There have been many changes to our lives this year due to the Coronavirus pandemic, including how we celebrated the holidays. Our travel plans may have changed, but the sense of connection and togetherness didn't have to. Here are some ways that technology has helped us normalize our celebration of the holidays in this strange year.
There has been a boom in online ordering of food, gifts and household items during the pandemic, and especially during the holidays. Local places too have started to allow for online shopping and ordering. It is now easier for us to safely shop small during the pandemic. Aggregator sites like Etsy allowed for artisans and smaller retailers to sell personalized and thoughtful gifts.
Technology and Experiences
Technology gifts have always been a hit during the holidays. However, this year kids and adults alike appreciated the advantages and entertainment that technology can offer to those staying home. Game consoles, speakers, phones and other connected devices topped the lists of gifts this year as everyone stayed safer at home. One hot gift, for example, was Oculus Quest VR – a virtual reality headset that allows gamers to step inside the game or another reality for a while, all without leaving home.
Lastly, and most importantly, people got creative about connecting with family and friends over the holidays. Togetherness might have looked different than years past with the help of technology like Zoom, Facetime, or Skype.
Apart from placing a computer or phone at the table, families and friends found other creative ways to involve those who couldn't join in person. There are many virtual game programs, such as Houseparty and Kahoot that allow participants to play fun games online. For the less technologically inclined, family members could play Bingo or Battleship over the phone or through Facetime.
Though the celebrations at the end of the year might have looked different, technology has helped us all connect during this period.