5 Fun Ways to Include Grandma & Grandpa During a Socially Distanced Holiday

It is no secret that this year has been very difficult for our relationships. We have all had to miss friend’s and family’s birthdays, big life events, and quality time with our most important people. 

With the Holiday season upon us, there are many of us who are trying to figure out COVID-friendly ways to include our loved ones, especially those in high-risk groups like our grandparents. 

Thankfully, the CDC has provided us with recommendations on how to keep our families safe during this time. From social distancing to limiting the number of guests you host during your Christmas activities, there are several ways you and your loved ones can enjoy the holidays this year—even if you can’t all be in the same room.  

So, here are 5 new and fun ways to include grandma and grandpa during a socially distanced Christmas, and who knows, they might just become a new holiday tradition!  

#1 Prepare A Special Virtual Dinner

Virtual COVID Christmas Dinner

As stressful as Holiday dinners can be, they are usually everyone’s favorite way to celebrate as a family, and that means being together. We know it’s not quite the same as being in the same room, but thankfully there are some virtual solutions! 

With apps like Zoom, Google Hangouts, and Skype, everyone in your family can video chat with each other at the same time, so it‘s almost like being in the same room.

What’s even better is that many nursing homes just like us have made it even easier to meet virtually with your grandparents. At St. Ann’s, you can now easily book a virtual visit with your loved ones and enjoy the holidays together. 

Pro tip: To make your Virtual Dinner go smoothly, make sure everyone has their pre-made meals ready for your online hangout party. You can make it even more special by having everyone prepare Grandma and Grandpa’s special recipe that reminds you and your family of the holidays! 

 #2 No Need to Be Tech-Savvy For Virtual Games

Not everyone knows what MMOs are and how they work! To be honest, there is no need to get this fancy! You can quickly implement online games that are easy to access and play with the family, no matter their age.

One good thing that has blossomed since the pandemic is websites like Teambuilding.com that allow you to host online games and activities. From scavenger hunts to bingo, you can still have family-appropriate games that everyone, even grandma and grandpa, can participate in and enjoy.

No matter how young or old you might be, a little game time can encourage bonding with the family—despite the distance!

#3 Healthy Holiday Competition Knows No Distance

If you are still skeptical about game hosting websites, there are still plenty of activities you can organize with your family through a virtual visit. The holidays wouldn’t be complete without decorating cookies or building gingerbread houses, and thankfully you can still do that at a distance. 

One way to make your virtual holiday fun is to organize a friendly virtual competition among your family members—this will undoubtedly encourage some playful banter! You can make a friendly competition out of anything, from who wore the best ugly Christmas sweater to who can make the best DIY snowflake. 

Don’t let distance stop you from participating in these classic holiday activities. Who knows, you might be able to implement this one in the future for family members who are far away for the holidays! 

#4 Virtual Secret Santa

gift exchange COVID Christmas

Another key part of the holiday season is exchanging gifts with your loved ones. A classic activity that everyone participates in every year is Secret Santa. Just because you are far away from your family doesn’t mean that you can’t exchange gifts with each other. 

Sites like Elfster.com make it easier to organize a virtual secret Santa with your family and friends. Everyone still gets to “draw” a name, and you can even create a wishlist and add your address so that whoever draws your name knows what to get you and where to send it (so they don’t have to give themselves up and ask for your address). 

Once Christmas day arrives, you can easily meet virtually and get your family’s virtual Secret Santa going. 

#5 A Christmas Holiday Newsletter

a COVID Christmas Holiday Newsletter

If a virtual visit isn’t enough for your family to stay connected during the holidays, you can easily create a Holiday Newsletter to share with your family and friends. 

I’m sure you’re asking yourself, “What’s a Holiday Newsletter?”

From talking about your favorite memory this year to special and exciting announcements for the new year, you can update your family in an easy and fun way. A family newsletter exchange like this will allow you to feel even more connected with your family during this time. 

Sharing unforgettable memories like these can be saved and cherished for way longer than just the holiday season, and it can be a new tradition for your family! 

But who said your family newsletter is only appropriate during the Christmas season? Go ahead and start sharing a newsletter whenever you want to! Plus, no one loves getting little gifts like that more than Grandma and Grandpa. 


Just because this Christmas season will be socially distanced, doesn’t mean that it has to be a lonely time spent far away from your loved ones. Thanks to technology and innovative people, there are many great alternatives for spending quality time with your family this year. This way you can keep those in high-risk groups like grandma and grandpa safe. If your loved one is in an assisted living home, check to see if they offer virtual visits as we do here at  St. Ann’s.   

With the current pandemic conditions, we want to be extra careful about keeping our loved elderly population safe and sound. So let’s embrace the situation and get creative with how we spend time together! 

Having a virtual visit with your loved ones during the holidays gives everyone the chance to spend time together and participate in your classic holiday events. 

Visit St. Ann’s Virtual Visit Services to learn more about how you can book an appointment and share the holiday jolly with your family.