Christmas in the New Normal: Five Ways to Celebrate Remotely with Loved Ones this Year

Christmas may be a huge struggle for some this year, as for many it’s a time to be around loved ones to eat, drink and be merry. While rules are allowing some people to get together, there will be many who won’t be able to see everyone they usually would, like extended family or groups of friends. But we shouldn’t let this spoil the Christmas spirit, we should try to adapt our plans to make sure we still feel connected with our loved ones.  

Setting up collaborative challenges, sharing recipes and engaging in a family quiz are great ways to keep spirits high and create memories you won’t forget. Why not use this time to start new traditions from the comfort of your own home and celebrate the Christmas season in style?

There are many ways to have an amazing Christmas with friends and family even while social distancing or living on Zoom, without letting those all-important traditions fall by the wayside. Interior Style Advisor at Furniture And Choice, Rebecca Snowden, offers her top tips on how to celebrate the festive season with loved ones even if you can’t be physically together.  

1. Take time to cook (and eat) together 

The highlight of many people’s Christmas is the big festive lunch and you don’t have to miss out just because you can’t leave your home. Share recipes for what you’re planning to cook with your friends and family beforehand, to make sure you all have the same ingredients on the day. You could even assign courses to different family members if you wanted to – although you won’t be able to eat everyone’s offering! 

On the day, arrange a time to video call so you can virtually make the dishes together. This is a great way to chat and feel connected to loved ones as if you’re all cooking and making something special together. There are many apps you can use to do this, including Zoom, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and FaceTime (if you all have Apple devices).  

Don’t forget to arrange a time for a video call at the dinner table too, so you can sit down, have a chat and eat your meal together as a family.  

2. Take part in a Christmas craft competition 

To really get into the festivities, you could arrange a table centrepiece competition with your friends and family. There are plenty of tutorials for centrepieces online that use things you’ll have lying around the house, and it’s a welcome bit of fun for everyone to enjoy.  

One person should act as the judge and taskmaster, sharing the table centrepiece tutorial beforehand and judging everybody’s attempts via a video call or picture submissions to determine who is the most successful. You could even present the winner with a virtual prize, such as a gift card.  

This is a great way to have some fun with your loved ones and make something perfect for your Christmas dining table.  

3. Create a playlist to listen to music together 

To really feel like you’re sitting down to have lunch with your loved ones, why not create a playlist for everyone to listen to at the same time? You can easily create a playlist on Spotify or Apple Music, and then share this with your family and friends so you can all listen together while you’re cooking or having lunch.  

To make things a little more interesting, you could create a public playlist and assign each person certain letters of the alphabet to add artists beginning with that letter. Alternatively, create a playlist theme, such as Christmas number ones, and see who can add the most songs to the playlist that fit the theme you chose.  

4. Play online games 

After you’ve savored your lunch, why not spice up the afternoon with some entertainment? While gathering around a board game might not be on the agenda, there’s a plethora of virtual game apps to keep the fun alive. Dive into the gaming world, whether you fancy being a detective solving a murder mystery, guessing the correct word, or even indulging in some exciting drifting games. And you can also choose your own Christmas murder mystery kit that would be perfect for the festive season. 

Try Kahoot! for a virtual quiz suitable for all the family. Each person can select a quiz category that they want everyone to play, or you can make it extra personal by creating a round specifically about your friends and family.  

For something with more of a competitive edge, download Mario Kart Tour on iOs or Android to race as your favourite Mario characters with your friends and family. Fancy something more grown-up? The online version of Cards against Humanity is now available to download – just make sure there are no children present!  

5. Watch a movie together 

If you fancy something more chilled during your Christmas break, why not cosy up and watch a festive favourite with your loved ones? Thanks to apps such as Netflix Party, you can now sit and watch Netflix films together virtually – just download the extension on Google Chrome, invite your loved ones to watch a film and you’re good to go. You can even talk via a chat box while watching the film so you can discuss and share your thoughts as you watch, so it’s a great way to stay connected to your friends and family. 

Anabel Cooper

Anabel is a graduate of King’s College London and upon graduating, she set out on a journey to inspire and empower women through her words. Besides working as a digital marketing expert, Anabel is a freelance copywriter.