Christmas 2020 is going to be different. The restrictions on mobility caused by the development of the coronavirus will mean that many will not be able to travel, and the security measures required by the pandemic mean that technology is particularly important at this time of year.
During the first wave of the disease, all economic sectors relied on technology to maintain their activity. Similarly, this holiday season, when many of us will not be able to be with our loved ones, technology will once again play a key role in bringing us closer to those who are physically distant.
What are the most original ways to do it? Many opportunities to get in touch with the people who matter most to us. Here is a compilation of the most interesting ones.
1 Video calls: there are many and varied platforms. Google Meet (formerly Google Hangouts) allows you to connect up to 100 people and up to 60 minutes per call. Skype can bring up to 50 people together, but calls can last 24 hours.
For its quality and reliability, Webex, the Cisco solution, stands out for its free version, which allows 50 people to connect for 50 minutes.
If your relatives or friends are not very tech-savvy and want to avoid downloading or installing any type of application, they can also use platforms such as Jitsi or Discord, where it is not necessary to open an account to talk.
2. Social networks: social networks can also be of great help to send Christmas greetings in an ingenious way. Snapchat offers lots and lots of Christmas filters, as does Tik Tok, the social network that grew the most in 2020.
Even if the final recipient is not a user of these networks, both allow saving images and videos created for sharing on other more widespread networks such as WhatsApp. Filters can be really funny or surprising for those who are not used to their use.
3. Reface: Formerly known as Doublicat, Reface is another app that has triumphed in 2020. It allows you to exchange your face for that of the actors starring in the most famous movie scenes, such as Rambo, Pirates of the Caribbean or, now, any Christmas movie. Like other similar apps (FaceApp, Zao…) these applications carry privacy risks that you should be aware of before using them.
4. Program your Whatsapp: predictably, Whatsapp will once again be the star tool this Christmas. Very simple to use and with great acceptance in all age groups, we cannot let its constant dripping deprive us of paying attention to those who are close to us. Therefore, a good option may be to program the sending of greetings through an app, as explained in this article.
5. Christmas greetings: Whether by WhatsApp, by mail, by Instagram or by any means you want, a good option to get closer to your loved ones is to send an original and personalized postcard. There are many, many options, most of them free and with paid premium features. Canvas, Christmas Photo Frames, Dancing Elf or Create Christmas Card are some of them.
More special for the little ones may be Portable North Pole, an application that surprises with a personalized video in which Santa Claus addresses the boy or girl by name, and even shows his or her photo.
6. Snippet: is a personalized video platform capable of generating thousands of personalized videos in real time in a few hours of recording. This Christmas, the Spanish start-up will prepare individualized messages for children on behalf of the Three Wise Men.
7. A trivia game for Christmas: an original and fun proposal to get closer to family and friends during these dates. The Kahoot tool allows you to «design» your own quiz show, like Trivia or a customized «50 for 15».
Once prepared, each contestant responds from their own cell phone or tablet. Questions about the family, the escaped year, or family anecdotes can be prepared.
8. Group videos: Watch Together is a feature incorporated into Facebook Messenger with which users can watch videos together to make it easier to comment on them live and see their friends’ reactions in real time. It is possible to watch videos with up to eight people in a Messenger video call and up to 50 people in Rooms.
9. Give magazine covers as a gift: surprise your loved ones with something very special. Make them the cover of a magazine for a day. With the Posterini tool you can turn your loved ones into Time Magazine’s «character of the year», the latest «Hello» celebrity or the soccer league’s top player.
10. Virtual Teambaking: these are experiences designed for teambuilding or team management, but which can be applied, why not, to the family environment. For two hours the virtually assembled team performs a sweet challenge guided by a chef.
The end result is a joint piece of pastry, as one has made a part of cake, a letter or motif in cookie that together form a complete message.