It can be favorite holiday pies, cookies, casseroles, and side dishes, depending on your family’s tastes.
4. Do You See What I see? A Star! —Virtual Talent Show
Your family is probably filled with talented musicians, amateur thespians, and budding artists. Having a family display of their various talents can be a great way to showcase those talents and learn more about what interests our friends and family members enjoy. You can offer a prize for the best display of talent by category and have an awards ceremony.
Like the well known holiday song says: “There’s no place like home for the holidays.” So being able to reach out to your far flung loved ones during the holidays in the comfort of your own home is a new way to connect and celebrate with them. Here at Acacia Village, we know that community can make all of the difference in living a rich, full, and joyful life. Make the most of this season with this widely available technology to bring that joy to the world (wide web)!
“One of the joys of being here is the comfort of being amongst friends.”
- Tom Smedley, Acacia Village Resident