Forchheim: four tips for the virtual christmas party in the corona lockdown

Unwrapping presents with the family on christmas eve, visiting distant relatives and friends on christmas holidays to cheer with them under the christmas tree – all this is not possible this year because of the corona contact restrictions. From 24. To 26. December, people from one household were only allowed to meet with four other people from the “immediate family” meeting.

For many people from forchheim, an alternative way to stay in touch with their loved ones over christmas will be to meet up online. Because society is becoming more digital. 86 percent of german citizens are now on the internet, according to the digital index study conducted by the D21 initiative. And many people already have the prerequisites for a virtual christmas party at home: for a video conference, you need a computer, laptop, tablet with a camera or a smartphone – and a stable internet connection.

“Video and audio are very important here, so that you can see the other person, because nothing is more uncommunicative than always talking to a black wall when the other person has the camera off”, expert annika leopold, who founded the digitalwerkstatt company in forchheim, offers her advice. “The main point is to get close and see each other. In every family, there’s bound to be someone – maybe even the kids, who are digital natives – who knows their way around and can help the others or take care of setting up the left”, says the digital expert.

Here are four tips on how to celebrate christmas in private 2.0 can become an experience

1. The right video chat

Video conferencing is possible via digital software like skype, zoom, facetime or even whatsapp. “Over the holidays, zoom has even lifted the 40-minute limit on the free version, and if the network cooperates, we can create a little closeness despite the distance”, says leopold. Another variant is jitsi meet: the application is freely available and is considered to be abhor-safe. Those who are used to larger family gatherings could try the free application wonder (formerly yotribe). “It’s a virtual space where you can run around and meet each other,” explains leopold. You see the others as small circles and as soon as you approach, video and audio of the persons concerned start automatically (maximum 15 persons). So you can stand together and chat with each other like in real life.”

2. Singing or secret santa

During the videoconference, christmas songs can be sung, so all guests will be included in the online party as well. For the party everyone could also choose songs that will be played at the same time. Using music streaming services, participants can also have the same songs running in the background via playlists. Annika leopold also mentions christmas carol karaoke as an example.

You can also make presents via video chat: simply send the gifts by post before the planned christmas party date and then unwrap them together. Another idea: one participant sends a term to the other via a private chat, e.G., a song.B. Mistletoe. She or he then has 60 seconds to draw the term. All others guess.

Together we can tell a christmas story: “one person starts with a beginning and then passes it on to the next person who spontaneously adds 2-3 sentences”. This one passes it on to the next one – just call it up – and this way a super funny story can be created in a very short time. Good beginnings can be found in every christmas children’s book”, explains leopold.

3. Party games on the net

There are also many free online games on the internet that can be played in groups. If you want to play monday painter at the digital christmas party, you can, for example, use pages skribbl.Use io or miro, which are free of charge. You can also set up a quiz for a christmas party e.g. In kahoot. “Some children/young people already know this from school, so they can play games together and share the results, says leopold. “Or use pickerwheel for e.g. Children’s picture guessing or alternating questions about last year’s highlights or funny, inspiring, thought-provoking impulse questions like ‘what one thing would you like to do next year that you’ve never done before??'”

4. Enjoying together

Christmas goose or roast is part of the feast for many people. Even if the feast at the richly laid table does not take place this year, you can enjoy together. For example, those celebrating can cook the same dish or order from the same delivery service and enjoy the meal in front of the screen. You can also drink gluhwein and video chat with each other at the same time. You can find delicious recipes here.

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