A How to Guide to Plan a Zoom-tacular COVID Christmas Party

Planning a virtual Christmas party took much forethought and coordination. Here is our “how to” of the steps we took to ensure a continuation of the traditions our family holds near and dear.

  1. Gather a team of cousins that love to plan parties and meet online to brainstorm ideas to make this COVID party more spectacular than ever.
  2. Divvy up the list of to do’s so everyone can share the load.
  3. Send along an email to the 14 families involved outlining the day long plan, and to get a head count of who’s in on the daylong Zoom-tacular party.
  4. Choose a book to read to the ten great grandchildren. Develop a craft to accompany the book.
  5. Conduct a virtual drawing for the family secret Santa gift giving. Email recipients.
  6. Create and shop for boxes of goodies for all to receive, setting the scene to replicate food and items commonly found at Grammie and Grampie’s Christmas party. Items to include bag of ribbon candy, mixed nuts and nutcracker, butter cookies, and a keepsake COVID ornament.
  7. Deliver local boxes, and ship boxes to out of state relatives. Cross fingers that the USPS will deliver on time. (PS – one house is still waiting for their box twenty-five days after mailing, and ten days after the party. Sigh.)
  8. Prepare activities for the game night.
  9. Send along respective secret Santa gifts to awaiting family.
  10. Set up day long zoom invite to cover story hour for the littles at 9am, family gathering, gift opening, and annual photo / screenshot at 3:30pm, and game night for adults at 8pm. Email invite to all 14 families.
  11. Request oldest son to write and give the toast at 3:30pm
  12. Sit back and enjoy the day!

While this list seems long and arduous, the day was a roaring success with many memories made and lots of laughter involved! Yet I don’t think I want to have to use this list again… so this list self-destruct in 10 seconds.

It’s Tuesday and I am joining the fabulous community of writers over at Two Writing Teachers. Won’t you join in?

Christmas Delight

The sirens were loud and fierce and moving closer to us. Living on a back road this noise is rare, so we concern ourselves with the destination. Our worries were heightened as we saw evidence of the proximity with the red light flashing and the the horns blasting, signaling urgency. As the large truck rounded the corner we ran to the window and then to the front door to get a better look as it made its way further up the street. The truck stopped at the neighbors, despite no smoky smell or flames in sight.

We fixed our eyes on the stopped truck and suddenly noticed people standing on the back. We commented on the strangeness of their placement until we were afforded the magical view. Christmas lights surrounding the entire vehicle suddenly illuminated the scene and then suddenly all became clear. It was Santa Claus!

The boys, aged four and two, screamed with delight and disbelief!

What?

Why is Santa on a fire truck?

Why is Santa here tonight?

And again Why is Santa on a fire truck?

A blurry view of the fire truck with Santa through the trees.

They were giggly with excitement and trying to make sense of it all. Being the perfect age for a little Santa mystery makes it all the more magical. Their eyes were bright with wonder and their smiles were wider than their faces. They couldn’t hold their enthusiasm in and honestly neither could this grandmother.

The magic, wonder, and joy of Christmas was born in them right then and there thanks to a little visit by the neighborhood fire department. May we all hold on to this hopeful feeling well into 2021, for we all need a little extra Christmas delight in our lives right about now.

It’s Tuesday and I am joining the wonderful writing community over at Two Writing Teachers with my slice of life story. Please take a peek and consider joining in!

Who’s Winning?

I am winning at the December fitness challenge sponsored by my trainer, having the most number of days attending class this month. This may sound like nothing to many of you but for me it’s a huge accomplishment, and one I don’t take lightly. In a year and a half, I have gone from never working out, shy of a fast walk here or there, to beginning each day with some sort of movement class. Three days a week I attend a class outside in a massive parking lot, distanced away from others and wearing a mask. The cold winter air of Massachusetts adds to the challenge of these vigorous morning workouts. The remaining two days a week I am in my small basement connected via Zoom, stretching in yoga like poses.

Why the change? It’s all about the trainer / teacher. I have connected with a physical trainer who values where each person is at, who has a sense of humor, and who knows the strengths and areas of opportunity for each and every student. He makes exercise fun by switching up the routines so that every class is different and lively. He also knows when to encourage me to push myself a little further than I thought possible. He is a teacher extraordinaire.

Whenever I think about his style of teaching I realize that is what all students deserve. Teachers such as these are what makes us all want to strive to be our best and that makes us all winners!

Thank you once again to the wonderful community over at the Two Writing Teachers. You are encouraging me to continue to write and write and write!