Let's Face Loneliness Together This Christmas
We know this Christmas will look different for most of us.
The recently announced tightening of Christmas COVID rules means that more people than ever will be feeling lonely this festive season. As part of Reach Week for our Great Winter Get Together campaign, we have compiled these fun ideas and initiatives on how you can reach out and stay connected, reduce social isolation and celebrate Christmas this year. Let’s face loneliness together: one connection at a time.
Take part in these free activities around Christmas
A Christmas Quiz with Jack Remmington (19:00 - 20:00) December 23rd
In partnership with virtual venue SocialEyes, X Factor star, Jack Remmington, is here to get you in the 'Quizmas spirit' with this free hour long quiz will include four rounds and a winner will be crowned at the end. In a bid to combat loneliness over this period, all of SocialEyes' Great Winter Get Together events are free.
Virtual Christmas Lunch with Together TV (13:00 - 14:00)
As part of the Great Winter Get Together, our partner Together TV is preparing for Christmas Together - a TV and digital event on Christmas Day at 1PM for an hour of cheer, great hosts and ideas on how to spend this festive period and feel good. The event is free and open for everyone from anywhere in the UK. Register to save your seat and for the chance to win amazing prizes.
Spend Christmas Day with the Workers’ Educational Association (09:00 - 21:30)
WEA staff will be providing free online activities on Christmas Day for everyone. From a virtual walk of the South West to Christmas games and crafts, they are running short activities throughout the day to provide fun and a chance to chat. So whether you are feeling lonely, or are just needing a moment away from the busy family, come join in for festive cheer with some friendly faces.
Flex your quiz muscles and get into the competitive spirit by joining in on a virtual pub quiz like Jay’s, which will play on YouTube on Christmas Day. Get a group together and compete as a team or go solo and interact with other quiz-goers.
If you are on Twitter, join comedian Sarah Millican’s Christmas conversation by using the hashtag #JoinIn - it’s a fantastic way to connect, have a chat with others and reduce social isolation together this Christmas.
Great resources for finding further free virtual events that you can sign up to are Eventbrite and Facebook Events - you can find event offerings from local community groups, charities and businesses.
More ways to connect this Christmas
We know that many of us are unable to be with friends and family this year, so here are some fun and practical ideas on staying connected, taking traditions online and celebrating Christmas safely this year.
- Virtual Christmas karaoke
Who doesn’t love a silly sing-along? Get your favourite festive tunes blasting and host a virtual karaoke session with loved ones. From simply playing songs during your Zoom, or getting serious with a virtual karaoke platform like KaraFun, music is a fantastic way to connect.
- Christmas Bake Off
Baking festive treats is a fun, interactive way that brings people together. While many of us can’t be together this year, why not set up your video calls in the kitchen and follow the same recipe together? You could even take it to the next level by adding a decorating competition element! Plan recipes ahead so all participants have the necessary ingredients and tools to hand. To add to the festive spirit, why not gift some of the treats you whip up on your neighbour’s doorstep for them to enjoy (while social distancing)?
- Virtual Games Night
This Christmas, you might be missing little traditions like games night. Thankfully, there are a whole host of ways you can take this online - from free online board game platforms such as Tabletopia and Board Game Arena to app versions of classics like Monopoly, Catan or Scrabble. You could even play games like charades via video chat!
- Do some Christmas crafting
Our team has come up with some great ideas for connecting over a virtual crafting session. Here are some instructions for a snowflake craft session. All you need is a paper and pencil!
- Stream a Christmas show
Organise a streaming party and watch your festive favourites together. You can synchronise video playbacks and chat with the help of virtual streaming tools like TwoSeven or TeleParty, or arrange to watch TV screenings of Christmassy entertainment together and have your own Gogglebox moment. The National Theatre is even bringing their annual Christmas panto show online for free this year.
- Virtual Christmas dinner
While Christmas dinner might look different this year, you can still make it a group effort via Zoom! Ask a loved one to teach you their recipe of making those fantastic Yorkshire puddings you love, or you could collectively take on turkey duty and keep each other digital company in the kitchen (perhaps accompanied by some festive tipples and tunes!). Many families and friends will find themselves having their Christmas parties apart, so hosting a fun, inclusive virtual dinner party can help us feel less lonely this year.
- Socially-distanced gifting
Due to the change in Christmas rules, many people are finding themselves in new situations for the holidays. Why not send a thoughtful gift that helps them get into the festive spirit this year, such as by giving them a festive film to stream via an iTunes gift card or by delivering a hamper of warm, home-cooked goodies while social distancing.
- Christmas chats
For those of us who find themselves isolated this Christmas, a heartfelt chat on the phone with a loved one or a kindly stranger could be a fantastic pick-me-up. Charity efforts like Re-engage and the Royal Voluntary Service’s Check In & Chat are great ways for people to volunteer their time to wish someone in need a merry Christmas, and for those who will be alone this holiday season to sign up and get a call from a friendly volunteer. For our Reach Week, we also encourage you to reach out to loved ones and have a meaningful chat - whether that’s a phone call, a Zoom quiz, a festive card or a text. You never know how much that could help someone feel less alone!
- Check out local initiatives
Whether you’re wanting to get to know your community better by joining local Zoom calls and Whatsapp groups, are in need of support or are interested in giving back to your community, check out mutual aid groups online and via social media like Facebook to get involved and meet new people around you.
For more information on our Great Winter Get Together campaign (14 Dec - 18 Jan) and how you can face loneliness this winter, click here.
DISCLAIMER: These guidelines have been considered with social distancing regulations in mind. Make sure to check government guidance for the latest information.