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En español | Even if COVID-19 restrictions mean you're not gathering with family and friends to mark the holidays this year, you don't have to put celebrating the season on the back burner
Virtual celebrations can help create special memories from afar, especially with some thought and proper planning.
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"Right now is such a hard and sad time for so many people,” says Miraya Berke, head of marketing at event hosting platform Mixily. “Having happy moments for us to look forward to is really helpful.”
Experts suggest having a plan and preparing for the day like you would for an in-person event. Families should send invitations, and do advance testing on technology equipment and links for video platforms, Berke says. To amp up the celebratory atmosphere, have everyone dress for the occasion, and don't forget to check your lighting.
Digital events creator Paury Flowers says in her work the most significant hurdle is that people often get frustrated and give up. “The biggest challenge really is patience,” she says. “That is the thing that people struggle with the most."
But keeping up traditions — and creating new ones — is important, says Erica Keswin, author of Rituals Roadmap. The traditions we have with family and friends are powerful ways to keep us connected, even if they happen virtually.
"What rituals do, is they bring us together to give us that sense of belonging,” she says. “In many ways there are very small things we can do that can have a big impact.”
With COVID-19 cases on the rise and as public health experts ask people to be even more stringent about social distancing this holiday, Keswin is encouraging a greater effort to connect virtually with loved ones. Families can even use this time to create new traditions.
Here are five virtual celebration ideas to try this holiday season.