How to Host a Spirited Virtual Holiday Party

Keep it festive from afar.

By: Caylin Harris
A happy Asian - Pacific Island woman wears an ugly Christmas sweater, having fun during the holiday season.  She takes a self portrait with her smart phone to share on social media.


A happy Asian - Pacific Island woman wears an ugly Christmas sweater, having fun during the holiday season. She takes a self portrait with her smart phone to share on social media.

Photo by: Getty Images / Ryan J Lane

Getty Images / Ryan J Lane

While a virtual holiday celebration might not feel the same as in person time with family and friends, there are playful ways to get in the spirit this holiday season if you’re willing to get creative. Take a cue from Dr. Seuss’ Grinch-detested Whos and make the most of the season, roast beast or none. Here are a few ways to make the best of a virtual holiday party.

DIY a Real Virtual Background

If we’re being really honest most digital backgrounds are a blurry bust (if your computer is even fast enough to use them). Instead, get inventive for the holiday and make your own backdrop. Hang wrapping paper from the wall or go more creative and festoon greenery, bows, paper lanterns, balloons, lights or other festive accents behind you. Think of your background like a photo booth backdrop and have fun with it.

Keep It Organized

There’s no easy way to mix and mingle when it’s virtual, so instead of awkward remote small talk, make it an event! Pick an activity to enjoy with participants. Loop in Grandma for a cookie-baking session, or make Christmas ornaments with all the kids in the family. If you’re extra on top of things, send out necessary ingredients or crafts to participants, so you’re all ready to go.

Minimize the Music

Family playlists are a fun way to feel connected but don’t play them on your actual all-family calls. Songs can overpower voices speaking (plus you’ll have an all-in-one mixtape of holiday beats). If you definitely want music, ask one person to play holiday DJ.

Get Dressed Up

It still feels fun to put on something sparkly — or at least plan to have a proper shower. Up the virtual ante by setting a proper dress code: Have an ugly sweater party and make sure to see everyone’s selection or get really dressed up just for fun — antler headbands, one and all! You can even offer a prize for best-dressed participant.

Shake Up the Conversation

We’ve been talking an awful lot and after being around the same people for an extended amount of time, conversations might feel a little lackluster. While a comfortable silence can be welcome, sometimes it’s nice to connect. For a little help, try buying a conversation starter cards or make up fun questions as prompts. They’re a wonderful way to have deeper, more meaningful talks with the people you love.

Simul-stream Your Favorite Movies Together

Coordinate a movie night where everyone watches an old favorite at the same time. Swap ideas for themed snacks, find festive PJs to watch in, then send group or family texts as you watch.

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