By Haley Martinsen
It’s that time of year… Even with the Covid-19 vaccine taking over our newsfeed, virtual holiday celebrations are the safest idea for this holiday season with your loved ones. To make it easier on you, here are a few tips and ideas to help create the best virtual gathering possible. Pros of a virtual gathering: you can finally mute your super-political uncle at the dinner table!
Another pro of virtual holiday celebrations is you can make online invitations and don’t have to print them out! Sending an aesthetically pleasing holiday invitation to your loved ones is a thoughtful way to let them know you’re thinking of them.
You can also post the invitation to your community and open the event to more than just your immediate group. Hosting an online holiday celebration is a great way for small businesses to engage with their followers, even if it’s just a quick live video to send them well wishes for the new year. You can even take it one step further and host a small holiday giveaway on your Instagram, which is a great way to increase engagement while letting your community know you’re thinking of them.
If you have a more flexible timeline and budget, consider sending your attendees something tangible to share together virtually. This could be wine, a small snack or party favor! There are tons of ideas for every budget range and this sweet gesture is worth looking into for the holidays.
If you want to shop small this holiday season, here is a gift guide from small businesses that would make the perfect holiday attendee gifts!
Virtual Happy Hour
A virtual happy hour is always an easy thing to organize. Even if it’s non-alcoholic! There are plenty of ways to spin a virtual happy hour for the holidays.
You can play a ton of games virtually and you can even make a holiday Kahoot for your friends. Turn it into a drinking game and create a “Most likely to” where the person with the most votes drinks.
This is always a holiday favorite, so why not make it virtual? All your attendees will have to do is get the ingredients, or buy a cookie decorating kit if they don’t want to put too much time into it.
It’s also a great idea for families with kids or for your friends to do over a virtual wine night!
There are a ton of platforms now that allow you to watch a show with someone else, like Teleparty (previously Netflix Party). All you need to do is set up a video call and the Teleparty link (and pick the movie!) and you’re all set. Minimal planning, but guaranteed to be a sweet bonding activity over the holidays.
A theme will definitely bring your party to the next level. Even if they’re small things, like change your background to a holiday background from your favorite show. They create conversation starters and excite everyone beforehand as they plan for the virtual holiday party. Some other themes include:
- Ugly sweater contest
- Game night
- Family dinner: everyone eats together
- Secret Santa: organize names beforehand and have everyone order a gift and deliver it to them before the event! Then, everyone can open gifts together on the call.
- A toast to the New Year
- Karaoke or a sing-along: this is for those of you who don’t want to sing along to Mariah Carey alone!
Whatever virtual event you’re planning, try to plan it sooner than later! We all need to add more to our calendar’s these days, and it will be especially nice for your loved ones to have something to look forward to this season. No in-person gatherings is a damper on all of our holiday seasons, but it’s important to keep the well-being and safety of everyone in mind. Stick to Zoom!