Be Connected: Virtual activities to do with family and friends over the holidays
Gatherings with family and friends who do not live with you can increase your chances of getting or spreading COVID-19. But it's hard to be apart from the people you love, especially during the holidays. And it can be hard to say “no” to our loved ones. If you are struggling, or you need advice for how to approach this topic with your loved ones, our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is here to help you. They can offer suggestions for explaining why you cannot gather in person and for finding ways to connect and still make the holidays special.
We have a few ideas for you to consider trying with your family and friends this year. Whether it’s a virtual gift exchange, or a simple call with a family member, we can still share time together while being physically apart. This is a time to be creative and keep the holiday spirit alive.
Play some holiday trivia
Search the internet for holiday-themed trivia questions, you’ll find plenty of suggestions to choose from to challenge and delight your family or group of friends. You can read the questions out loud, or create a slidedeck to share through your screen. Don’t be afraid to get creative and add photos, graphics, animations, or video clips to make it more visually appealing! Feel free to use this Holiday Trivia slidedeck as a template (or as is).
Host a caption competition
For a caption contest, you share an image, and participants come up with their best tagline for it. You can find plenty of holiday-themed cartoons or images online, or make it personal (and potentially a lot funnier) with photos of your friends and family. Ask participants to submit their captions in the chat box so everyone can share their reactions. Most virtual meeting platforms have a polling feature you can use to ask the audience to choose their favorite caption.
Cook or craft on camera
This one is as simple as choosing a time to connect virtually for a recipe or a craft you’ll all enjoy making. Once you decide what to cook or craft, share the directions (with advance notice to gather the necessary ingredients and/or supplies) and have fun!
Sing some carols, karaoke-style
We all know that YouTube is the number one source for videos online. If you search for almost any song by any artist and add the word “karaoke,” there’s a good chance you’ll find a sing-along version! Try searching “holiday karaoke” or “Christmas karaoke” and select the videos you wish to use prior to your party so you can create a menu of options for your friends and family members to choose from. Then simply share your screen, play the songs from YouTube on your device, and sing along!
Watch your favorite holiday movies together, virtually
You can use your favorite virtual meeting platform to watch movies together by sharing your screen while playing videos on Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime videos, and more. Have everyone share what they are munching on, such as Christmas cookies, popcorn, candy canes, and other treats.
Play 'Name that holiday tune'
Create a playlist of holiday-theme songs to use during the game. You can divide the songs into different rounds based on genre, era, or any other category you choose. Play the first few seconds of the song (usually about three to four notes) and the first person to guess the tune wins. You will need to keep score and give each correct answer one point. At the end of each round, you will tally the score and announce the winner. When the game is over, the person with the most points is the champion.
Stage a virtual live reading of 'A Christmas Carol' by Charles Dickens
Here’s a script of the entire play — it only takes about two hours to read out loud in its entirety. So why not assign each of your family members or friends a character’s lines to read, and reenact this classic story over Zoom or Google Meets? Bonus points if you can get your players to dress up and get into character!