Christmas this year will look very different for most of us. It can be hard to feel connected to others and to the world around us when we’re being told to retreat, stay indoors as much as possible and not see our loved ones. But with a little bit of creativity and ingenuity, we can explore different ways to reach out. Here are five ways that can help fill this season with events and keep us connecting with people- just in a different way to what we would usually do!
Think about someone who might really appreciate a phone call from you this Christmas. Plan to call them for a catch up and share some of the day together. And if you know you will appreciate a phone call from someone, let them know you’d like to call and set up a time. People want to hear from people this Christmas: we are all seeking more connections and wanting to support those we know.
And then there’s the option of Zoom (or Skype… but it really is all about Zoom!)
A word many of us didn’t even know about before March this year, and now it’s a verb, an adjective and a noun! Shall we Zoom later? Do I look Zoom ready? Let’s hop on Zoom and catch up!
Although it is not the same as seeing friends and family in real life, there are ways to make Zoom feel a little less forced and a bit more ‘natural’ than it can feel.
Set up your laptop/tablet on a table in a space where you feel comfortable. Maybe arrange to have your Christmas dinner ‘with’ others. You could even mute yourself but just leave the tablet open in the space to be ‘with’ them. Watch the same TV programme but sit ‘alongside’ each other in the room. And plan some games to play too…
Many of the Christmas classics work well on Zoom, for example Charades, word games like Scattergories (click here for an online version), ‘Five Things’, and a Christmas Quiz.
If you are ‘Zoomed out’ and need a break, perhaps plan a game of Bingo for your favourite TV show, guessing what will happen in the Christmas special!
Other words games you can plan on your own are MOON-STAR (changing 1 letter of the first word each time until you can get to the second word). Could also write some poetry too, or a short story. For inspiration look at our shortlist and winners of ‘The Strangest of Christmases’ story competition.
If you’re a fan of a competition, maybe set a challenge with a friend- who can complete a jigsaw in the fastest time/ who can knit a scarf the fastest?
Perhaps try creating something that you know your friends or family would like to receive. A Christmas collage with wrapping paper and newspaper or some ‘New Years’ cards, or simply ‘Missing you’ message. Old jars can make great gifts when decorated. Being creative can be an enjoyable task, and knowing you are going to surprise someone else will make you excited to give that gift. After all, gift-giving doesn’t have to be confined to Christmas! You could also decorate your window with a Christmas message for anyone passing to see. Or write out a joke to make people laugh!
If you can go out for a walk, make eye contact with those you pass and say hello! Even just a small amount of connection with someone else helps to alleviate feeling isolated and lonely. They are probably looking for someone to say hello to too! Give a wave to someone in a car going past!
If you are part of the Mirthy Facebook group, do pop a message in there too! Or a controversial question e.g. bread sauce or cranberry sauce- or both?! Get some healthy debate going!
There is something about having the radio on that can make a house feel less empty when you’re on your own. Particularly the Christmas offerings on the radio. Filling the house with music and the chatter of radio presenters creates a nice ambience.
Plan to watch the Christmas specials or films that help provide some escapism and can truly absorb your attention for a couple of hours.
Arts and theatre venues are also continuing to provide concerts and shows online. Support the arts and buy a ticket to an opera, ballet, show or concert that you might not have otherwise had the chance to see or support your local arts venues.
And don’t forget to book for Mirthy’s Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve talks! Head to www.mirthy.co.uk/talks on our website to book your spot! Invite someone who hasn’t heard of Mirthy before to join you and connect after the talks to share what you’ve learnt!
We look forward to continuing to grow our Mirthy community in the New Year and provide more opportunities for you to connect with each other. In the meantime, keep sharing your stories, talks and feedback with us, and enjoying our online events.