Social distancing means your seasonal festivities may look different this year, but that doesn’t mean they have to be any less joyful. We’ve put together five ideas for virtual holiday celebrations to make the season merry.
Host a Virtual Gift Exchange
Shop, wrap and send your gifts to friends and family well in advance. In your invite, don’t forget to include an unwrapping order, so guests know who is opening a gift when. Others can turn off their cameras and mute themselves, so all eyes and ears are on the guest doing the opening.
There are countless ways to take your virtual holiday gift exchange to the next level. Theme your exchange — the 80s, holiday jammies, ugly sweaters, maybe the Griswolds — the possibilities are endless. Dress and decorate accordingly. Make it a contest and pick a winner at the end of your exchange. You could also send a recipe for a holiday cocktail or favorite treat in your invite. Have everyone make it to enjoy during your exchange.
TIP: An online tool, such as Elfster or Secret Santa Generator can help make drawing names easier.
Challenge Guests to a Holiday Virtual Scavenger Hunt or Trivia Contest
Watching everyone scramble to find that particular ornament, or wrapping paper featuring snowmen, or random household item will surely create some great holiday memories. For larger get-togethers, you might divide into teams, taking into consideration age and physical ability. The guest or team with the most items wins.
Test guests’ holiday knowledge with a trivia contest. Make up your own questions, or you can find some great questions online. Mix up your teams by age and personality to guarantee a good time.
You can also assign teams ahead of time in your event invite.
Organize a Virtual Wine Tasting
Gather in the virtual vineyards of Italy, France and Spain this holiday season. Include a wine list and suggestions for appetizers in your invite. Have guests create custom backgrounds for the big event. Do a round-robin toast, where everyone contributes to the sentiment of the season. Cheers!
Don’t leave guests empty-handed. Set a price point and have everyone contribute their favorite bottle of wine for a gift exchange.
Snuggle in for Virtual Story Time
This idea is especially fun for families with young children. In your invite, include a link to a classic holiday story or spiritual tale. Make sure everyone prints the same version so the reading makes sense. Add a reading order (by page or part) to your invite. Encourage costumes and funny voices, if appropriate. Encourage guests to fire up some hot chocolate and grab a cookie or two.
Connect for Virtual Holiday Carols and Cocoa
Even though you can’t gather around the piano this year, you can still celebrate the season with your favorite holiday songs. Shout out requests during your event or send a song list in your invite. And there’s nothing like hot cocoa to keep the vocal cords warm.
Tips for a Smooth Virtual Celebration
- Email or text an invite for your event with a date, time, and URL for joining a Zoom, Google Hangout or similar video platform.
- Be sure to check the video platform’s settings and test the link prior to the big day.
- Have your guests check their audio and video settings before joining.
- Include any special instructions for the activities you have planned.
TIP: Remember to capture screenshots throughout your event. Ask others to do the same. Collect the images, create an online photo album, and email it for guests to enjoy after your event.
However you choose to celebrate, we wish you good times and great memories this holiday season. As you prepare to kick off the new year, connect with your local Farm Bureau agent to ensure you have the coverages in place for a happy and safe 2021.