17 Virtual Christmas Party Ideas

Wondering how to get into the holiday spirit this December? Check out our tips on how to throw a festive Christmas Zoom party!

Brittany Barber

Contributor

Thinking of hosting a virtual Christmas party on Zoom this December? Well if you're wondering where to start, you've landed on the right page.

From hiring a virtual Santa to choosing a festive Zoom background, you've got a few things to consider! Because unless you're having a tiny, socially distanced Christmas 2020, it's possible that you may not even leave the comfort of your own home this Christmas. 

We've put together 17 virtual Christmas party ideas to make sure that, despite enduring a pandemic this holiday season, you and your loved ones enjoy a festive celebration together — virtually! 

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Here are 17 ideas on how to throw a virtual Christmas party: 

Use Christmas Cards as Invites 

If you're sending Christmas cards this year, why not use them as invitations to your virtual Christmas party too? It'll be a nice surprise for your loved ones to receive it via snail mail, especially since the event is already virtual.

If you don't feel like getting yourself to the post office, however, another fun way to send an invite is with a virtual singing telegram! It'll be totally unexpected, and a memorable way to start the holiday season. 

Choose a Festive Zoom Background

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Photo: Zamurovic Brothers/Shutterstock.com

A must-have for this virtual holiday season is a Christmas Zoom background! We have 50 festive Zoom backgrounds you can download here, along with instructions on how to change your Zoom background. Each Zoom image is hi-res and free to download, so don't hesitate to pick more than one! 

Bonus: Celebrating a different holiday this December? Check out our 60 free virtual Holiday Zoom backgrounds for a broader selection of images. 

Put Up Christmas Decorations 

Even if your virtual party guests won't be physically coming over to your house, it's no excuse not to decorate! Deck out the Christmas tree, line the railings with festive garlands, and put up those twinkling Christmas lights like all those years before! Oh, and if you're using a video chat platform other than Zoom, make sure to decorate the area you'll be making the call from, and get into the holiday spirit!  

Get Dressed Up

Whether you decide to dress up as Santa or one of his reindeer — mention what the dress code will be in your invitations. You could even make it a formal, black-tie virtual event, and require your guests to wear their best holiday outfits! 

Virtual Secret Santa 

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Photo: 4 PM Production/Shutterstock.com

If you haven't already organized your virtual secret Santa, make sure you do so in time for your Christmas Zoom party! Wondering how to go about it? It's simple.

Instead of pulling names out of a hat, use this awesome Secret Santa Generator online. It's free to use, and even allows you to customize exclusions — for example, you can make sure that couples or roommates won't get one another. It also lets you include a gift budget, mailing addresses, and decide on how you want your participants to receive their secret Santa names. 

Send your gifts in the mail ahead of time, and unwrap during your Christmas Zoom party. 

Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest

One of the best virtual holiday party ideas of the century? An ugly Christmas sweater contest. Encourage participants to get creative and make their own ugly sweaters this year, then take a vote to decide on whose is the worst! 

Plan a Virtual Activity 

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Photo: Artur Didyk/Shutterstock.com 

Without the usual mingling of an IRL party, make sure to include an activity you can do together online! We've gathered a few ideas for you, like: 

Enjoy a Virtual Viewing of The Nutcracker - If one of your holiday traditions is to go out to the ballet, why not host a virtual viewing of The Nutcracker at your Christmas party? You can still help support the performing arts by buying digital tickets here!    

A Virtual Telling of Dickens' A Christmas Carol - If the ballet isn't your thing, how about a virtual telling of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol? You can purchase your virtual tickets with Guthrie Theatre here.  

Watch a Christmas Movie - Choose your favorite holiday film, and watch it together! Some great classics include Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (the stop-motion, obviously), A Christmas Story, It's A Wonderful Life, or The Grinch. Take your pick! 

Virtual Dance Party - What's a holiday party without dancing? Share a Christmas playlist (or this specially curated virtual dance party playlist) with your guests, and get moving.

Virtual Christmas Scavenger Hunt Never hosted a virtual scavenger hunt? No problem, it’s simple. First, decide on a leader. The leader will create a list of household items the other players have to find. Give the players 60 seconds to find each item. The first to bring their item to the screen wins 3 points. Anyone else who brings the item within the 60 seconds gets 1 point. Create a festive scorecard to keep track of points, and play until you’ve exhausted your list! 

Pro Tip: Choose a mix of easy and obscure items — this will help bump up the competition and keep players interested. Make sure to use Christmas-themed items too! (Like a star-shaped Christmas ornament, a candy cane, a red ribbon, etc.) 

"When I was a kid, Christmas..." - Go around in your virtual circle to tell one another what Christmas was like when you were a kid. And if there are kids playing too, ask them which Christmas was their favorite, and why!  

Family Christmas Slideshow - Gather a selection of your favorite family photos, and present them on Zoom at your virtual Christmas party! 

Hire Virtual Christmas Entertainment 

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Photo: Stanisic Vladimir/Shutterstock.com 

Hiring virtual entertainment for your Zoom Christmas party is a great way to make the most out of your digital experience. Make it memorable with one of these awesome virtual vendors: 

  • Virtual Santa  - Hiring a virtual Santa to make an appearance at your Christmas party is especially fun if there will be small children participating too!
  • Virtual Storyteller - A virtual storyteller can tell a dramatic Christmas story to your Zoom party guests.
  • Virtual Caricaturist - Invite a caricaturist to draw portraits of your virtual guests, so your guests have something special to remember this Christmas by!

Virtual Holiday Happy Hour

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Photo: Mariyana M/Shutterstock.com

Get the cocktails flowing at your virtual Christmas party with one of these delicious holiday cocktail recipes. You could even hire a bartender to host a mini workshop, so your guests can learn a little mixology during your festive Zoom gathering. Don't forget to pair your drinks with a festive snack, and enjoy each other's company while you sip and snack together, apart! 

Find more Christmas celebration ideas on The Bash.

About Brittany Barber

Brittany Barber, lover of books, dogs, and romance, graduated from Bishop’s University with a Communications and Theatre degree. After spending some time working abroad in the theatre world, she is now a freelance writer covering a range of lifestyle topics including wedding and event planning for The Bash, WeddingWire2life and Fluttr.

Published on 11/12/2020