The holiday season is upon us, and it’s looking a bit different this year. This year is one for the history books, but make it even more memorable by throwing an epic virtual holiday party. We know, we know. You need a break from Zoom, FaceTime, or whatever video platform you’ve been using while working from home or keeping up with loved ones. But, with proper preparation, your virtual party won’t be a drag at all. Just tons of fun!
Decide who you’ll invite, and after planning out your party, send a snazzy e-invite, text, or email with festive details. Then, set the scene with Christmas decorations. If you’re the host, you want to make sure your background oozes joy and merriment. Also, nudge your attendees to decorate their backdrop, too, even if just by hanging a stocking. No pressure.
Next, decide on a dress code or theme, and remember to tell everyone. Having people dress up or wear holiday-themed accessories will be lots of fun. Of course, try to play entertaining games, like Secret Santa. Finally, allow time for people to catch up with other guests. Zoom fatigue may tempt you to say, “Bah Humbug!” to yet another virtual gathering. But, with the below tips, your next holiday party will sleigh.
If you’re going to be the moderator of the party, show off your holiday spirit by decorating your home to appear warmer and more inviting. You probably won’t be in one spot the entire time, so pay special attention to any areas that may be on camera. Write a list of all the Christmas decorations you’ll need.
Choose the centerpiece of your scene. A decorated Christmas tree is an easy choice. Trim your tree with Christmas ornaments, boxwood garland, and other cheery holiday decorations. Lay down a quilted, flannel, or an embellished silky Christmas tree skirt. And hang warm lights — white or multicolored.
Then, add other decorations around your home. Deck out the fireplace mantel with greenery, like a traditional wreath, holiday-themed candles, and needlepoint Christmas stockings. Hang decorative hand towels in the kitchen. And set the table with an embroidered table runner, festive napkins, and your best dinnerware and serveware. Finally, be sure to have snacks, food, wine, and other drinks hanging around, and tell guests that they’re free to munch on their own treats. If you want to, boast about your latest tipsy hot chocolate recipe.
Hoodies, sweatshirts, and long-sleeved T-shirts are so last Zoom meeting. Spice things up by having everyone don festive attire. Either opt for a dress code or a theme. Dresses for women, men’s cardigans, and kids’ comfy formalwear are all winners. Or, have a holiday-themed PJ party. Have everyone wear their favorite Christmas pajamas and loungewear, a Santa hat, and cozy slippers.
You can never go wrong with an always laugh-inducing silly sweater contest. However, having everyone wear their favorite Christmas accessories will do too. From a shiny red nose to an elf hat, wearing holiday-themed accessories will bring just as much joy as going all out.
What’s a party without games? You and your guests can have just as much fun playing games virtually as if gathered in one place. And from game systems and smartphone apps to card games and trivia, there are ample games to choose from, so keep your favorite choices in mind.
An always popular Christmas game to play is Secret Santa. Before the day of the party, let those who wish to participate pick out names using an online program or app that makes coordinating Secret Santa remotely effortless. Schedule a time for opening Secret Santa gifts. Besides, who doesn’t like more gifts?
Also, have a few contests where the winners win a gift. For example, have everyone vote for the ugliest Christmas sweater, coordinate a talent show or dance-off, or award the cutest dog Christmas bandanas, dog coats, or other outfits. Have some small prizes ready to ship or drop off to guests such as warm gloves, hats, gift cards, etc.
Make sure to allow for free time so that everyone can catch up with other guests either in their home or virtually. Of course, keep a schedule for games and other activities, but like any in-person party, you want to give people time to kick back and hang out. Plus, you want to give yourself a break too!
The holiday season is an ideal time for catching up and having a good time, but there’s nothing like relaxing with the people you love. During downtime, play some upbeat Christmas tunes. Classic or pop, mix up your Christmas playlist by including something for everyone. It’ll be a thrill seeing everyone get up and rock around the Christmas tree while caroling.
Before ending your party, let everyone open any Christmas gifts they might’ve received beforehand on camera. Give everyone enough time to give thanks. Then, wrap things up by thanking everyone for attending your epic holiday party. Let anyone who wants to say goodbye have the floor. Some attendees may have exciting updates about their lives or may desire to talk about the next virtual get-together. So, keep the virtual session going for those who want to linger a bit longer.
Holiday parties are essential to a merry season. However, since remaining as safe as possible is a top priority right now, hosting a holiday party virtually will still let you form sweet memories and celebrate with those you love.