This Christmas is going to be different for many of us, but thankfully, technology can help us feel a little closer, even if we’re physically apart.
Most people are probably tired of Zoom calls, so what else is there to try when we’re forced to distance during the festive period? Here are some good options to consider…
Virtual board game classics
Board games are a staple of Christmas day togetherness and there’s no reason why that should change, just because you can’t be in the same room playing.
Classics such as Monopoly, Cludeo and Uno have private multiplayer features online, meaning you can set up a game and choose who can enter, instead of going against strangers from anywhere in the world (which is also a good option for when family and friends aren’t around).
Interactive games online
There are a host of interactive games available that also allow people to play from afar.
Although you can play free ones like Words With Friends, if you’re willing to pay a little bit of money, you can get more detailed, in-depth games via Jackbox.
Only the host has to pay for one of the games, which start from £3.49, you don’t need to pay for each device. There are also packs available, meaning you can buy multiple games for a discount.
You can join from just about any device using a unique game code shared by the host.
The titles vary from Drawful, where each person receives a weird and unique prompt that they must try to draw on their mobile device, to Fibbage, where players are given an obscure trivia fact that’s missing one key detail, with the task of filling in the blank, so that it fools others into thinking it’s the truth.
Children love colouring in – and especially like others to join in.
Online platform Caribu allows people to do this, and other activities such as crosswords and read stories, all suited to younger children.
Using either a smartphone or tablet, parents can set up their child with a grandparent (or any other trusted adult) so they can participate in activities in real-time, alongside a live video chat.
Watch a movie together
Another Christmas Day regular is movies, and while children can’t cuddle up to granny who has dozed off through Frozen, you can at least watch at the same time, thanks to a feature on Disney+.
GroupWatch lets you watch any title on Disney+ with friends and family virtually through the app, syncing streams, so you are at the same point in the movie. Participants can also send reactions.
There is also an unofficial extension that works with Netflix too, called Teleparty, which also allows people to watch at the same time.
Host an interactive quiz
You could get creative and put together your own Christmas quiz via one of the many video chat apps such as Zoom, Messenger or Skype, but there are also interactive quiz options as well.
SpeedQuizzing allows you to spice up your quizzes with buttons on each mobile participating, which works in real-time.