Christmas parties are a staple of the holiday season. Hors d'oeuvres on festive cocktail napkins, fabulous outfits everywhere you turn, and lots of great conversation around the mulled wine bowl are just a few of the things we love about Christmas parties. While so many of us are staying home for the holidays this year, there's no reason we have to miss out on the seasonal cheer we feel from hosting or attending a stellar Christmas party.
If you're thinking about hosting a virtual party, there are a few factors at play that you wouldn't necessarily think of otherwise. By following our tips for the do's and don'ts of hosting a virtual Christmas party, you can be sure to plan a memorable event that'll bring joy into your friend's and family's households, both near and far.
You can set the tone for a great party right off the bat with festive invitations. Before creating your invitations, you'll need to pick a time and pin down your guest list. One thing that's great about virtual parties is that you can invite friends and family that you wouldn't normally be able to see because distance doesn't matter, as long as your attendees have Wi-Fi! Be sure to specify the time zone on the invitation, in case you have loved ones connecting from multiple time zones.
Since this is a virtual party, find a site that sends ecards via email. Choose an ecard that matches the theme or vibe of your party, and make sure to include the link to the party in the invite. Pro tip: when setting up a virtual video conference for the soiree, check to ensure you have unlimited time, rather than a platform that might kick everyone off right when the party is in full swing (this is like the virtual equivalent of someone unplugging the stereo right when Jingle Bell Rock comes on!).
A virtual party doesn't have to feel any less important than an in-person party! Getting creative with your invitation and having guests RSVP in advance will set the right tone for the party, so avoid making a last minute invite that could feel more like a work meeting than a holiday bash.
Once you decide where you want to set up your computer for the party, make sure that room is decked out with Christmas decorations. Think about what will be in the frame. You might even want to test this out in advance and make decor decisions based on that. This will ensure your guests feel the festive energy you want to be putting out there, just as you would if you were hosting a party in your home.
If you plan to be on your couch, add some Christmas throw pillows and hang a wreath on the wall behind you. Or, if you'll have the Christmas tree and your fireplace in view, make sure you have your tree decorated and your stockings up in advance. If the best place for you to set up for the party is in the kitchen, you can add some cheer to the space with decorations like holiday hand towels, ceramic Christmas trees positioned on your counter, or garland hung on a shelf.
Since many of us have so many video meetings in our home offices, it's best to avoid setting yourself up for your party in this room. Just like it's important to get your guests feeling festive and ready to party, you'll want to be in the same mindset, so separating yourself from a space that might feel stressful or mundane will be best for your digital shindig.
Getting ready for a party should always be fun, and a virtual Christmas party is no exception. Turn on your favorite holiday tunes and head to your closet to do some style scheming. Going for more of an-all out festive look? Reach for that pile of Christmas sweaters (they'll be so happy to see you after a year!) and pair your favorite one with black jeans or slacks. If your party's vibe is a bit more subtle, opt for a cashmere turtleneck sweater with a chunky gold or silver necklace and a classic red lip. There's no reason you also can't go fully formal in a sequined or crushed velvet dress and chandelier earrings - just be sure to convey this on your invitation so no guests feel left out!
While we all want to live in our comfy sweats, wearing your everyday clothes or loungewear for your virtual party definitely falls into the "don't" category. Nothing against your go-to comfies, but you'll want the event to feel special, even if you're hosting from your couch or kitchen table.
Now all you have to do is pick out some festive treats, pop the champagne, and do the ultimate "do," which is enjoy yourself! And don't forget the unexpected "don't," which is fret about cleaning up after a house full of guests.