5 Ways to Celebrate Christmas Day Even When Apart
Tuesday Dec 15th, 2020
Most Canadians will be celebrating Christmas dinners on a smaller scale. Ontario Health has recognized COVID zones, with some regions as red (Control)zones - basically restricting gatherings to a maximum of 5 people (same household) indoors and up to 25 people outdoors. With these limitations, people are looking for ways to comply with the rules in place but not forget to celebrate Christmas altogether.
Here are some ideas to celebrate Christmas dinner together - but safely and apart with family and friends. Always remember if you are not feeling well, it is best to refrain from going out of the house.
Host a Virtual Christmas Party
Set up a virtual Christmas party or contest and send out invites using any free video chat apps available. Lay down some meeting rules including dress code on the invite and make sure everyone is comfortable using the app or being in the spotlight. Each participant can have their dessert and/or drinks at their hand, donning ugly Christmas sweaters or any theme you have agreed on - when they join in and gather around the virtual party session.
With these virtual set up, there is almost always a higher limit of participants allowed so you can invite even your distant cousins who live in another country. Everyone can catch up with each family member or a close friend. Keep track of time as most of the free apps version has about 40 minutes -or unlimited meeting sessions. Depending on the app, it can even extend to gift opening sessions or other fun group virtual activities.
Drop off pre-packed meals
Christmas dinner portions are usually cooked for a good size of attendees. Why not carefully pack them in microwaveable containers to distribute to the porches of nearby family or friends?
Make sure to wear gloves and a mask while handing the food packages and leave a nice card or note on how to prepare the packaged meals. This is such a good idea if you have some family member who might need little extra meals or cannot cook for themselves. Or consider also dropping off packaged meals safely at care homes, hospital emergency staff, and food banks staff - maintaining social distance.
Last but not least, try to use reusable disposable containers that are environmentally friendly. Spruce Eats lists the best of them here.
Besides packaged meals, why not drop off Christmas presents as well? Consider making as few trips as possible so you can minimize the risk of physical contact with nearby family or friends. Suggest that they have a table or spot where you can place your gift parcels for them. Some studies have shown that leaving the parcels out for 3 hours should minimize transmission from parcel surfaces.
Also, keep in mind the various local food banks that might make use of your extra groceries in the pantry - include them in your list of drop-offs.
Map out your drive to maximize time. Call ahead of time before heading out so they are ready to receive you or get set up to receive presents as well. Always wear masks and gloves and if your recipients would like to chit chat, make it short and sweet and apart. You can always do a video call or chat using the apps mentioned above.
Cozy up to a Christmas Movie
Whether you are watching the classic Christmas Movies, new releases or Christmas themed horror movies, it would be more fun to watch together with friends or family. How to do it in COVID-19 times? By using stream sharing apps available to share online content from different service providers like Netflix, Hulu, Starz, Youtube, etc. All you need to have are internet-capable devices and a good internet connection, and add in some friends who have the same movie interests as you do.
Most of these apps are free or have subscription plans. These apps are usually browser add-ons or extensions and easy to use. Most if not all of them have chat boxes so you can interact with your friends. Some of them are Teleparty (formerly Netflix party), Kast.gg (formerly Rabb.it), TwoSeven, Syncplay, and Watch2gether.
For those looking for more than just movies to watch, check out some of the free virtual Christmas shows available. There are some listed shows for Christmas Carol Concerts from CountryLivng, different Christmas shows from Eventbrite, or even stage and music specials from Filmed On Stage and the Guardian.
There are so many alternatives but safe ways we can enjoy Christmas day together but apart. We just need to remember that the Christmas Spirit lives within us and by doing our Christmas activities, we can propagate hope to bring us strength into the coming new year.
Speaking of new strength, thinking of selling your home this Spring 2021? It is best to ponder your options these holidays so you can lay the groundwork for your listing. Talk to JoAnn Visaretis so you can discuss your real estate needs.