How to host your own Virtual Hoilday!

How to host your own Virtual Hoilday!

So many things are looking vastly different this year, and the holidays will likely be for many, no exception. With the Holidays fast approaching, it’s important to remember that creating different traditions this year doesn’t have to equate to the Fear of Missing Out unless we make it so. With coronavirus cases rising around the nation, many are being called to reconsider their thanksgiving tables and holiday planning.    

In an effort to keep ourselves and our loved ones healthy, there are many creative ways we can work towards making this holiday season filled with the joy and peace many of us have grown to look forward to year after year.   

This year, we can utilize some of the many technologies we have available to us, such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Facetime, Facebook Messenger, and more to help keep our holiday traditions alive.  

Although these platforms have serviced most of us for months now, here are some tips the SGS crew have developed to help you get the most out of a virtual holiday…  

  1. Plan a Virtual Event. Establish a time and decide who you want to involve in the fun.   If you aren’t tech-savvy, ask a friend for a little guidance. It doesn’t take a lot to set up a virtual event, and if you need a little help, our office would be happy to walk you through the process. Just send us  a message at contact@smartgensociety.org. We’ll set the groundwork and even help make sure zoombombers don’t attempt to crash the party!  
  2. Have some fun with quirky invitations. Whether you decide to snail mail or just create a little virtual invite, your options are limitless here. CANVA is a great platform for making quick content with hundreds of pre-made templates to choose from. With a tiny bit of pre-planning, these can be a ton of fun.  
  3. Dress the part, and not just from the waist up! Whether it’s turkey hats on Thanksgiving Day, pajamas on Christmas morning, or a sparkly dress for New Year’s Eve, if you make it fun, and make it special, trust us-- your kids will have no idea what they are missing out on.  Dressing for the occasion can help you feel like you aren’t just stuck at home and will help bring back a little of that holiday magic.  
  4. Save the unwrapping for a time when you can be (virtually) together. For many of us, the best part of the holiday season is receiving and more importantly, giving gifts. Once that gift arrives in the mail, don’t open it until you can watch or listen to the joys of opening via a phone call or video chat!
  5. Cook your favorite meals. Holiday dinners would not be the same without the favorite dishes we wait all year to eat. Make it a production, if you are able, even if it’s only for one. We hate the thought of anyone eating alone this Holiday season, but if you can’t be with family, call your mom or favorite aunt for the dish you’ve grown so fond of. Chances are, they would welcome the opportunity to run through the recipe with you.   
  6. Don’t forget to support local! With outdoor dining no longer an option in the winter, our favorite local places are trying to find every means possible to keep their businesses afloat during this time. If you aren’t feeling up to cooking, do a little research on all of the wonderful local flares around you. They are eager and willing to fill your bellies with goodness this holiday season! 
  7. Consider online virtual fun. The Trans-Siberian Orchestra is hosting a live stream event on Friday, December 18 at 8 p.m.  And you can enjoy locally made virtual productions through organizations like the Omaha Community Playhouse from the comfort of your couch! The Durham Museum is hosting a Virtual Tree Lighting Ceremony on November 26 at 7 p.m. This 20-minute program will feature musical performances, a greeting from Santa, and a countdown to the lighting of the region’s largest indoor Christmas Tree. Nebraska’s Virtual Craft Show Extravaganza is being held on November 28 from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. This particular online event is pajama friendly!  
  8. Plan a schedule of events. Don’t get crazy or overwhelmed with this one. But filling in a few fun activities for the kids like a virtual gingerbread competition with the cousins, or a virtual game night for the adults is totally worth it. Our staff favorites for virtual fun include a simple game of online trivia, virtual bingo, or you can even recreate family favorites with a small virtual twist, like a Q and A version of “Loaded Questions” that our staff has prepared for you! Now is probably not the best time to get super political. But if you can keep it fun and light-hearted, everyone will enjoy and likely appreciate a little extra humor. Consider asking a game host to conduct this one (no need to do everything yourself!) and have members text the answers to your host.