Because I believe in science and because the COVID cases in my part of the country are in an aggressive climb, family outside my household are not meeting face to face for Thanksgiving and likely not for Solstice or Christmas. And you know what? I am so excited about our creative connections this year! Our family is a patchwork like many. In years past about 5 households would gather around one table. Not this year. How are we coping?
Virtual cooking. Do you have certain dishes that must always be made? Us, too. Two olders who are out of the house have arranged with their youngest who lives with us to make some of those dishes. Wednesday night is the making of the pie. A computer will be (safely) set up in the kitchen so the elder brother can talk the younger through the steps. In the end each will have a pie for their Thanksgiving tables miles apart, but close in spirit. Thursday morning the eldest brother will teach the youngest how to make the bread.
Facebook Dinner Table. Facebook lets you make private group, in which only those in the group can see the postings. I’ve invited folks who would normally be joined around my table to a private group I started just for this holiday. We’re swapping recipes and cooking stories and bits of family news. As the cooking starts, we’ll share pictures of dishes, especially ones that will be on everyone’s table. (I’m wondering if everyone will get the beautiful crust on my mother’s broccoli casserole that she does.) Pictures of decorations will be shared. I’ll post a prayer that people can use or not. I know one of my sons will post a playlist to guide our preparations. As the football games start, I’m sure we’ll turn to talking trash to each other (in a loving way, of course.)
Games. You know about Among Us, right? We've been playing this during our virtual Sunday Brunches with the kids (three, sometimes four households.) We keep a video room open as we play so we can laugh at the reactions. There are other on-line games to explore like Codenames, Houseparty and Scattergories. Now this may require that those family members get a phone or Facetime tutorial from another family member who can speak their language. That just means more bonding.
Winter Holiday Ornaments. I love crafts. Especially cheesy crafts -- and the winter holidays provide lots of opportunity to get our corny crafts on. Each of our kids are getting a box right after Thanksgiving. Within the box are smaller containers of ornament parts and instructions, each of those small containers labeled with a date and time. On that date and time, we meet on-line and craft together. Each person is assigned a different date to serve as DJ for our crafting session. Pictures of crafts will likely be posted to our closed Facebook group.
That’s what we’ve figured out so far. I’d love to hear from you. How are you staying connected this holiday season?