There can be no denying that everyone’s 2020 winter celebrations will be different. Regardless of which festivities you celebrate, (Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanzaa, etc) the usual in-person social gatherings must be put on pause.

So the question is, how can loved ones be together during this time of year as human connection once again makes its way to the forefront of most people’s minds?

The New Plan for (Socially Distanced) Holiday Gatherings


Social journaling is a great way to chronicle adventures of all kinds, and socially distanced holiday adventures are no exception. When this is all over and life returns to some semblance of normalcy, we’re all going to want the chance to look back on our experiences.

We’re going to want a place to store our consolidated and nostalgic social memories. This way we don’t have to reminisce over our past experiences with a gap in pandemic holiday memorabilia from this time in our lives. All of us can point to these digitally stored memories and say, “Look, here’s what Christmas (or Hanukah, or Kwanzaa) was like in 2020.”

Up until now, we’ve been able to snap pictures of kisses and bear hugs and paste them into bulging family photo albums. We’ve been able to film “Baby’s First Christmas” videos and stack them onto the growing pile of home movies overflowing in the hall closet. And we’ve been able to squeeze all of our aunts and uncles and cousins around various makeshift dining tables strewn all over the house.

Family Eating Meal. A Hispanic family (male adult, two female adults, female child, and male child) enjoy a meal at the dinner table.
Photo by National Cancer Institute / Unsplash

Now, however, safety comes first.

In this new era, togetherness isn’t gone, it just looks different. We must find a way to connect to our loved ones without potentially putting them in danger.

Yes, we have masks, face shields, and little “six feet apart” stickers in grocery stores. But these things are not enough for home gatherings. This is especially true for large families with lots of sick or elderly folks, who are more at risk for the COVID-19 virus. We also need to consider safety for families with lots of children (who— let’s be honest— are absolutely not going to stay six feet apart from anybody for any reason).

After all, family gatherings are a time when, traditionally, the entire concept of personal space has been thrown out of the window. The notion that, suddenly, entire lifetimes of habit would be overhauled in the name of safe decisions… well, that’s just laughable.

As we’ve seen throughout Halloween and Thanksgiving, too many families have thrown caution to the wind, not realizing what potential damage their actions can cause. Unfortunately, there have even been a few deaths associated with this behavior.

Although frustration during this time is understandable, considering consequences is better for everyone in the long run. And twenty years ago, this would have been absolutely devastating news. But, fortunately, modern technology has progressed far along enough for us to do that, in the form of TapeReal.

In addition to cataloguing the life journeys we take in our careers and hobbies, TapeReal also provides the perfect place to stay connected to family and friends over the holidays.

How to Stay Connected and Socially Distanced with TapeReal


Until now, we’ve taken the physical closeness present in holiday celebrations for granted. Things like cooking, playing board games, gathering around a bonfire or hearth… all of these things could be done in the past without too much thought. Mom and dad could flit around snapping photos of delightfully candid moments while holiday memories unfolded in real time.

But this year, in 2020, how can we recreate those beautiful opportunities from afar?

Well, we can record our experiences on TapeReal to act as a digital bridge across this COVID affected landscape.

How does that look?

  • We can create Solo Audio Tapes of our camera shy cousin singing her favorite carols.
  • We can film Solo Video Tapes of ourselves building card houses and challenge our cousins to do the same.
  • We can continue a loved tradition with Auntie Imogene, rating this year’s Christmas movies (in a Tape) .
  • We can encourage Grandma Margaret to film herself cooking the family favorite Mac and cheese recipe (and then encourage everyone to try their own hand at her creation).
  • We can record every family member telling their favorite holiday memory stories and post them for everybody to see.
  • We can have a themed contest for funniest story of the year (that can even be voted on by other Tapers!)
  • We can tell the story of the most important lesson we learned in 2020 and challenge other family members to make a tape about theirs.
  • We can create audio Tapes of small children saying Merry Christmas to everyone (warming the hearts of everyone on the internet while keeping their privacy intact).
  • We can start a “popcorn” story and have every family member upload a video or audio recording with an added sentence until the story is complete
  • We can share, like, and comment on the holiday memories of other Tapers to continue encouraging human connection and never losing hope
  • We can create video proof of our New Years resolutions (and encourage our other family members to do the same!)
  • BONUS: We can can even start journaling about this New Years Resolution through making Tapes to hold ourselves and our family members accountable!)

Social journaling over the holidays provides much needed human connection for our own individual family units, but it does so much more than that.

Sharing these experiences on a platform that prides itself on attracting folks who crave authentic communication is something special. This is a great way for families from different cities and even cultures to connect with each other during these difficult times.

What this year lacks in opportunities for physical closeness, it more than makes up for in opportunities for digital closeness.

And even though technology can never replace the sound of laughing grandchildren, the feeling of grandpa’s bear hugs, or the sight of Mom’s prized pecan pie, it can provide the next best thing: a reminder that togetherness isn’t gone.