How to Host a Virtual Holiday Party

How to Host a Virtual Holiday Party

If there’s one thing we’ve learned this year, it’s just how much you can do via video conference! In addition to the usual work-related video meetings, we’ve seen people blind date, get married, and reveal the gender of their unborn child – that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

In a year that’s already seen so many changes, it’ll be no surprise that our holidays are going to be pretty different too. Thankfully, with the help of video conferencing programs, no one has to miss out on celebrating with loved ones.

But before we dive into our tips for hosting this year’s festivities virtually, we just wanted to remind you that while things might look different, it’s also an opportunity to try new things. Who knows? You may just start a whole NEW tradition!

Here are a few tips to adapt to this year’s changing social regulations…

Tip #1: Mail out a save the date invitation

This may sound old school, but there’s something so exciting and nostalgic about getting snail mail! With the help of Vistaprint and MOO you can whip up a cute, and totally customized, invite.

We love the option to upload a personal photo, but you can also opt for a pre-made design. Let invitees know you’ll be following up with an email invite with more information – including a conference call link and event agenda!

Tip #2: Take your online holiday party to the next level with a theme!

If you’re a traditionalist, a holiday sweater party is always a classic! Invite everyone to wear their favourite sweater to the call. And if you don’t have one, don’t worry – you can find affordable ones at stores like H&M, Etsy and boohoo.

via boohoo

Or if you’re ready to shake things up, why not try a tropical holiday party! Everyone can wear Hawaiian shirts, opt for luau themed decorations and a meal with tropical flavours. We’ve found tons of inspiration online.

That leads us to the event itself, and something we all look forward to – the food!

Tip #3: Kick off the call with a shared meal

There are some foods you only get to enjoy once a year and just because you aren’t together doesn’t mean you can’t share your favourite foods with some of your favourite people! Here’s how to go about it…

• As part of your invite, share a menu with your guests. Think about including an appetizer, main dish, dessert, and a beverage to pair.
• Create a shopping list for your guests or share a link to the recipe in the email invite.
• Holiday savings hack – before heading to the store visit the Gift Card shop for Cash Back on a grocery gift card; stores include Loblaws, Walmart Grocery, Longo’s, FreshCo, No Frills and more. Bonus – it’s a contactless method of payment! We love a 2-for-1!

Encourage invitees to have meals prepared and ready for the call. When you’re all eating the same thing at the same time it feels more like the traditional get-together. And this year, no one has to fight over the last dinner roll!

Tip #4: Get a game going

For many, holiday parties wouldn’t be complete without some friendly competition. No worries, you can keep up the competition online. We’ve found that the easiest games to play on a video call are the simplest, like charades:

• Most people know the rules, and it’s easy to teach for those that don’t
• Find a charades generator online – you’d be surprised how many there are! Share the link and you’re ready to go
• Get ready for things to get competitive especially if you have prizes, but bragging rights also go a long way!

Tip #5: And finally, get those gifts!

If you usually open gifts are your holiday events this year should be no different. We recommend shipping any presents that need to be delivered extra early this year. If possible, have gifts sent straight from the retailer – many online stores offer a gifting option. That way you don’t have to worry about paying for shipping and additional time.

Once you’re ready to unwrap, take turns. Share in the joy that comes with opening a gift, especially an extra thoughtful one.

If you’re celebrating virtually this year, tag @rakutenca on social so we can join in on your fun! Happy Holidays!


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