Especially at this time of the year, we want to be connected and near our loved ones as far as possible. However Christmas 2020 is shaping up to be quite different.
Zoom and Facetime have been our dear friends in this time of need, and they can also help you through this December and the holidays to come!
Even though we can’t meet in big groups, this doesn’t have to keep us from having a cosy and delicious meal together while being safe and distant. Here are some tips on how to successfully host your first, virtual, Christmas dinner!
First things first…
Set a date, time and ‘place’. We might be inside most of the time now and less busy than ever. But the fact that we’re not meeting in person can also make it easier to forget online events and meetings, so make sure to note this one in your diary! We’re lucky enough to have plenty of online places to meet as well, so make sure to choose your pick and book a ‘room’.
Zoom, Skype, Microsoft teams or Google Meets are all great apps to choose from. They all have different functions and it’s worth looking into which ones might fit your evening best. (for example, the ability to ‘raise your hand’ in the chat, for example if you’ll be playing a game).
Get set for a virtual Christmas photo. If you all can manage to get your hands on a few Christmas props, or print free from sites such as Pinterest, you can get a few screenshots together. That way you’ll have a few memories out of this strange Christmas to look back on when all of this will hopefully just be a distant memory!
Collaborate on a Christmas playlist (and sing the tunes together). Spotify allows you to make a public playlist several people can collaborate on, so you all get to add your favourite picks. During the dinner one of you can play the songs in the background, and if you like singing, nothing is keeping you all from joining in on the good tunes. A great way to get in the festive spirit, even if you’re sitting physically all alone!
Food and fun
Make an agreement on the meal and snacks to follow. To copy a real Christmas dinner as much as possible, I’d recommend you all join in on the same meal. Even though you’ll be eating it separately, whether you each cook it yourselves or decide to order in from the same place, it will be almost as if you’re eating together in person. You can comment on the turkey, rant about sprouts and forget that you’re not actually in the same room.
Plan the drinks. You won’t have a bartender pouring delicious cocktails or a beer from the tap but you can still add a few drinks to your evening. If one of you knows a bit about bartending, you can make an event out of leading the rest to make their own homemade cocktail. Or you can watch a film on how to do it. Of course, this would require you make sure everyone had all the ingredients before the evening!
Try this punchy Devil After Dinner rum cocktail from Diablesse:
- 35ml Diablesse Caribbean Rum
- 20ml Bitter Truth Pimento Dram
- 20ml Cranberry Syrup
- 20ml Port
- 25ml Lime
To make: shake with ice and strain into a martini glass.
Set up a virtual secret Santa! One of the best things about Christmas is blessing your loved one with presents and of course it isn’t too bad getting a few presents back, but when it’s secret it’s even more exciting.
Just because you won’t be able to drop in on your secret Santa with small gifts, doesn’t mean you can do secret Santa virtual! You can either mail each other some smaller presents or just virtual gifts! This could be a gift card for a webstore, an experience or even just a homemade gift card for one-on-one time together as soon as we’re able to!
Prepare the games. Plenty of online games are out there on the great wide web, easy to use, fun to play and you can still talk and see each other over most of them. You could add extra feelgood factor by making a donation and downloading the ready-made Barnardo’s Kidsmas quiz with questions for all ages.
Whether you’re into charades, Scrabble or Christmas karaoke, there are plenty of opportunities out there. Just do a little search and you can find almost anything you’d like play together, available online.