Merry Christmas!

Photo by Reuben Teo on Unsplash

Please click this link to view my animated Christmas card to all of you.

I will be taking a break from blogging until January 1st, 2020. Please accept my warmest thoughts and best wishes for a wonderful holiday season and a very Happy New Year!

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A List of Christmas Events in the Various Social VR/Virtual Worlds

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

This is a list of the various Christmas events which are taking place this holiday season on the various social VR platforms and virtual worlds I cover on this blog. If you have an event that I have missed, please let me know and I will update this listing, thanks!

Sinespace

Sinespace has a Winter Festival with events running every day from Dec. 21st, straight through until New Year’s Eve! Here’s the complete schedule. (And don’t forget to take advantage of one month of free Premium membership!)

Second Life

As usual, there is so much happening in Second Life around Christmastime that it is impossible to compile a full list!

  • Your best bet is to check the Events listing under Search; you can do a keyword search, or select events using the drop-down category menu in the upper right-hand corner of the Events window in Firestorm (for example, “Live Music” to catch a live performer’s show).
  • The official Second Life Destination Guide lists eight pages worth of winter attractions to visit.
  • The Seraphim website has a list of fairs and events that you might want to check out.
  • Among many other club events happening throughout Second Life over the holidays, Bryce Sun is DJing on Christmas Day at the FMD Club, which bills itself “the premiere destination for Second Life’s sexiest and most fashionable residents”.

Sansar

On Dec. 21st, Solas and Drax will host a special holiday edition of Harvest Hopping (the long-running Sansar worlds exploration event formerly known as Atlas Hopping). All are welcome!

And on Dec. 27th, there will be a Christmas Community Campfire at Witchy’s Winter, hosted by Beverly Zauberflote:

Please check the Sansar Events page for more details on these and other events during this holiday season.

AltspaceVR

Check the AltspaceVR Events Listing for all the news on what’s going on, including four separate VR Church Christmas services on Dec. 22nd: one at a time zone for Australians, a second at a time zone for Europeans, and two back-to-back services for North Americans.

VRChat

The best place to find out what Christmas events are happening in the busy world of VRChat is the VRChat Events website, with an online calendar of events, and a link to join the VRChat Events Discord server.

Also, there is a brand new Winter category in the Worlds menu in VRChat, with places for you to explore!

VRChat is also home to the annual New Years Times Square, where you could run into just about anybody! It is described as a developer-made world with hundreds of posters from the VRChat community.

My source, Fionna, also tells me:

I will be hosting an event for the world builder community on New Year’s Eve as well, featuring a world made by Sentinel, which is a gorgeous Art Deco lounge.

NeosVR

Medra, an organizer of the NeosVR Creator Jam series of events in NeosVR, posted:

The holidays are almost upon us and the 30th Creator Jam…so it’s time for:

Creator Jam 30: 3rd Megajam & Winter Holiday Party

Sunday December 22nd
Starts at 2 p.m. EST(11 a.m. PST/19:00 UTC).

As an anniversary and Holiday celebration come hang out exchanging gifts, dressing up, and voting on Christmas trees. This will be a party and Swap Meet. NeosVR is wonderful for people unloading their inventories. What a better way to be in the spirit of giving than for people to share what they have or made. If you have a cool avatar, share it! If you have a cool gadget, please share. Pack neat Logix snippets in adult beverages or prezzies. We will be be exploring all the previous nine Creator Jam worlds in a livestream with Nexulan.

Secret Santa gift exchange will be held during this party at 2:30 p.m. EST (11:30 a.m. PST/19:30 UTC) Even if you aren’t a part of the Secret Santa gift exchange feel free to give gifts to specific people or everyone.

Everyone is welcome. I look forward to seeing all!

Somnium Space

Somnium Space is simultaneously saying goodbye both to 2019 and to the first version of their Steam client, with a Farewell Party on Dec. 30th with special guests Vivian Chazen (the host of The Hive VR) and musical artist Luke Reynolds:

Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: Christmas Gifts from the Cosmopolitan Event (and Advent Gifts for December 17th)

Another December event which offers lots of gifts for freebie fashionistas is the current round of the biweekly Cosmopolitan shopping event, which runs from the 16th to the 28th of December. It’s only two weeks long, shorter than other events, so be sure not to miss it!

Just inside the entrance to the event is a huge Christmas tree, with stockings you click on to receive the presents. (You do have to join the Cosmopolitan group for free to pick up these gifts.)

Participating vendors are adding stockings to the tree every day between now and Christmas, so I would advise dropping by on Christmas Day and picking up everything at once.

If you insist on visiting every day, the layout of the stockings around the tree can be somewhat confusing compared to traditional Advent calendars, and you might land up collecting the same gifts multiple times. You might want to use this tip provided by SL blogger Chic Aeon: once you have clicked on a stocking and received its gift, right click on it, Select More from the pie menu, select More again, then select Derender, then Blacklist. You will no longer be able to see that stocking on return visits! (These are the instructions for the Firestorm viewer; I do not know what the equivalent is for the standard Second Life viewer.) This is a genius tip! Thanks, Chic!

Cat Pink SL has already posted a YouTube video with a look at a few of the early gifts from the Cosmopolitan Christmas tree, so I am not going to bother posting pictures of the presents here:


Today Vanity Fair is wearing two Advent calendar gifts for Dec. 17th:

  • The lovely Nola dress which comes with a separate black bolero jacket, from Virtue. The calendar requires you to join the Virtue group, which is free to join.
  • The Osaka shoes in riverside blue from Essenz. The shoes comes with a HUD to change the colour of the sole (4 colours), the metals (4 textures), and the flowers (26 colour options!). The calendar requires that you join the Essenz group for L$350, but I believe there is an option for non-group members to purchase each day’s gift for L$50.

Vanity Fair is also wearing:

Happy freebie hunting!

Editorial: How to Deal with a Blue Christmas

Photo by Cody Chan on Unsplash

Christmas can be a lonely and depressing time for many people in today’s society. The sometimes-overly-forced seasonal emphasis on good cheer, conviviality, and harmonious holiday gatherings with friends and family can often bring those people like me, with less than Instagram-perfect lives, down. And yes, I am one of those people who sometimes struggles at Christmastime.

Nika Talaj made the following wise observation on a recent thread in the official Second Life user forums:

SL is all about longing … often for things we lost in RL (real life). Longing for the body we lost years ago, longing for the dance moves we don’t have, longing for the perfect partner, longing for our own home. And Christmas, for many of us, also brings up feelings of loss and longing.

So, what can you do if you have a case of the Christmas blues? Here are 14 tips from the Health.com website:

  • Make plans ahead of time: Spend some time figuring out how to take care of yourself during this time, and be sure to schedule those activities.
  • Avoid family conflict as much as possible
  • Focus on the good: Especially the good people in your real and virtual lives.
  • Forget about trying to be perfect
  • Learn how to grieve: This is particularly important if this is your first Christmas without a loved one. Talk about your feelings or reach out to support groups in your community.
  • Don’t skimp on sleep
  • Limit social media consumption: Social media, where everybody seems to be having a better time than you, can often increase feelings of sadness and loneliness. Get off Facebook and other social media sites, or limit their use over the holidays.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it: here’s a list of helpful resources.
  • Make exercise a priority
  • Consider your light exposure: In the Northern hemisphere, especially if you live closer to the North Pole as I do, the lack of daylight can lead to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). If you think you may be suffering from SAD, talk to your doctor about treatment options. I have a SAD lamp which I use when I am feeling depressed.
  • Make other plans: Deliberately plan and do some non-holiday things.
  • Focus on what matters: It’s not all about the Christmas presents.
  • Don’t binge on food or alcohol
  • Cut back on your commitments: It’s OK to say “no” once in a while.

I hope that this list of tips is helpful to you this holiday season. Please feel free to leave a comment if you have any other tips you want to share, thanks!