This is not possible in personal events at the moment: parties, parents’ evenings, regulars’ tables, Christmas parties, games evenings, pub visits. But in the virtual world everything is possible: parties, parents’ evenings, regulars’ tables, Christmas parties, games evenings, pub visits.

I have often been amazed in the past weeks how well this works. A parents’ meeting on the screen? Could be embarrassing if everyone is silent or only one of them speaks the whole time. We have tried it and invited to a zoom meeting. To lighten things up, we first had a few short, informative opinions about, followed by a round of introductions in the plenum. Afterwards I sent the parents in changing line-ups to digital breakout rooms for ten minutes, where they chatted in small groups. It turned out to be a really good evening, which lasted much longer than planned because most of them stayed and still demanded a breakout round.

I’m already planning the first digital Christmas parties. No, they don’t completely replace the real encounters, but they are a good alternative. A few days in advance, a mulled wine set, a box of cookie ingredients or a colleague’s Secret Santa gift will be sent by mail. At the Christmas party everyone gathers at their screens and listens – as usual – to the Christmas speech of the boss or the club chairmen. Afterwards almost everything is possible. Digital escape rooms, for example, a magic show or an online quiz. Virtual cookie baking together. A wine or chocolate tasting. You can retreat to a breakout room for a cocktail in a small group or play online city-rural-river. From noble to exuberant, everything can be realized digitally.

The prerequisite: good ideas and solid planning. In other words, basically what every “real” Christmas party needs.

By the way: There is much more to it, there are hardly any limits to your imagination. Joint training of the handball youth? Runs by zoom, and from the rooms of the sons come puffing noises while doing push-ups. Baking scones in front of the computer? Beginners bake scones in various kitchens and the course instructor gives them tips from the bakery in London. Even playing cards is possible. Once a week I meet my card game in front of the computer. We open Zoom to see each other and the app to play. Then we gamble – often until late at night.