Don’t let the pandemic stop you from hosting a Christmas or holiday party with your family, friends, clients, community or colleagues? You can still embrace the holiday spirit and spread cheer by hosting a virtual Christmas or holiday party with tons of fun activities.
I recently hosted a holiday mixer on Zoom for our friends at The Expat Woman with virtual games, contests and icebreakers. Despite it being online, everyone was very engaged and we all had a blast.
Virtual events are easy to host and won’t break the bank. And the good news is during the holiday season, Zoom has lifed the 40 minute limit on Zoom meetings during the holiday season.
Here are 10 creative ideas to engage and entertain your guests
1. CHRISTMAS/HOLIDAY MUSIC PLAYLIST
Curate a list of your guests Christmas/Holiday songs by asking them to add songs to your party playlist to Spotify or Pandora. You can play the soundtrack before the party starts, during the party while there is some downtime or in the background while playing one of the virtual games I’ve shared below.
Kick off the party with a fun icebreaker. Have each of your guests answer a few questions, Here are some suggestions
- What is the best or worst gift you ever received?
- What is a Christmas song that makes you cringe?
- What is one thing are you most grateful for this holiday season?
- If you could travel right now, where would you go?
- When did you stop believing in Santa?
- Do you have a New Years’ resolution in mind? If yes, what is it?
3. UGLY SWEATER CONTEST
Ask your guests to wear an ugly sweater. If they don’t have one, they can create one with an old sweater, Christmas/holiday decorations like baubles, tinsel, ribbons and a glue gun. There are tons of examples and tips on how to create one. Then have each one show off their ugly sweater at the virtual party. You can award a prize for the best sweater. Have everyone vote for their favorite sweater.
4. FESTIVE BACKGROUND
Encourage everyone to have a Christmas/Holiday themed background by either creating a virtual background or choosing a room with the decorations as a backdrop. You can even have a prize for the best one.
5. HOLIDAY THEMED ACTIVITY
Do you know if any of your guests makes great cocktails or chocolate or is crafty? Have them share their skills and get the rest to follow along. You could also purchase kits like build a gingerbread house or cookie decoration or make a wreath and send them out in advance or you can plan a more DIY-approach to be budget friendly by providing a shopping list to guests. Walk them through how to make it and then have everyone showcase their creations at the end.
6. SCAVENGER HUNT
Create a list of Christmas/holiday themed items that guests can find around their house. To play, just fire off prompts and whoever brings the item back first gets a point. Plus you can award extra points if that person shares more about the object.
7. TRIVIA CHALLENGE
Put your guest’s holiday knowledge to the test with little knows as well as popular. For this activity, your guests can play individually or you can break them up into groups for some additional bonding.
8. DANCE PARTY
You can host a virtual dance for your holiday party.You can find YouTube DJ playlists or you can create your own playlist. If anyone in your group of guests is a good dancer, have him or her lead or share some moves.
9. WATCH A MOVIE
Take a vote and select the most popular Christmas/Holiday movie that the majority want to watch. You can use Zoom to watch the movie together by sharing your screen when on Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime videos, YouTube or others. Let everyone share what they are munching on, such as Christmas cookies, popcorn, candy canes, and other treats.
10. DINNER PARTY
Plan a Christmas/Holiday menu with your guests prior to the party. Share the recipes and make sure everyone prepares them in time for the party. You can also have a list of wines that folks can pair with their dinner. Then have everyone sit down and enjoy their dinner virtually.
SAMPLE VIRTUAL CHRISTMAS/HOLIDAY PARTY AGENDA
If the list of ideas above has inspired you to go ahead and throw the best virtual party, here is a sample agenda and timeline to help you get started. The ideal length would be 90 – 120 mins.
0:00 – 0:15: Party begins and guests log in / get settled. Make sure you are online to greet them as they sign up. You could have them answer the trivia questions while you are waiting for all the guests to call inf. If using Zoom meetings, you can do this by creating a poll.
0:15 – 0:30: Welcome from the host and review of the party agenda. During this time you can mention any special activities that you have planned.
0:30 – 0:45: Kick off the party with an icebreaker.
0:45 – 1:15: Host games, activities, contests and award prizes
1:30 – 1:55: Dance party or dinner
1:55 – 2:00: Closing thanks from the host