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Time Together Apart: Creating Holiday Connections During CoVid-19

There’s no doubt this will be an unusual holiday. Our social circles have tightened around the few cohorts we can safely see. For many of us, this means postponing gatherings with the family and friends we would normally visit. But we’re following these public health measures to protect each other and our loved ones so we can all be together next year - a commitment symbolic of the true spirit of the season. The good news is the holidays aren’t cancelled. We just have to be creative in our merrymaking. Let’s consider a few ways we can spend time together apart this holiday season.

Share Smiles Over Live Video

Whether playing a game, cooking, or exercising, being able to see family and friends over live video will help you feel connected. There are plenty of live video apps to choose from, but I’m recommending Google Duo, Zoom, or Skype. They’re all rated well, free to sign up for, and compatible with android, iOS, or desktop. Don’t worry if you’re not tech-savvy since each has tutorials and supports available through their websites. Pair live video with the suggestions below for the next best thing to an in-person hangout.

Forge Alliances During Family Game Night

Online board games are in no way a new addition to the internet, which is fantastic for today’s user because interfaces have improved greatly over the past 20 years. Check out Boardgame Arena or Tabletopia for a more traditional experience offering hundreds of games to choose from. If you want something contemporary, try Jackbox Games for mobile, PC, or console. They’re free to play and have multiplayer options so your whole group can join in. Setup and game play is different with each platform, so if you’re concerned about functionality, give yourself time to explore before jumping in.

Hobbies and Chill? Online Edition

Looking for something a little different? Try using the new live video app you just downloaded alongside your favourite music, movie or fitness app. You can listen together on Vertigo, AmpMe, or Group Session, watch together through Kast, Watch2Gether, or Netflix Party, or get moving together using guided workouts on Active, 24GO, or Barry’s IGTV Channel. It’s a more indirect way to interact online while still spending time together as a group. Plus you can share your hobbies with your loved-ones!

Have Yourself a Merry Little Cohort

Of course, some household cohorts may prefer to celebrate on their own and offline, and there are safe, creative ways to do that too! Just be sure to follow the current public health measures when making your plans.

For instance, why not check out some of the fantastic walking and cross-country skiing trails Edmonton has to offer? Or click here for a list of local tobogganing hills! And what better way to wrap up your day than with a local light display? Head downtown for the Holiday Light Up, walk the legislature grounds, or drive through Edmonton’s storied Candy Cane Lane to experience the winter wonder for yourself.

Stay Safe and Take Care

It may not be the celebration we remember, but a little creativity can keep us connected even when we’re apart. Try some or all of these suggestions, take care of each other, and be well this holiday season. We look forward seeing you again in the New Year, friends.

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