Ho ho ho hope you’re being safe and having a festive virtual holiday season!
Usually the entirely of December is full of merriment, twinkly lights, and holiday bashes spent partaking in excessive quantities of mulled wine resulting in the worst hangover of LIFE! This year there’s still plenty of alcohol but instead of being sipped at socially acceptable potlucks bedecked in our holiday finery, it’s consumed while wearing sweatpants on the couch with only Netflix for company.
But just because we can’t attend festive soirees IRL doesn’t mean that we can’t celebrate together. We just have to get creative think of ways to throw jolly holly VIRTUAL holiday parties. The best part is that you don’t even have to wear pants —Party clothes on the top, Winnie the Pooh on the bottom! I have a lot of thoughts about quarantine, especially about not wearing pants.
Being the resident, self-appointed event planner at work and having hosted several 90s-themed bar-hopping birthday shindigs, I took it upon myself to brainstorm 6 virtual holiday ideas so you can still celebrate the season with your loved ones:
Gingerbread decorating Contest
Get the competitive juices flowing (ew) and hold a gingerbread decorating contest. I organized one for my co-workers at Cosmic which turned out to be a bad idea on my part since it turns out that I’m horrible at decorating cookies…but it was still a lot of fun!
Order a gingerbread decorating kit (I ordered from Honeybutter Desserts but there is also Carla’s Cookie Box), complete with a variety of cookie shapes, frosting and sprinkles, then gather via Zoom for a virtual holiday party to decorate. When you’re done, take a photo of your festive creations, throw them on Google Drive (anonymously of course) and vote for your favourite!
Virtual Holiday Dinner Party
Just because you can’t dine in restaurants right now doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy a meal together AND support small businesses. For a fancy virtual holiday dinner party, arrange for everyone to order a drool-worthy feast from one of your favourite local restaurants. Noshing on the same delicious dishes simultaneously is the lockdown equivalent of eating communally right now.
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Browse from multi-course tasting menus available in your area on Tock and schedule it to arrive to everyone’s home at the same time. Get dolled up in your most stylish duds (where else are you going to wear it this year?) before congregating via Zoom. Personally, I’ve just been looking for an excuse to indulge in the weekly offerings from Aloette.
Virtual Holiday Happy Hour
Hosting a virtual holiday mixer followed by a mixology workshop is the perfect event to drink and be merry with friends, family and co-workers this Christmas.
As I mentioned before, Mother Cocktails offers cocktail kits with pre-portioned ingredients and hosts a masterclass to walk you through the history and preparation of the drink. You can also make happy hour a regular event with a subscription to monthly curated cocktail kits from Reyna On The Rocks that are delivered on the first week of every month within the GTA.
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Christmas Murder Mystery Game
For a virtual holiday party activity that is both seasonally appropriate and full of intrigue and bad acting, host your own Christmas Murder Mystery Game.
Here’s the story: Ebenezer Scrooge gathers a group of pop culture characters — Rue Dolph, Sugar Plum Fairy, Billie the Elf, Jacky Frost — for a therapy session to discuss what Christmas means to them when the lights suddenly go out. When the lights return—Scrooge is dead as a doornail with a sprig of holly through his heart! Tough crowd.
Everyone is assigned a character and through clues and a script, you’ll have to use your cunning to detect exactly who in your party off’d the old geezer. Get into character by dressing up and/or putting on voices. You may not be winning an Oscar any time soon but it’ll be good for a laugh.
Virtual Iron Chef Competition
Are you an avid Food Network watcher? If so, then you’ll be familiar with premise of the Iron Chef competition —two chefs face off in a one-hour cooking battle based on a secret ingredient or ingredients, and sometimes theme. For a spin on preparing a Christmas meal together, challenge your friends to a culinary duel by hosting a virtual holiday Iron Chef.
Each participant needs a meal kit or food package — like the Grassroot Food Box from Montgomery’s Restaurant with local, sustainably sourced seasonal ingredients and products. After an hour of slaving over the stove, present your gustatory creations before feasting the night away!
Virtual Holiday Movie Night
From cheesy Hallmark flicks to classics Christmas tales, there are an endless number of movies to watch to get in the Yuletide spirit. But it’s not quite the same watching festive films alone. Sure, it’s nice not to have to share the caramel popcorn but who are you going to discuss the likelihood of an 8-year old kid warding off a pair of burglars when he’s accidentally left home alone by his family during Christmas vacation?
Organize a virtual holiday movie night with friends — grab hot cocoa, your coziest blanket and set up Teleparty (formerly Netflix Party) for synchronized movie-watching. It’ll be like you’re in the same room, minus squabbles over who’s hogging the couch.
Is it even Christmas if I can’t get together for an obnoxiously rambunctious potluck with my West Caribbean family? I don’t think so but if that’s the price I pay to ensure that my loved ones are safe then it’s worth it. Hopefully one or more of these ideas will bring some of the holiday spirit to your respective homes 🥰
Have you been procrastinating on your Christmas shopping this year? Check out these Toronto gift ideas for last minute stocking stuffers from local small businesses!
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