If you do an online search for How to Host Christmas Virtually, you will get lots of great ideas. And when we say virtually, we mean by video conference of course.
Here are our 10 best suggestions for getting your virtual Christmas gathering underway:
Just like an in-person party, you’ll probably have just as much planning involved for the virtual big day, or days.
1 – Make a list and check it twice. List everyone you’d like to see and and the date or dates that work best for you and possibly the attendees. Be creative. Splitting up time blocks might be advantageous. It can be chaotic to have 20 people on a video call at once. Consider setting up separate times on the same day so you have one-on-one time with everyone. This may be less stressful. Or, just like rooms in a house, you can set up side rooms within Zoom and other video applications.
2 – Decide which video conferencing software might work best for everyone and your needs. Maybe it’s Zoom, facebook or something else. And you might become the tech person on call to help everyone get connected, so be prepared.
3 – You can send out invitations via snail mail or email. Whichever is less stressful for you is the best way to go. Include date, times(s), instructions for logging on and finding the video chat room. Instructions for setting up any needed software or accounts for logging may be helpful as well to invitees. Possibly consider a dry run in advance with anyone on your list who may be low tech or need additional help. It may make for less stress for all involved on the day of the virtual event.
4 – You can get really creative with food. Perhaps it’s an afternoon party and light fare and cocktails. Consider sending your guests care packages with food and cocktail recipes for the big day.
5 – Or share your menu and recipes for dinner and then everyone can make the same items or add their own spin to the culinary suggestions.
6 – Maybe it’s an after dinner virtual get together. In that case, perhaps send sweets or cookies to your guests, along with cocktail suggestions.
Do whatever feels fun, natural and safe to you.
7 – Consider sending everyone you invite a present or if you usually do a secret Santa, try to keep that tradition going by coordinating yourself. Just remember to encourage everyone to send their present early via USPS, FedEx, UPS, etc. Then mention in the invite that you’ll be opening them at your virtual party.
GAMES & MORE
8 – There are hundreds of games that can be played to pass the time or add a fun element to your virtual party. If there are popular games you’ve played in the past with your attendees, add them to the list or make up new ones to try out. The best ones have few rules, are easy to understand and can engage all age levels.
9 – Create a theme for your party. Maybe request that all attendees wear an ugly holiday sweater or only green and red attire.
DAY OF EVENT
10 – Be ready early and log on early. Run a quick test with your spouse, partner or one of the attendees to make sure everything is working well on your end. Nothing is more frustrating than inviting friends or family to an event and you as the host cannot even sign in.
Check the lighting and make sure your face is clear in the video call. And make sure your device is all charged up or a power cord is nearby. Expect the unexpected. Yes, Aunt Mary may come late, your Dad might have a hard time hearing or someone may have some obscene background noise (make sure you know how to click that mute button just in case).
Now, get ready to enjoy the party!
If you and your family, or attendees, are used to volunteering over the holidays, but are thinking of forgoing it this year, reconsider. Do a search online to see how you may be able to give while still distancing. Maybe it is through a volunteer effort or possibly giving a donation. Many aging in place facilities need support and specific items, especially during this time. Consider having care package supplies mailed to you, then assemble them, and set up a no contact delivery time. Or consider sending items straight to a needy organization that could greatly use your donations.
Your virtual holiday get together could be a group effort in assembly of different items for a place in need. Or maybe send cards and care packages to troops over seas. There are many ideas online, but start with organizations you’ve supported in the past to see how you can help virtually again this year.
These are unprecedented times, so be flexible, look for ways to have fun, add positive vibes to other’s lives and support your fellow man and woman. If you aren’t up for hosting a virtual get together, consider just calling a friend or checking in or setting up a video chat with a family member.
Stay safe, and healthy, and have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
We look forward to seeing you back at the Beach View Hotel in 2021!