Next Best Thing: Host Online Holiday Gatherings

Who says you can’t unwrap the latest gift of socks or underwear from Aunt Betty in full view of her and your snickering cousins or siblings? With the latest technology, you can even decorate cookies or share hot chocolate online together—without risking anyone’s health.

Technology has improved significantly in 2020 as COVID-19 has forced schools, workplaces, houses of worship and family gatherings to a virtual online format. If your children or grandchildren can attend school every day via Google or Zoom, then safe holiday traditions are attainable, too. They just require creativity and lots of advanced planning.

Here are some ideas to consider:

  • Cookie decorating with the grandkids? Set your iPad or laptop on the kitchen counter and get to work icing those gingerbread people. You can enjoy those smiling faces on your screen, but you don’t have the associated icing explosion cleanup after they finish!
  • Caroling for loved ones in a nursing home or assisted living? It might resemble the Brady Bunch, but it is totally do-able when everyone logs in. Email song list with lyrics to everyone ahead of time. Don’t forget to schedule ahead with the residence of your guest of honor to confirm computer time.
  • Gift exchange with friends? Arrange for a contact-less delivery of gifts and then curl up with your beverage and catch up at a designated time for present opening.
  • Host annual dinner party? This one is tricky and potentially expensive, but not impossible. Order take-out from a local restaurant and arrange for a contactless delivery to each guest’s home. Sit down at a prearranged time and enjoy dinner and conversation—all through your online platform.

For those who have never hosted a virtual event before—how exactly does it work? Here are links to easy “How-To” tutorials for the major platforms that will enable you to host your virtual gatherings with family and friends throughout this holiday season.

Host a Virtual Gathering

Memorial Health System is thankful for the community’s efforts to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Help Stop the Spread of COVID-19

Download a COVID-19 recommendations handout to share with family, friends, community members, employees and others. Following the handout recommendations can help slow the spread of COVID-19. Stay up-to-date on COVID-19 information at

Related Articles

We’re All Struggling – It’s Okay to Share How You Feel
Big Family Can Equal Longer Quarantine
How to Count Your Blessings Together Online This Year