So..what's next? Having a Zoom call or deciding together on how to do a safe gathering could be beneficial, states Dr. Bennett. Your family members may need a few days to absorb your decision; it is also important for them to know you still love them, care about them, and that there are some new ways to celebrate this special time of year.
Despite your carefully thought-out message, some family members might still be upset. Dr. Bennett states, “Some people are going to be unhappy no matter what. We probably all recognize that behavior in a relative and if that’s how they’ve been in the past, that will probably be the case now.” All you can do is tell them you’re sorry they’re disappointed, and that you’re disappointed, too. “They have to cope with their own emotions…You have to accept that they’re just going to be unhappy and if that’s how they’re going to be, then you might as well do what you feel is best for you.”
Now, here are some ideas for alternative plans!
● Send cards to those in the military >>https://www.operationwearehere.com/IdeasforSoldiersCardsLetters.html or those hospitalized.
● Write thank-you notes to those who have been special in your life.
● How about a family slumber party by the tree?
● Bake holiday goodies such as cookies or pies, and then have a virtual cookie swap by leaving a package of goodies on the doorsteps of those participating.
● Send Christmas cards the old-fashioned way!
For more ideas, see>> https://www.postable.com/blog/holiday-season-ideas/.
And for virtual fun:
● Try this game:
According to Amazon, "JUMPSTART NOSTALGIC MEMORIES: This cute, compact tin is filled with 50 thoughtful and playful questions to inspire great family conversations.
PERFECT FOR FAMILIES: With a wide range of intriguing questions about the past, present, and future, this family-friendly party game leads to interesting conversations."
There are other variations of the game as well on Amazon.
● What about a Zoom “Ugly Christmas Sweater Party?”
●Online Holiday Bingo?
These are just a few of the ideas on https://museumhack.com/virtual-christmas-party/. There is a PDF on MuseumHack for the Bingo card. Though these ideas are for businesses, it looks like they can be adapted for families as well.
If you’re not familiar with hosting on Zoom, here is how to get started. Go to zoom.us, and select “pricing”. Under pricing is the basic plan, which is free. Zoom also offers on-line seminars that teach how to use Zoom as a host. Although the free Zoom meetings are for only 40 minutes, you can schedule them with a break in between, so everyone can stretch, refill drinks, get a snack, etc. and then pick up where you left off.
I hope these ideas have helped…yes, 2020 has been a year like no other!
May God’s peace be with each of you through the end of this year, and in to the next,