This year, my wife and I have decided not to travel to our home state, Ohio, for Christmas. Because of COVID, we’re staying in North Carolina – and we’ll wake up in our own home Christmas morning for the first time in 25 years. We’ll miss being with our families, but we’re grateful for the opportunities Zoom presents. In fact, here are some Christmas fellowship Zoom ideas we might not have considered otherwise—even if we simply record a Zoom greeting and send folks a link as a “video Christmas card”:
- Hanging out with our families—but greeting them more one-on-one or household-to-household via Zoom. In the past, our family Christmas gatherings have been large groups, and our conversation has been more surface-level than not. Sometimes a simple “hello” was about the best we could do if we wanted to greet everyone. We can change that pattern using Zoom.
- Greeting during the Christmas season long-lost friends we’ve not seen in years. Pam and I have been talking about friends from our years of ministry, and we’re thinking about ways to connect with them—which we seldom had time to do personally in previous years.
- Encouraging missionaries on the field. Be aware of security issues, but take some time if possible to wish a personal Merry Christmas to cross-cultural workers. They’ll love hearing from believers in addition to their families.
- Contacting previous pastors who’ve meant much to us. I’ve been a pastor or professor most of our married life, but we’ve had some pastors who became really special to us. A quick Zoom “thank you” and “Merry Christmas” might mean a lot to them.
- Reaching out to extended family members who typically haven’t been part of our family Christmas gatherings. That’s usually because they live far away, and frankly, we’ve not always been the best at initiating phone calls during the busyness of the holidays. Maybe we could do differently this year.
- Surprising the kids of a church family by a holiday Zoom visit from their pastor and his wife. I love being “Pastor Chuck” to the little ones in our church – and I would look forward with glee to greeting some of them on Christmas and learning what presents they received. I may be wrong, but I think even a few minutes of interaction would excite them.
- Intentionally reaching out to others who’ve made the same decision to stay home this year. Pam and I are fully comfortable with this decision, but we know Christmas eve and day might be harder than we think. Why not Zoom with others experiencing the same situation and encourage each other?
None of this will happen, of course, by accident. We’ll have to plan now to do any of these—and we won’t do all of them, I’m sure—but this Christmas could bring unique opportunities to fellowship with others.
What are your suggestions?