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Young Beautiful Couple Sitting Using Laptop Around Christmas Decoration At Home Celebrating Mad And Crazy For Success With Arms Raised And Closed Eyes Screaming Excited. Winner Concept

You can still be the life of the digital party!

And COVID is not invited!

Does your family have holiday traditions that may have to be canceled or dramatically changed this Christmas season? This seems to be the question everyone is asking this year. We all have timeless traditions and festivities that we look forward to each year but no matter what we decide to do to remain safe and healthy, we can still make it fun and full of memories.

Because of our current situation, I did some research on virtual platforms that we can use for the holidays [and beyond] to celebrate with our family and friends. What I found was that there are many creative ways to connect using today’s innovative technology options—giving you the chance to digitally join your loved ones. By utilizing the following virtual platforms, you can open gifts together, share a meal, have a drink, play a game, engage in Christmas karaoke, or just talk and visit with those who can’t be with you. You can even watch a movie together now as Netflix has come out with an app called Teleparty, which allows you to invite others to join you as you watch a movie. Teleparty is an extension for Netflix however, the only viewing options are on a laptop or desktop computer on Chrome.

Try these virtual platforms and activities to keep connected during the holidays and throughout the year.

  • Zoom –There is a free version, however, it limits the sessions to 40-minute calls. As the Christmas season approaches, check to see if Zoom is waiving the call limit as they did for Thanksgiving.
  • Skype – Another free one! However, Skype has a 50-user limit. Unfortunately, the more users that join, the lower the quality. This may be good for those that only have a few people to connect with and want to have an unlimited amount of time.
  • Google hangouts – Again another free option. To access google hangouts all participants must have a Gmail account. The only downside is that it limits access to 10 users.
  • Facetime –Only works if participants have an iPhone.
  • Houseparty –This is a newer platform. Houseparty allows for eight users at a time, however, does offer virtual games to keep everyone entertained.

Because there are so many options available today, we are still able to visit with our friends and families over the holidays [or any other time] without spending a bunch of money. Although times have changed a bit and look a little different than in previous years, we can still make the best of our holidays and ensure that we include everyone in our celebrations—near or far. How are you celebrating your holidays? Are you keeping the same traditions or starting new ones? I would love to hear what your favorite holiday traditions are. Send me your thoughts and ideas on how to celebrate the holidays with loved ones by contacting me at creynolds@newdimensionsfcu.com.

I hope you all have a wonderful, safe, and healthy holiday!

~Carrielyn