Here at the North Pole we want everyone to have a safe and Merry Christmas! So here are some ideas that myself (Santa’s Poet), Santa and Mrs. Claus and the elves came up with to have a jolly family virtual Christmas party:
First pick your favorite virtual platform. If you have not done any virtual meetings before, you can ask the people in your family who have done virtual meetings to help you set it up. Practice using the virtual platform you select such as Zoom, Skype, Google Meets or whichever one you choose before your Christmas event. There are also a ton of YouTube videos on how to use these platforms, just Google “____________________ for beginners”. Example: “Zoom for Beginners”.
Now for the ideas of what you can do at your virtual Christmas that with bring smiles and laughter to everyone.
Before starting the event each family (or individual) uploads a photo or mascot to their profile and changes their name to “Mystery Santa’s Helper (and a random number)” and people guess in the chat (you don’t want to talk or people can figure out your photo using your voice), when the guess is correct, that person turns on their camera.
Dress up for your Christmas, it’s a special day!
Bring your favorite drink with you to the event. Up here at the North Pole non-alcoholic eggnog is a huge favorite, though some of the younger millennial and gen z elves really enjoy crushed candy cane milkshakes.
Each family (a term we will use to mean each computer screen, whether it’s one person or a group) can give a virtual tour of their Christmas decorations or if it looks like that would take too long each family can show their favorite Christmas decoration.
Depending on where everyone is located, you can have a Christmas potluck, where each family is responsible for different parts of the meal and orders that part, for example appetizers and has it delivered to everyone.
Send out or have each family have gingerbread and decorations. Together you can decide to build something, it could be a town, amusement park, North Pole or whatever you decide beforehand. Each family build a different part of it. After the time is up, everyone shares what they made. (If you send the images or videos to the most geeky computer savvy person in your group, they can edit it together to create your family gingerbread town or whatever you created tour.)
Come up with ideas of what to do with fruitcake other than eating it, it can involve disassembling it or using the whole brick of fruit cake, the person to come up with the most ideas wins. This can be done with teams of family or in breakout rooms or just give people three minutes to write down all of the ideas they can come up with and share your list of ideas with everyone. If it is a larger group see how many people got over 5 (write 5 in the chat) then over 10 (write 10 in the chat) keep going up until you have the winner and they can read the list they created.
You can have a virtual ugly sweater contest.
Or you can have a dress up your pet costume contest (for those without pets, they can dress up their stuffed animals or couch pillows).
Have a short Christmas Karaoke with different groups of people singing together. Such as all of the kids, all of the adults, each family, etc
You can also do Christmas charades and/or inside family joke charades (if you like you can private message what the person needs to silently act out or let them come up with their own ideas).
Take turns opening presents.
Each person can make up their imaginary fairy tale Christmas location they would like to be in.
Hire a magician to perform magic tricks that involve employees in your company. A magic show that focuses on your guests and highlights their personalities and interests. I highly recommend Gregg Tobo’s Virtual Magic & Wonder Show.
Have everyone say in one sentence what they are grateful for this holiday season and possibly go around and tell each person what you appreciate and love about them (depending on your family). If it’s a big party, you can use breakout rooms.
Invite Santa’s Official Poet (that’s me) to bring the North Pole spirit to everyone. I can either perform one big company poem highlighting the company’s personality or create personalized impromptu holiday poems for each employee and their families. That poem can be done in breakout rooms and even can be recorded and given as a gift to each employee. I can also answer any of your guests North Pole questions.