Christmas 2020, alongside other new-year celebrations have been overshadowed by restrictions imposed due to Covid-19 and also in response to the outbreak of second wave, resulting in total travel ban in many parts of the world. Clearly and gloomily, such has been the most awful Christmas festival witnessed in centuries.
But luckily, to double up our celebrations in distinctive and virtuous way, technology unrolls a bevy of options to consider and to not get carried away in gloomy alleys that pandemic has opened before us this year.
Truly, Christmas and the following fun-filled week is the time of the year, that all thrill-seeking souls look forward to, across the world, irrespective of whether they are devoted Christians or any sensible persons who simply want to seize the opportunity to get connected with their loved ones in family or friends circle and to ponder over new commitments and plans to better their life.
Now coming closer to technology, no matter our mass gatherings and community celebrations have been dragged under the cloud but still, we can connect with our family and friends in a unique way.
Zoom, Facetime, Google Meet and a variety of options galore, utilizing the virtue of which, virtual gathering may take place with family and friends, especially at a time like this, when meeting in person is roundly impossible.
Due to pandemic, many among us must have been acquainted to being transfixed in video-conferencing during business discussions and crafting way towards future and growth, in such uncertain times. Sasha Miller, who is up and about for Germ Defence Project, observes, “Its actually quite intense”. She puts forth a suggestion that video calls ought to be kept limited replete with sweetness and such short duration calls should be done many times a day. She further adds, “I think the smaller burst will keep you more connected in some ways than trying to have an hour-long conversation”.
Beyond this and to ensure longer time of togetherness virtually, Zoom has been kind enough on free accounts and has disabled the 40 minute call limit on the blessed Christmas Day by making a declaration, “token of appreciation to our users during an extraordinary time”. Such an advantage would be in effect on New Year’s Day as well.
Now to maximize celebrations, people could make such gatherings even more lively by opting for Zoom grotto or any such background replete with fairy lights and sparkling trees and / or even a dazzling lamp behind the camera to make faces appear so bright.
On Christmas Days, many among us opt to drift towards board games and indulge in activities like charades. But this year, the recipe is different, compelled by circumstances, digital alternatives have been unearthed.
Among Us is prime instance, a fun-filled game needing from 4 to 10 players which can ensue over a WiFi. Here, participants have to figure out the imposter on a space ship, among the member players. Likewise, we may also opt for SpeedQuizzing, an ultra-quick game meant for smartphones which is purposefully designed to test knowledge and to discourage members checking Google for answers. Further in the show, we have scores of online quizzes as are offered by a prominent educational platform Kahoot.
Finally, there are other places such as Jackbox which enables us to join party games distantly.
For A Bright Christmas, Streaming Is Means:
Gathering in a drawing room, in a large number, to enjoy viewing any classic Christmas movie, is one of the prime ways to spread respiratory virus. But such can be done safely, in company of others. A dweller in London, Katie Reid switches on the TV programme, as do her friends in other locations at about the same time, but she also gets connected with them on phone line and chat and to absorb the whole programme together. She updated on Twitter, “One of us mutes the TV sound and adds subtitles so we can chat while watching without too much background noise.”
Now, regular visitors to Church should also make sure that the parish or any other local church for this matter, makes Christmas service accessible on YouTube. Besides, a handful of art events across UK are also being arranged to be broadcast online, surrounding Christmas in 2020.
Ben Wood, who works as an analyst at CCS Insight, has sought a virtual ticket to attend Boxing Day panto, organized at the local theatre. “We’ll be watching the stars of Aladdin broadcast live into our living room”, he informs which is in stark reference to the event hosted by Carry Exchange Newsbury.
Finally, a mega DJ orchestra group based in London, Queer House Party, celebrates Christmas Day with a virtual gathering based on various themes amenable to different tastes.
Carols By LED Light:
There can be, as a solution, many options, like every member in a family can sing a verse of his or her favourite carol and songs, which would be resumed by other members of group one by one. Instead, there are also online events which they can partake in, such as Rock Choir, a widely popular group across UK for collective of choirs.
Easing things, Leader Thomas George broadcast a live sing-along which started at 9.30 am this Christmas Day on YouTube, with lyrics of the song appeared on the screen enabling people to join-in and even to trade messages in YouTube chats.
Sharing Is Caring:
As many of us are bound within our homes or local fences at the most while mingling with others and community celebrations are prevented, causing a surplus of food stuff remaining with us. There are designed apps like Olio, by the help of which surplus items could be put to sharing with those in desperate need of it.
Senior Members Just Neglect Tech:
There are older people in our family and society who simply don’t go along with modern day alternatives in communication technology.
Ms. Miller revealed, “One bit of feedback we’ve had is that some older relatives don’t find this modern technology easy, they just don’t have it, smartphones and things like that”.
At such point, we should never let old ways of communication out of sight, such as telephone and with a fistful of telephone calls with our elderly relatives would be an act of caring and tenderness on such festive occasions.