There are a lot of holidays between November and January every year (too many to list here, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lists_of_holidays) and for most of them it looks like that the pandemic this year will keep many of us at home, instead of travelling to celebrate with our families.
There are probably as many individual traditions to celebrate as there are stars in the sky. We decided to virtually share one German Christmas (TV) tradition with you this season to have an opportunity to meet virtually in a very interactive format provided by the Berlin startup Wonder (https://www.wonder.me).
But let's start with the tradition, before we talk about the platform.
Some of us - me [JMK] among them - always unpack the presents on Christmas Eve (24th) not on Christmas Morning (25th) and that is- of course - always a tense time in every household. To offload some of the stress our public broadcasters had - and still have - an all-day telethon to keep us brats away from the tree and the presents. That telethon is called "Warten auf das Christkind" which ends in the early evening (after early mass) and after that we normally went medieval on the living room and buried everything and everyone in a mountain of wrapping paper. Throw in an excited dog or two and you can imagine the pandemonium (on Christmas Eve, of all days :-) )
So we thought that we offer something similar in a virtual interactive format, that is not Zoom, and kind of a mixture between "Warten auf das Christkind" and an office Christmas party and decided to try a new platform to achieve this. Wonder is a startup from Berlin and their platform allows for meetings with spontaneous one-to-one communication by just dragging and dropping your avatar in a group or next to another avatar and share your audio and video and we thought to have a few areas like a "Silent Drinking Room", if you just want to have a cup of tea (or a an eggnog), a Heavy Gift Unboxing area (where nobody will complain about ambient noise on your microphone, go to town) , a Competition Area to vote for best cookie or best gift-wrapping, a Present Your Pet Area, where you do not have to wait for your pet walking through the image by accident, and more.
There are no prerequisites. It runs in a browser, the link in this invitation is all you need to enter, no registration or whatever. Currently there is still a password on the room, which will disappear on December 24th.
You do not have to be there at a certain time. Doors open at 4 PM, drop in, out and back in again as you like. Bring or invite whoever you want by sharing the link.
So whatever you are celebrating, we invite you and would be happy to have you to share this tradition with us.