Family and friends meeting virtually

April 10, 2020

When we think of Easter, Passover or Ramadan, we think of religious gatherings, huge feasts and celebrating with tons of relatives we might rarely see.

In our new reality of COVID-19, we can’t afford to break quarantine or ease up on social distancing.

Now more than ever, it’s vital to stay home for the holidays. But that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice observing tradition with family. Make this a holiday to remember, which might even spark new traditions.

Here are seven ways to commemorate a religious holiday, a birthday, an anniversary or whatever you may be celebrating during this time with family. But, without endangering your health—or theirs—during the COVID-19 pandemic.

ONE. Delegate creatively.

Appoint a family techie to share tips on using Zoom, FaceTime or other online devices, and how to make a snazzy virtual background.

Your designated videographer can create a “Best of” highlights reel from decorating and baking preparations, festivities themselves and round-ups of questions posed to all family members.

The Foodie-in-Chief can choose the menu and share recipes. Your script writer can whip up an on-theme play.

Perks: Everyone gets to share their talents—and spread the burden.

TWO. Gather around computer screens instead of the dinner table.

Choose a time that works across time zones to observe family traditions.

Acknowledge and appreciate holidays by asking what each family member is most grateful for or their favorite memory from years past. Share a newly discovered and addictive must-see TV show. You can reinforce good feels by donating to a charity online.

Perks: No traffic jams. Not as many culinary temptations. Fewer regrets.

THREE. Count your blessings.

Synagogues and churches are streaming services, via their own websites, Facebook, YouTube and Apple TV.

If your usual religious institution isn’t streaming, you can check out others.

You could watch services at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan, New York’s Central Synagogue or Houston’s Lakewood, First Baptist, The R.O.C.K. or Fountain of Praise churches or Beth Israel Congregation.

Televangelists Joel and Victoria Osteen have harnessed megastars for their Lakewood megachurch: Mariah Carey and Kanye West.

Perks: No one will block your view with their Easter bonnet, and you won’t have to hunt for a parking space.

FOUR. Dress up.

Pull out your fine china, festoon your home and deck out in your finest.

Perks: You can capture your festivities on video—then ditch fancy threads more quickly. Do what you want!

FIVE. Easter egg strolls, scrolls or hunts can proceed.

If you’re unable to find eggs, real or plastic, then make them out of dough, or Play-Do. For a safe scavenger hunt, neighbors can past print-out eggs on windows or mailboxes. Give a list of clues or alert them they’re “warmer” or “colder” in finding booty. Keep sanitary wipes on hand!

Perks: You need not become a basket case. Spacing out kids in the backyard means fewer battles for the final few eggs.

SIX. Rejoice in song.

You and relatives can perform family favorites on Zoom. And you can hear world famous Italian opera tenor Andrea Bocelli warbling Ave Maria and other faves with the organist at the astoundingly gorgeous Duomo cathedral in Milan. You can tune in at noon on

Perks: Join in. If your aunt sings off-key, you can mute her.

SEVEN. Act out.

There may be more than one ham at your celebration. So capture on video small kids’ darling performances or show-and-tells honoring the holidays. What’s cuter than a small child wearing bunny ears?

Perks: You’re likely to make this an annual tradition—one you treasure more than donning a holiday sweater.

The information in this article was accurate as of April 10, 2020.

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