All the Essential Ingredients for a Virtual Holiday Party
Virtual baby showers, virtual birthdays, virtual weddings… Why not throw a virtual holiday party? The North Pole is truly the limit when you have videoconferencing tools at your fingertips! Learn how to put together an affordable and virtual holiday party for your friends, children, or even remote coworkers!
Virtual Holiday Party Must-Haves
It goes without saying that your virtual party will really only be as good as the technology you host it on! If you’ve been waiting for an excuse to upgrade your gadgets, this virtual party era is the perfect one. Plus, you are definitely on the nice list this year!
- A laptop or computer is the easiest way to pull up Zoom for your virtual holiday party. Depending on what you’ll use your laptop for in your day-to-day, you’ll probably have different requirements — like a laptop with ultra-long battery life, a device with super quick processing speeds, or a sleek computer with an HD camera. You can learn more about finding your perfect laptop with our Laptop Buying Guide.
- If you don’t have a laptop, a cell phone can work just as well! It’s easy to use Zoom on the sleek Samsung Galaxy Note20, which also features Galaxy’s most vivid display and a pro-grade camera.
- What’s a party without music? Set the mood by playing Christmas carols in the background with your Bluetooth speakers! The JBL EON ONE compact speaker lets you stream music straight from your phone or tablet, so you can turn up your holiday spirit wirelessly.
Don’t Forget the Invites!
Virtual invitations have never been more appropriate than for your virtual party. Websites like evite.com and paperlesspost.com make creating invitations a breeze, and they even have templates explicitly made for virtual parties!
Make sure to include all the essential details on these invites. If your guests will need to have any supplies on hand (for activities, crafts, or games) or if there’s a festive dress code, make sure to include it! Once your invitations are out, you can easily track RSVPs and send additional messages to your guests, like the Zoom link, once it’s created.
Virtual Holiday Party Themes
A holiday party is already festive, of course, but take your virtual party one step further with a special theme! Choose something fun, such as your favorite holiday movie, and have your guests dress accordingly. Some themes to consider are:
- Characters of Christmas. Dress like your favorite character from a holiday book or film! Activities can include film trivia and a costume contest.
- Jolly Pajama Party. Log in wearing your coziest holiday-themed pajamas. You’re not leaving the comfort of your own home, after all! To spoil your guests, send everyone a hot cocoa party favor kit in advance.
- Tacky Sweaters. This is a classic, but that’s because it’s so much fun. The person wearing the ugliest, tackiest sweater gets a prize of your choosing.
- Holiday Happy Hour. If you’re hosting a virtual party for guests 21 and up, a happy hour is a perfect way to get in the spirit. Guests can share recipes for their favorite festive beverages, or you can even host a cocktail making class.
- Gingerbread Competition. An entertaining theme for kids and adults alike, a gingerbread house competition, is a great way to make your virtual party interactive. Guests can use whatever edible supplies they desire, and the most elaborate gingerbread house wins!
Virtual Holiday Party Games
Holiday party games are essential in any scenario, but they’re incredibly important when it’s all going down via teleconference! The online format can be a little harder to warm up, but these games are sure to break the ice and get everyone chatting and enjoying themselves!
- Holiday-Themed Pictionary: Split everyone into two teams, with one person being assigned an official team artist. (Hint: the artist should be someone with a dry erase board or poster board handy!) Then, send each artist a list of holiday-themed words, and they’re off! The first team to correctly guess the word gets the point.
- Trivia: Because it’s difficult for teammates to consult each other on a video call, trivia is best played “every-guest-for-themselves.” Create a list of holiday-themed trivia, based on carols, movies, books, traditions, and so on, and have your guests jot down their answers. Have some tiebreaker questions handy in case there’s a tie at the end!
- Scattergories: For this game, everyone just needs a piece of paper and a writing utensil. Pick a holiday-themed category, like Christmas food and drinks or things found in the North Pole, have guests take turns picking a letter, and competing to see who can come up with the most words, beginning with that letter that fits the category. The person who has the most answers has to read their list aloud – and other guests are free to challenge them!\
- Christmas Charades: Write down a list of holiday phrases and activities. Privately message one of your guests an item from your list, and have them act it out! The first person to guess it becomes the new actor.
Virtual Holiday Party Activities
Cocktail classes and gingerbread competitions have already been mentioned, but there are plenty of fun virtual holiday party activities that you can facilitate for your guests.
- Holiday Flicks (from afar): For younger kids, merely watching a Christmas movie with friends is a blast! Ahead of the party time, ensure every child’s parent can access the same film – options on Netflix are good! Once everyone has signed on, have parents start the movie simultaneously so the little ones can watch together.
- Secret Santa Gift Exchange: Social distancing doesn’t have to ruin your traditional gift exchange. If you give your guests plenty of time before the party, each secret Santa can have gifts delivered to their recipient’s house. Once everyone is online together, guests take turns opening their presents. If you’re under a time constraint (or you want to save money on shipping and handling), e-gift cards are a great alternative!
- Christmas Crafts: Pick a kid-friendly craft, like this Paper Plate Santa Claus or Grinch Slime, and give everyone a small shopping list before the party. (If you’re extra generous, you can always drop off party supply baskets beforehand!) When everyone is on the video call, walk your guests through the craft together.
- Holiday Rose, Thorn, Bud: This is a wonderful game to play when catching up with long-distance friends around the holidays. In this game, each person shares their rose (their favorite part of the holidays), their thorn (their least favorite part of the holidays), and their bud (something that has potential, or that they’re excited about). It can be serious, silly, or both!
- 12 Days of Christmas Workout: If you have one of those unique friend groups that log in for virtual workouts together, an intense Christmas workout might just be the perfect endorphin rush! Lead your guests through a “12 days of Christmas” workout of your creation, with each day becoming the number of repetitions: 12 push-ups, 11 sit-ups, ten lunges, nine mountain climbers, and so on. Run through all 12 “days” several times, and don’t forget the festive music!
Virtual Holiday Party Music
Your in-person holiday party certainly wasn’t a silent night, and your virtual holiday party shouldn’t be either! Have your guests submit their favorite holiday songs and create a playlist with everyone’s requests. Grab a state of the art sound system at Rent-A-Center, and your carols will be crystal clear!
With the right technology, you can have a virtual holiday party comparable to your best in-person celebrations! Explore laptops and speakers online or at your nearest Rent-A-Center and start your order today to stay connected with your loved ones during the holidays and beyond!