by Carolyne Volpe Curley / Carolyne@WestEssexNOW.com
While millions of Americans are staying home this holiday season, there's no reason that families need to remain distanced from one another. Zoom has become a popular video calling service which can be accessed at no cost on most phones and devices, and this Thanksgiving, the company is offering free unlimited Zoom time.
Normally, a Zoom account allows a person to host a free remote gathering which is cut off after 40-minutes. However, this past week the company announced that in their hopes that families across the country will safely gather with their loved ones virtually, there will be no shut-off time limit on Thanksgiving Day.
Zoom Thanksgiving Day Guidelines
HOW TO HOST A ZOOM MEETING
Create a Zoom Account
Download the Zoom App
Schedule a Zoom Party
Invite Your Guests
Create a Virtual Background
HOST A ZOOM THANKSGIVING
Remember Those Who are Suffering
While making your guest lists, consider reaching out to individuals for whom this year will mark the first holiday without their departed loved one.
Virtual Party Ideas
Create Group Photo
Create Breakout Rooms
Watch a Movie Together through Screen Sharing
Select a Spotlight Speaker
Play a Virtual Group Game
Each game can be played individually or on teams.
Breakout rooms can be used for team discussions.
Spotlight Speaker can be used for the person drawing or acting.
Go Easy On Yourself
Family relationships are complicated and there is no easy recipe for stress-free holidays on any given year.
This year, hosts should plan ahead for hours of family and friends remote enjoyment, but they should also be prepared that their guests will each respond differently to the virtual event.
The best idea for all involved will be to enjoy the moments as they present themselves and not to expect that anything will go smoothly. The less professional the gathering becomes, the more fun and memorable it will be for everyone.
One thing is for certain, the 2020 holiday season will not soon be forgotten. Remember to laugh a lot and un-mute your speaker. A joyful family gathering is, after all, the best that all of us can hope for.