Spending time with friends and family in person might not be an option for many, but that doesn’t mean the holidays can’t be fun. Virtual birthdays, celebrations, and holidays are here to stay. Make the most of the season ‒ virtual holiday celebrations that are planned with love can still bring as much joy as in-person festivities!
12 Ways to Celebrate the Holidays Virtually
1. Send out formal invitations.
Going digital may be the environmentally friendly way to go, but there’s something about the essence of handwritten notes and invitations that makes the occasion more special! Sending out invitations in the mail re-creates human connections that may have been lost. Get creative ‒ you don’t need to spend a lot of money! Grab some markers, stickers, glitter...whatever feels festive to you.
2. Decorate your background.
Put up decorations for your virtual background and encourage guests to do the same. Setting the tone for the celebration allows your guests to get excited about participating. It’s no longer a mundane Zoom room, it’s a party!
3. Have a dance party.
Who doesn’t love dancing? Make a playlist and invite your guests to contribute at least one song. During the party, get the music playing and have a dance-floor background or filter for everyone to download!
4. Enjoy a cocktail hour.
You can either provide guests with a list of ingredients to buy before the party or send the ingredients in the mail. Create an interactive mocktail- or cocktail-making session, then enjoy the fruits of your labor!
5. Cook together.
Cooking a meal together, even virtually, creates authentic human interactions. Organize a recipe exchange, and everyone can make the dinner provided to them. Sharing a family recipe for a dish that you would have normally shared together in person will make it even more special. At the end of the cooking session, all guests eat together in the comfort of their own homes.
6. Exchange gifts.
Pick names ahead of time, to give your guests time to shop and mail out their gifts. The presents can be inexpensive and unique. Open them on camera during the virtual gathering to show each other the thoughtful gifts received.
7. Prepare a scavenger hunt.
This is one of my favorite activities. Create a list of items to hunt for and share it with the group when you join your virtual call. Seeing everyone running around their homes, looking for items on the list, is pure joy. And it’s a great icebreaker because let’s face it, virtual calls sometimes start off a bit awkward!
8. Get dressed up.
Have everyone dress as elegantly as possible. It helps people get in the mood to celebrate ‒ and maybe they’ll even forget they’re at home instead of at a fancy soiree!
9. Plan a virtual trip.
Plan a tour of Paris, sip fine wine at a vineyard in Sonoma, or travel to Florence for art viewings. The opportunities are endless, and many museums and destinations offer virtual experiences on their websites.
10. Have a movie night.
Watch a movie together ‒ and for extra flair, send out popcorn tins beforehand to make it a more authentic viewing experience.
11. Treat yourselves.
Have a wellness and self-care party. Do group meditation, practice gratitude, take a yoga class together, or send out wellness care packages full of your favorite things, from candles to snacks.
12. Plan a virtual photo shoot.
Pick a theme and set up a photo booth session online. You can send links to printable props or have guests create props from what they have in the house. Snap a picture and send it out to everyone as a keepsake.
Keeping the Holiday Blues at Bay
The holidays are a time to show love and appreciation for the people who are important to you. It can still be a fun time for all, with a bit of effort put in. I love spending time with friends and family, and now virtual activities have become our new norm. We should take advantage of the resources we currently have. Don’t let the holidays pass you by because you’re not able to do them the way you used to do.