Christmas virtual activities graphic

Although the coronavirus pandemic has canceled some traditional Christmas events, there are still socially-distanced and virtual opportunities available to boost one’s holiday spirit.

Here are some in-person and virtual Christmas-themed events students can attend during breaks from studying and working on final projects.

Art projects

Christmas sign-making — The Makery, a creative workshop space located at 209 West Calder Way in State College, is hosting an in-person Christmas sign-making class from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 10.

This class will teach participants the basics of hand-lettering. Although one design will be demonstrated for the class, participants can use any variety of wood signs and colors provided for their piece.

Tickets for the class, which can be purchased here, cost $50.

Virtual painting class — Mimosas & Masterpieces, a traveling paint and sip operating out of South Bound Brook, New Jersey, is hosting a virtual painting class starting at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 10.

The class will guide participants through painting a “Christmas moose” via a Facebook Live stream. Registration for the event can be found on the Mimosas & Masterpieces website.

The event itself is free, but requires a 16-by-20-inch pre-stretch canvas, brushes and paint — the colors red, yellow, blue, white, black and brown are recommended. Mimosas & Masterpieces also sells painting kits that can be ordered via its website.


Christmas movie trivia — GameOn Trivia, an organization that hosts live team trivia contests, is holding a virtual Christmas movie trivia night from 8 to 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 9.

The event includes four rounds of five questions each and a final bonus point opportunity at the end of the game.

Registration is required and tickets are $5.

Upon registration, participants will receive the Zoom link for the event.

Hogwarts holiday trivia — Harry Potter fans can rest assured that their interest in the wizarding world is taken care of this holiday season, with a Hogwarts holiday trivia night hosted by Deliciously Magical Trivia, an online Harry Potter and Disney themed trivia group.

The event will take place from 8 to 11 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 11.

Registration is required but at no cost to participants. Attendees can also choose to register as a solo player or with a team.

A Zoom link will be sent to participants the day of the event.


Cultural experiences

Polish holiday traditions — A nonprofit organization called the Polish Heritage Society of Grand Rapids, Michigan, is hosting a Zoom webinar to teach participants about Polish holiday traditions.

The webinar, which will be held from 2 to 3 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 10, will teach attendees about practices such as traditional Polish nativity scenes and the Wigilia Supper, the Christmas Eve vigil supper in Poland.

Registration is required, and the event is free to participants.

A Zoom link will be sent to attendees upon registration.

Global holiday practices — Those hoping to learn more about global holiday traditions can attend the “Exploring Holiday Traditions Around the World” webinar hosted by the Center for Health and Wellbeing in Winter Park, Florida.

This webinar, which will be held from 7 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 10, will offer participants the opportunity to learn about how holiday traditions that take place around the world build those communities.

Attendees will also have a chance to test their newfound knowledge via a short trivia game at the end of the webinar.

The free virtual event requires pre-registration, after which participants will receive a Zoom link.

Santas around the world — A sightseeing tour agency in Chicago is hosting a Facebook Live event to teach participants about how the traditional Christmas figure Santa Claus is viewed in cultures around the globe.

The event will take place from 8 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 16. It is free to attend and doesn’t require a ticket.

Participants can also view a recording of the livestream on the organization’s Facebook page after the event is over.

Historical Lectures

It’s a Wonderful Life Museum — The It’s a Wonderful Life Museum is hosting a virtual road trip to take participants through its exhibits from an online setting.

The museum is located in Seneca Falls, New York, the town which is widely believed to have inspired the 1946 Christmas film “It’s a Wonderful Life.” It showcases an array of items from the set of the movie, and it is advised by several of the film’s actors and actresses, including Karolyn Grimes, who plays Zuzu Bailey.

The virtual road trip will take place from 10 to 11 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 7. Registration is required, but it is free to all participants.

Christmas at Connemara — The Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site in Flat Rock, North Carolina, is continuing its annual Christmas at Connemara event virtually this year.

The historic site is dedicated to Carl Sandburg, a poet and journalist most known for his biography of Abraham Lincoln.

Christmas at Connemara will take place at 10 a.m. on both Sunday, Dec. 12 and Sunday, Dec. 19 via a Facebook Live stream. The Dec. 12 event will feature a folk music performance and the Dec. 19 event will include a performance of hammered and mountain dulcimer.

Registration is free for both events. The Dec. 12 event sign up is located here and the Dec. 19 event registration is here.

Christmas Eve White House fire — The Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum will host a Zoom event to retell the story of the fire that occurred at the White House on Christmas Eve in 1929.

A museum archivist will host the event, which will run from 6 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 17. Registration is free and required.

If you're interested in submitting a Letter to the Editor, click here.

Quincey Reese is a news features and investigations reporter for The Daily Collegian. She is a sophomore majoring in digital and print journalism with a minor in psychology.