Jacob Wackerhausen

I am the oldest of four biological kids and 5 adopted kids. My parents (gratefully) are both still alive. I have four children of my own, and 9 nieces and nephews. Typically, when we get together for the holidays, which we always have, there are at the very least 28 of us (counting spouses).

And that's just my immediate family.

But this year...this year will certainly be different, won't it?

Like many families across the nation, despite what the heart may want, my family plans to remain home, with just our own partners and children. We're making this choice to avoid the possibility of contracting or worse spreading the Coronavirus.

This will be a first for my family. Despite most of us living in different towns or states, we are all very close, and have always shared holidays together.

And during a year that's been so trying and stressful, robbing people of their joy, jobs, health and in some cases hope, to not have the solace of being able to take comfort in familiar company seems to be the worm topping on the mud sundae that's been 2020, seems almost unbearable.

The folks at Zoom, the popular video conferencing platform, seem to get that we're all feeling the loss of connection with our family and friends. Traditionally, folks can use the free version of Zoom to place video calls, but without buying into certain plans and subscriptions, they caps the length of time a call can last. It's usually about 40 minutes.

But, in a move that I thought was pretty classy, Zoom announced earlier this week, that they would be lifting the time limit constraint on free Zoom calls for the entire duration of Thanksgiving.

That means, families and friends can still share in the day (provided they have internet access and a device that allows you to Zoom!) without feeling rushed.

Can you imagine trying to make a Zoom call, to almost 30 family members, but only having 40 minutes catch up with all of them? If you've got one sibling or parent with the gift of gab, or a toddler that gets a hold of a phone and runs away with it for ten minutes, you've blown a huge portion of that time.

So for Zoom to make that entire day fair game (which also helps if you have family in different time zones) is a pretty great thing, if you ask me.

While it may not be the same as meeting and eating in person...

When life give you lemons... make a turkey dinner and eat it on a Zoom call!

At least Grandma can't reach through the screen to pinch your cheeks!

For more information on Zoom, you can click here. 

 

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