To say that 2020 has put a damper on our social lives is an understatement. And considering the CDC’s current guidelines for holiday celebrations, it’s safe to say that virtual gatherings and socially distanced hangs will continue well into 2021.
But before you pull a Grinch and cancel the holiday season altogether, keep in mind that a virtual holiday party can be almost as good as the real thing with a little ingenuity and extra planning. From proper invites and group games to signature cocktails and a festive outfit, you can still give the holidays the fanfare they deserve via Zoom.
What’s more, hosts have countless options when it comes to planning. If you really want to nail that cohesive dinner party feel, you can send out party packages in advance complete with a signature cocktail recipe, apps, and desserts, matching place settings, festive decor, and more. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you can keep things low-key and just ask party-goers to log on with their favorite carry-out meal and drink of choice — it’s totally up to you, your budget, and your friend group.
No matter your approach, your squad will love you for giving them something to look forward to this holiday season. Ahead, find everything you need to throw a fun and safe virtual holiday party, complete with Milk Bar truffles, twinkle lights, and personalized wine glasses.
The Invites & Agenda
Whether you opt for a paperless post or a printed greeting, proper invitations and some semblance of an agenda will give your event much-needed structure. As anyone who’s attended a Zoom bachelorette party or wedding shower can attest, large virtual gatherings can quickly devolve into mass chaos without any sort of plan (especially when alcohol is involved).
In addition to basic information like time and login instructions, consider including an agenda, a list of needed supplies, and possibly even a dress code so your guests know what to expect. You can even bundle your invite with a few add-ons that ladder up to the night’s activities, like individual dice sets or customized bingo boards. If funds allow, throwing in a festive candle so all guests can burn them in unison and pretend they’re actually in the same room. Scent goes a long way when creating a memorable experience, and candles are always a home-run gift!
First things first: The menu really depends on how much effort your group is willing to put in. You can keep things bare bones and go all BYOB and BYOF, or go full potluck style and ask each guest to safely drop off portions the day-of so everyone’s actually eating the same meal. For a happy medium, you can send guests a few munchies and a bottle of wine as the host, and ask everyone to fend for themselves for the actual dinner.
If you’re the holiday party host, your Zoom backdrop should obviously be on point. While you can certainly make do with your existing decor, festive touches like twinkle lights, candlesticks, and napkin holders will take your solo tablescape to the next level. If you really want to go the extra mile, you can even send each guest a place setting bundle beforehand to recreate that cozy dinner party atmosphere.
Once you’ve got the event sorted, it’s time to turn your attention toward the mirror. While dressing up to sit at your kitchen table alone may sound excessive, donning your holiday-party best is a foolproof way to make life feel relatively normal for a few hours. While a dress and heels may be out of the question for some, a festive top, statement earrings, and fun eye makeup is manageable (especially with sweatpants and slippers on the bottom).
Cheers to throwing a Zoom party that people will actually want to attend. Just don’t forget the music.