This holiday season, you may be taking on a very Buddy the Elf-like role, and hosting a virtual Christmas party for your friends and family. So far, the position has probably required sending everyone the Zoom link and spreading cheer through memes, GIFs, and care packages. While you're preparing for the main event, peruse these virtual Christmas party ideas that will be sure to put everyone — even the Scrooge in your family — in a merry and bright mood.
This virtual Christmas party will certainly look and feel much different than your usual in-person gatherings, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. But rest assured, it will be filled with new and old traditions. Thanks to technology, you can still watch a holiday rom-com with your besties and snack on peanut butter balls made with your grandma's famous recipe. Despite not being in the same abode, you and your cousins can still sport matching pajamas, and catch up on life while sipping peppermint-flavored cocktails.
You just have to be open to online experiences hosted by people around the world, ugly sweater fashion shows, and making the most of a virtual party that celebrates all-things Christmas. You've already picked a date and time for your party, or even sent out the Zoom link. Now all you need to do is to add some of these party ideas to your itinerary, and get ready for the merry and bright times to come.
It wouldn't be the holidays without freshly-baked gingerbread cookies. Before your virtual event, have all your friends and family make a batch and gather up decorative ingredients like frosting, sprinkles, and candy canes. Then, hop on Zoom and catch up on life while decorating your treats.
From Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, to How the Grinch Stole Christmas, there are a ton of well-loved Christmas stories out there that deserve to be told. Prior to your virtual party, send out a section of one story to each guest via text or email. After everyone has logged on, or before the party comes to a close, have each guest take a turn reciting their part of the story. It'll be an activity that will truly spread the holiday magic and cheer.
The perk of having a virtual party is you can actually tune into a ton of experiences with your group that you may not otherwise have been able to have together. These experiences range from learning about Italian spiced wine, to attending a holiday concert in Iceland, and mixing a candy cane mojito. Each event takes place online and can be booked in advance via Airbnb. To add one to your itinerary, book a private group session, or have your guests go to the Airbnb website and book a decided-upon date and time.
Your virtual Christmas party is a great time to show off all your holiday decor. This includes the stockings you've hung up on a mantle, and the garland you've draped on your dresser. Give a tour of your entire setup while on Zoom with family members and friends. Then, pass the torch — or candy cane, if you will — to another person to get some #inspo on how to decorate for next year's festivities.
Is there someone in your family or friend group who's super good at wrapping presents? Have them take the reigns for a little bit, and host a present wrapping workshop. Everyone's welcome to follow along in their own home while they dish their best tips and tricks. You can end this useful activity by having everyone take a pic of their final product decorated with ribbon and pinecones, and send it in the group chat to vote on the best present.
If your family and friend group is filled with movie fans, then it may be a good idea to stream a holiday movie onto your screen using Zoom's screen-sharing function. You can post a poll in a group chat prior to the event, so the group can decide what to watch. Each guest can bring their own snacks to the viewing — like chocolate-covered pretzels, kettle corn, or snickerdoodles. Halfway through, you can pause the film to chat, or keep the conversation going as the scenes go on.
Several beer, wine, and coffee brands come out with holiday blends for the winter season. And if your family and friend group is made of foodies, taste-testing a bunch of holiday brews is a quality activity to add to your party's itinerary. Each person who is 21 or over can snag the decided-upon drinks ahead of time, and then rate them as you sip on each one at a time. At the end, everyone can say what their favorite was and why.
This article was originally published on