Tech Tips to Stay Connected

Tech Tips to Stay Connected During the Holiday Season

This holiday season is, for some is looking like it might be another distanced one. Families who normally travel to be together may not be able to this year and large gatherings of family and friends are becoming smaller, more intimate events with just immediate family. 

Just because you may not be able to see your family or friends in person doesn’t mean that you have to be completely disconnected this holiday season. 

We’ve put together a list of free or inexpensive tools that you can use to (safely) keep up with some of your holiday traditions this year.
 

Video Conference Apps for Holiday Parties

Since the beginning of the pandemic, people have been using video chat or conferencing apps or programs to stay in touch but you can adapt that and use it for socially distanced holiday parties.

Popular apps like Zoom, Google Meet and Skype will easily allow you to invite your friends and family into your virtual holiday party.

Video Conference Apps

Additionally, there are other apps, like Shindig, that allow you to bring everyone into the party but also allow them to socialize and chat in separate rooms, similar to smaller conversations taking place at an in-person party. It is important to note that oftentimes these more complex apps do require some kind of subscription. 

 

Virtual Recipe Swap or Baking/Cooking Classes

A time-honored holiday tradition for most families is intergenerational cooking around the holidays, teaching the younger members of the family how to cook or bake and passing down the family recipes.

You can take advantage of the tools that video conferencing apps have, like presentation mode, to still have these family cooking and baking sessions even if you can’t be in the same kitchen.

Holiday Baking

 

Socially Distanced Gift Swap

Gift swaps like secret Santa or secret snowflake are always a holiday favorite but the logistics may be a little more difficult to pull off this year. 

However, there are online tools that you can take advantage of and organize a fully contactless gift swap. A good one to try out is DrawNames.com, which is a free website that will anonymously assign the secret gift-givers to you and your friends. It also has a built-in wishlist system and will let you anonymously communicate with your giftee.

Holiday Gift Swap

 

Virtual Holiday Movie Night

Holiday movies are a great way to get into the spirit of the season and when you can’t get together with your friends and family for a watch party, try a virtual one.

Apps like TwoSeven and Netflix Party are a great way to easily get everyone together for a holiday movie night. Some apps have a built-in video chat to talk with your friends in the same window as your movie and others just have a text chat feature. Don’t worry, in those cases, you can just get everyone on a big conference call or split your screen between the movie and another video conference program.

Movie Night

 

Just because this holiday season is going to be different, doesn’t mean that you have to lose out on precious family traditions or the chance to celebrate with your friends.

If you try any of these tips or tools with your families or friends this holiday season, send us a picture over on our social media, we would love to see what everyone comes up with.

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