This is not the Christmas that most of us had expected or hoped for, but we can all do our best to still make it festive and fun! One of my favorite things about this season is normally meeting up with friends and family and hosting little Christmas gatherings. Last year I wrote a guide about hosting the perfect festive get-together. This year I wanted to create another guide, but one that will be useful to you in our current situation – a guide to a virtual Christmas gathering.
If you’re not able to travel home to be with your extended family, if you’re in a country where you can’t have gatherings, or if you need to be extra safe, a virtual Christmas party is for you! Even though it won’t be the same, there are still a bunch of fun activities you can over Zoom. In this blog post I’ll be going through how to plan your own virtual Christmas party from choosing a platform, setting virtual backgrounds, and playing games. Stay tuned for some fun resources I’ve created as well!
Choosing a Platform
The first step to planning your virtual Christmas party is choosing your video platform. I would recommend using Zoom because you can set virtual backgrounds, share your screen (for some fun activities I’ll talk about later), and it has really great video and audio quality. A free Zoom call lasts for 40 minutes, but if you have a paid account you can hold a call for as long as you’d like. Alternatively, you could use FaceTime for something more simple and for a longer free call (you just won’t get all the accessories you get on Zoom).
Set a Festive Background
If you can’t actually be together, why not make it look like you’re together with a fun virtual background on Zoom? I shared 15 free festive Zoom backgrounds on my blog post here! They’re ready made for Zoom sizing, so all you have to do is pick one and set it as your background. It will just add a special festive touch to your call!
Have Some Christmas Music
Zoom calls can be a little awkward! Even if you’re calling with your best friends and family, it is still not the same as actually talking in person. Choose one person to play Christmas music from their device during the party or as everyone is joining the call, just to avoid those awkward silences. Everyone has their favorite Christmas songs, but I wrote a list of mine in this blog post.
One of the annoying things about being on a video call is that it is very difficult to have an organic conversation! People might be on mute, and it’s hard to know when someone else wants to talk. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in class this semester and accidentally talked over someone else! I think that the key to planning a Zoom Christmas party is to keep it packed with lots of fun activities and games. While you can’t play the traditional Christmas board games, there’s lots of online games to play.
Why not try a Christmas Song Bingo? I created a template myself and you can download it in this post. It’s basically like a regular bingo game, but the host plays a Christmas song and you have to recognize the name and cross it out on your bingo card.
You could also play guess the Christmas song as well! I love playing pictionary online at this site. It’s a really fun game to play with everyone and each person can have it up on their screen during the call.
I also really love playing the game Spyfall online with friends. It’s kind of a like a mystery game where everyone receives a location and you question all the players to find out who doesn’t know the location. It’s really fun!
You could also play Among Us, which is extremely popular at the moment. You’ll just need to get everyone to download the app beforehand.
One thing that my family always does at Christmas is create a Christmas trivia quiz. You could do this virtually this year by creating a Christmas trivia Kahoot (a fun and interactive online multiple choice quiz game) and getting one person to share it on their screen. You could also mix it up a bit and add in some trivia questions about your friends or family members (depending on who you’re doing it with)
You could also do a classic Christmas activity and get everyone to create their own paper snowflake at home and decorate your own rooms with them. There are a bunch of tutorials for this online!
Of course, if you’re feeling extremely brave, you could also organize an online Karaoke. If you want something more relaxed, you could use Netflix Party to watch a Christmas movie together.
The food is always one of the best parts of a Christmas get-together. There are still some ways that you can still eat some festive food during your virtual Christmas party. It could be a nice idea to share a festive recipe beforehand and get everyone to recreate the recipe at their own house for the party. It would be even nicer if this was a family recipe or an old recipe that everyone recreates, so that it’s still special. I’ve created a free festive recipe card that you can write your family Christmas recipes in this post.
If you love cooking, you could drop food to each other’s houses at a distance! Or if you don’t like cooking, you could order in or surprise your friend or family member by ordering a festive treat to their house. (of course, make sure you check the restrictions for going out and ordering in your own city)
Again, depending on the restrictions in your country, you could drop gifts to people’s houses at a distance the day before, and get everyone to open them during the virtual party. Alternatively you could order something directly to them!
You could also gift people virtual gifts this year. There are lots of virtual artwork gifts. A little plug for my store which sells lots of fun virtual gifts and is currently 20% off! Shop here. For other virtual gifts you could make a little virtual scrapbook or special video of all your memories!
Virtual Christmas Markets
I know that one thing I normally love about winter is travelling to different cities and experiencing Christmas there. You could take a little virtual trip together. It’s not the same, but I guess it’s the thought that counts! Travel + Leisure put together this guide of virtual Christmas markets and Christmas light shows that you could all watch together!
I really hope that this guide has helped you plan out a festive virtual Christmas party! I know as well as any of you that it is really disappointing not to have a normal Christmas with family and friends this year, but we all have to do our bit to stay safe. Hopefully this post showed you that you can still do a lot to be festive virtually! Make sure to share this post with your family and friends as you plan your own gatherings.
See you soon for some more festive content!