And that, of course, is the message of Christmas. We are never alone. Not when the night is darkest, the wind coldest, the world seemingly most indifferent . . .Taylor Caldwell, American Novelist
As the temperature drops and COVID-19 rages on, we are all starting to feel the weight of imposed isolation. For many of us, the holidays are the time of year that we look forward to the most, and perhaps even enjoy our time planning (whether we’re planners or not). However, the idea of a group of people around your dinner table isn’t as simple as making sure you have the right number of place settings anymore. How could it be when just going out to eat is a notion that will soon be impossible, in a lot of parts, come winter?
For so many—especially the elderly and those who live alone—it sometimes feels like we’re prisoners in our own homes. And that oftentimes begets more loneliness and frustration. In fact, I have a few elderly friends in very nice assisted living homes. They haven’t been able to see family for over six months now. It’s one of the really cruel side-effects of this pandemic, in my opinion.
There are some things we can do to lift our spirits, though. In our new virtual world, we have much more than endless hours of television at our fingertips. Many holiday experiences we thought were lost to us have now become accessible online. Let’s bring some of our favorite pastimes into our living room.
Gastronomy is one of the more joyous activities of any holiday season; many people travel all over the world just to enjoy a home-cooked meal with the ones they love. Eating and drinking are social activities human beings have engaged in for essential bonding all our lives. And so, it’s no wonder that around this time of year, we especially long for Sunday dinners and long chats over bottles of wine.
Although many of us won’t be physically together to experience holiday dinners and traditions, there are many online gastronomic adventures that you and your loved ones can have from the comfort and safety of your own homes! Keep scrolling to see what yummy opportunities await you all this holiday season.
For a fun online holiday-hang with your family or friends, many businesses are offering virtual wine, cheese or chocolate tastings, complete with customizable packages for the most delicious experience possible. Several of these online tastings can be tailored to your specific desires. If you were looking for a cheese AND wine pairing or even a chocolate and wine pairing, most of these experts have got you covered. Many of these virtual tastings are seasonal and are now focusing on winter cheeses and warmer reds to spice up your holidays!
Virtually assemble your pals, turn on Zoom, and enjoy the taste of the season with:
Sometimes the most stressful part of the holidays is hosting. If you’re not a chef by nature, or your idea of holiday mixology is a cranberry vodka tonic, it can be helpful to go to a cooking class (or two) to prepare! Many of our would-be holiday party dreams have been effectively squandered. It might feel useless to seek to upgrade your skills. Learning something new for yourself is always important. Online classes are a perfect way to have a new experience with the ones you love. Being taught a new holiday inspired meal or cocktail with your crew can help get you all excited for a time when you can put your newly acquired skills to use together.
Dust off your apron and charge your laptop. Virtual cooking school is now in session!
Holiday eating and drinking doesn’t just stop once you’ve made the perfect Christmas ham. Many families have other food-centric traditions to set the mood and the table whether they involve crafts, cookware, or candy. Whatever your holiday traditions are, it’s important for you and your loved ones to keep them alive this year, from near or far. If your family hasn’t focused on holiday traditions in the past, this year might be the perfect time to start. Creating bonding memories at a time when connection feels fraught can be the difference between holiday cheer and holiday fear.
For the former, find a time and date that works best for you and your crew. Plan on attending one (or more) of these online events this holiday season:
Studio Life’s Holiday Ready: Virtual Table Laying Workshop
Typically the holidays are a time of decadence and gluttony. Putting more effort into what the season is really about family and friendship. And this is a good reminder that, despite everything, we should be grateful for all that we have. A Facetime call will never be the same as a physical place at the dinner table. The familial gatherings we typically took for granted in the past will now feel all the more special and sacred through our shared attempts at connection.
Getting out of your quarantine routine. Try a new experience with virtual tastings, classes, and events. They might not cure your winter blues completely. However, they can certainly satisfy some holiday cravings (especially the ones inspired by your stomach).
Try gathering in the same living room or the same chat room for some online learning and fun. I hope you and yours are able to enjoy some of the virtual offerings this season brings and have the happiest of times.
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