7 tips for a merry online Christmas, from Zoom game nights and cooking with Borough Market chefs to the 2020 version of Ugly Sweater Parties

Belle SeeAmalissa Hall
  • Have a Netflix watch party with people you love and donate to charities like ImpactHK or SPCA
  • You can still have a fun time with the people you love, even while social distancing during coronavirus
Belle SeeAmalissa Hall |

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Christmas might look a little different this year - but you can still have a fun virtual holiday!

Just because we’re celebrating differently this year doesn’t meant that Christmas is cancelled. As with so much this year, we can adapt and bring it online.

Here are seven ways we’ll be virtually celebrating this festive season.

1 Throw a Christmas movie watch party

Festive films are always an important part of the holiday, but you don’t need to give up on them just because you’re social-distancing. Classic Christmas films are a great way to bond with your family or friends and get into a festive mood.

Check out our faves at bit.ly/XmasClassics2020, or try Netflix’ huge selection (although we’re a little bit heartbroken that Home Alone was removed).

Organise a viewing party on Zoom to watch Love Actually with the people you, um, actually love, wherever they are.

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2 Giving > receiving

The pandemic has had a financial impact on so many people around the world, and even in Hong Kong. If you can afford to give a little this Christmas (consider what you’re saving not having to buy fancy outfits to eat dinners in restaurants with friends), even a small donation can make a huge difference.

Donating online to a favourite charity is easy, or you can support their online stores; get a 2021 calendar from SPCA, perhaps, or a “Kindness Matters” T-shirt from homeless charity ImpactHK’s shop, www.kindnessmattersshop.org.

Some organisations like HandsOn Hong Kong also provide virtual ways to give back, such as hosting online events to spend time with the elderly. Instead of volunteering in at Food Angels and preparing food for the day, you can drop off a donation for them at a collection point.

3 Game night

What is Christmas without a little friendly competition between loved ones? Thanks to technology, you can still complete your uncle’s annual quiz, have a game of virtual charades, or even play a Christmassy game of Among Us, all over Zoom.

Putting aside time with the people you love is what matters at the end of the (holi)day. Bonus: nobody can punch you in the shoulder if you lose the round.

To kick you off here are 50 trivia questions perfect for an after-meal game session.

How to show kindness during a socially-distanced Covid-19 Christmas

4 Make a festive feast

If you got into lockdown baking this year, why not test your skills with something more challenging than banana bread: try your hand at mince pies (with the pastry from scratch!), or a chocolate log if you’re less traditional.

Alternatively, if you want to whip your cooking skills into shape, try a cook-along with these chefs who work with London’s famous Borough Market. A great way topick up some valuable skills to bring into 2021.

5 Digitally decorate

If you can decorate your room or house, you can definitely decorate your phone or laptop. Add a Christmassy background to your Zoom calls, or change up your wallpaper using holidays photos from previous years.

If you want something new, Unsplash has lots of wintry photos that are free to download. Using a festive phone case, like something red or green or sparkly, should also do the trick.

The best low-waste Christmas decorations

6 Take a trip

Not literally, but virtually. Museums and tourist sites are offering virtual tours to those fancy who an armchair experience.

Google Earth has “trips” to all Unesco World Heritage Sites if there was somewhere you were planning on visiting this year, or you can check out museums like the MoMA in New York and The British Museum in London if you prefer looking at art and artefacts.

There are also live streams of places in the world on YouTube if you just want a different point of view. Take a train ride through the snowy landscapes of Norway, enjoy a 360-degree tour of a Christmas market in Austria or check out the Northern Lights in Lapland.

7 Organise an ugly Christmas mask party

You’ve heard of Ugly Christmas Sweaters, but they’re so pre-pandemic. In 2020, it’s all about Ugly Christmas Masks.

Gather up your art supplies – the more glitter the better, obviously – hop on a video call with your craftiest crew, and let the creativity flow. Plan on a fashion show when everyone’s done. “Ugliest” mask wins a prize!

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