Thinking about how to connect with your loved ones? We’ve found the best ways you can stay connected through the festive season, whether that’s in your spare time, when you’re shopping, or when you’re trying to clear that Christmas task list.
Pick up a controller
If you’re from the generation that didn’t have Playstations and Nintendo consoles available in your living room when you were growing up, all this video gaming might feel a bit worrying. However, according to the University of Oxford, ‘video game play is positively correlated with well-being’. Playing age appropriate games with your children or your loved ones is a great way to connect; it’s spending time, not wasting time.
To play video games with another person, we’d recommend finding a game that is couch co-op; this means that you can both play the game next to each other. The couch co-op game of the moment is Baldur's Gate 3, which is a fantasy role-playing game set in the exciting world of Dungeons and Dragons. If you like something a little more puzzle focused, try It Takes Two, or for some mini games, try Mario Party Superstars.
Get your shopping done
For a lot of people, Christmas is one very long list of things to do, things to buy, people to see and tasks to complete. If you’re completely weighed down with the thought of starting to get Christmas organised, we’d recommend Habitica. This little app takes your tasks and turns them into Habits, Daily goals and a To Do list, in the style of a fantasy game.
Complete your tasks and you can earn rewards for your avatar and level up, unlocking armour, pets and magic skills. With Habitica, you can even connect with your friends and partners and battle monsters; however, your fight gets a lot harder if one of your team members hasn’t met their Daily goals! This app is completely free, and is ideal for people who need a little extra motivation when it comes to their task list.
Shop green for refurbished tech
If you’re thinking about getting your loved one a mobile phone, laptop or tablet for Christmas, you can be good to the environment and your bank account shopping for refurbished tech. If an item has been refurbished it means that it has been restored so that it is like new, which means it is much greener and far less expensive. A good refurbished product should also come with warranty, so that you’re protected in case something does go wrong.
You can buy refurbished tech from specialist sites like Back Market, which sells everything from video game consoles to smartphones, or you can purchase them directly from the manufacturer like Apple. Apple’s Certified Refurbished products come with a one-year warranty.
Have a quick video call
We might not be in lockdown this Christmas, but for elderly, disabled and chronically ill people, making it to your Christmas party could be nearly as difficult in 2023 as it was in 2020. Luckily, technology can help you connect with each other whether you’re sitting next to each other on the sofa, or you’re thousands of miles apart.
Obviously, Zoom and other video conferencing applications are ideal to keep communicating with your loved ones. However, you don’t have to just sit and talk. Games like Overcooked allow you to get busy in the kitchen with your friends; try the Holiday bundle to experience the magic (and stress) of making Christmas dinner together. Or try Teleparty to watch your favourite festive films; you can even use the group chat feature to chat throughout (without annoying the person who needs absolute silence).