Top Tips for Virtual Christmas Gatherings

“Are you free for a Zoom quiz tomorrow?”

Who can believe that so many of us have conducted all of our meetings and social events online for almost a year? Zoom went from being relatively unheard of to one of the most used verbs in the English language.

Zoom now has more than 12 million daily users worldwide and it shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon.  

With the recent changes in government restrictions for family and friends gathering to celebrate the festive season, Zoom will be a vital part of being able to connect with the people you love this Christmas.

Whether you’re hosting a family Christmas day quiz or a game of online charades, we’ve put together some hints and tips on how to make the most of it!

Mastering the Basics

 “You’re on mute” and “you need to unmute” became phrases that entered into more or less everyone’s vocabulary this year than anyone anticipated. Children and pets alike became a regular feature as we tried to adjust to this ‘new normal’ and the new way of socialising.

We also had to get used to hosting meetings and coping with our home spaces doubling up as workspaces. Not everyone mastered this new tool as well as others – an Irish lecturer apologised after making offensive remarks about his student when he thought he was on mute. Similarly, a TV director had to apologise when he insulted an actor’s apartment and the actor posted the encounter on instagram. He was another victim of having not mastered the art of the mute button early on.

Here we have laid out our top tips for some the Zoom family gatherings ahead:

To mute or unmute (a sliding scale)

This has been the year-long dilemma. After a few glasses of prosecco, you might even forget the difference between the two. Like one of those wine glasses that advises you based on the amount consumed, we reckon it is best to use your common sense wisely. Hic!

If the mute button continues to outsmart you, it’s best to get some practice in before you’re let loose on some unsuspecting loved one.

Dress Up!

Would you wear your Christmas jumper to the family lunch? Is it a dress up occasion? Dressing up in a sequinned number or a suit as you would have for the real deal will give you a lift – try it!

Make some plans

Whether you want to do the obligatory Zoom quiz that we have all become so accustomed to this year, play charades with Christmas films and songs or spell out words with random inanimate objects from around the house, give your guests something to focus on!

Have you sent your friends and family presents to their door? Open your gifts on the call so there is a sense of togetherness, like you’re actually in the same room.

Have a defined start/end time but keep it flexible

It is best to give your guests a specific invite time, like 12pm-2pm for example. It will be pointless to pressure people into staying for a longer period of time. Zoom fatigue is a real thing and two or three hours is more than enough time to have a celebration without continuing on too long.

We will all look forward to better times when it is safe to celebrate together in one place – until then, the virtual get togethers of 2020 are not one we are likely to forget in a hurry!

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