You may be planning a great family get-together this Christmas. Maybe your family is blessed and able to quarantine for fourteen days before gathering for a beautiful holiday gathering. If not, you may be spending Christmas alone.

In order to keep your family connected this season, think outside the box!

  1. Bring back the HOLIDAY LETTER
    Use a video meeting app to gather for a live holiday update letter!
    Create rules that work for everyone (ex: each household gets up to 10 minutes to read, perform, or screen-share their holiday update).
    Set a date with enough notice for everyone to prepare/write and have fun!
  2. Hit the MOVIES
    Visit a drive-in theater or host a virtual watch party.
    Send participants a movie night “kit” with all the fixin’s (ex: popcorn, gummy worms, movie theater candy boxes, popcorn, and/or packets of cocoa).
    Send the kit including the DVD or allow enough time for each household to purchase or rent the movie.
    Use a video meeting app to gather virtually to watch the movie together.
  3. Scavenger hunt SHOW-AND-TELL
    Create a list of holiday items and send them to each household (ex: tree, stocking, yard decor, present, holiday cookies, Santa hat, vintage ornament, homemade ornament, craft, etc.)
    Schedule a “show and tell” video meeting.
    Allow each family to show what they created or chose for their item for each category.
    Schedule a video meeting and allow each household to log on with one or two devices.
    Create a list of holiday or household items (ex: whisk, pencil, notebook, post-it, nativity scene piece, mug, cookie-cutter, etc.)
    The host says an item and the “teams” run to retrieve the items. The first to go and bring it back to the screen scores a point.
    Make sure each household gets treats in advance for the winner (and we’re all winners!).
    Create a private Facebook group, group chat, or text message group for the family.
    Send a list of yard decorations and characters to each family (ex: Santa, nativity, stars, trees, jumbo lights, icicles, Olaf, Mickey, the Grinch, etc.).
    Schedule a photo drop via your private group for everyone to upload the displays they found with the items listed.
    Make it even more fun by voting for the best displays.
  6. Holiday HOW-TOs
    Choose someone in the family with a special talent and then schedule a video tutorial for the whole family.
    Schedule a special Christmas cookie decorating party with a specific design that is easy for everyone.
    Ask an especially artistic family member to teach an easy holiday painting tutorial, or pay an artist for the service.
    Send each child in the family a craft and then complete it together via video meeting.
  7. Don’t say bored BOARD GAMES
    Ask each household what games they have at home and choose a game that everyone already owns or can borrow or purchase before virtual game night.
    Choose one person from each household to be the sheriff to make sure all rules are followed.
    Easy games that work virtually include Scattergories, BINGO, Pictionary, and charades.
  8. Make it WORK
    Gather via video meeting to brainstorm organizations or groups you’d like to serve (ex: veterans, homeless, youth groups, animal rescues, warming centers, etc.).
    Gather in a separate meeting to discuss ways you could work together to serve these groups (ex: write Christmas cards, purchase meals, collect donations, improve living conditions, provide clothes/blankets/etc.).
    Choose one family member, adult or child, to write a report of the service project and submit it to a local newspaper.
  9. Quarantine CAPERS
    If you and your family are together, but you’re stuck at home on quarantine, you can still have a holly jolly time! There is still plenty you can do when the family is together. You can drive around looking at Christmas lights, but don’t forget the hot cocoa and the BINGO cards! Schedule a Christmas tea party, complete with handwritten invitations for each family member. Dress up in ugly sweaters and Christmas socks for a movie night in the living room. Cut out Christmas tree shapes for everyone and have a tree decorating contest! The only catch? You can only use stuff from around the house–no decorations.
    *Some of these Quarantine CAPERS ideas were borrowed from my friends over at @our_adventure_book_blog on Instagram. Follow along until Christmas to see one family’s fun. 

When it comes to Christmas, you can have a joyous time whether you’re together or apart. These are just a few ideas to get you started.

Look for the upcoming #Sabbathslowdown blog post for ideas to bring Jesus into the Christmas family festivities in an even bigger way this year!