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Throwing a Holiday Party on Zoom Isn’t as Hard as You Think

Celebrating the holidays without family and friends around just isn’t the same. Social distancing can be hard, because we so desperately need human interaction, especially during the holidays. I’m making the difficult decision to stay safe and stay home this year, but I am determined to make the most of this situation we’re in. I am determined to find a way to stay connected with loved ones even while we’re staying safe and keeping our distance. With all the technology and Zoom-like platforms available to us, gathering together online is definitely a feasible option for many of us. A virtual get-together could never replace the real thing, but with a little bit of creativity and planning ahead, it could actually be a lot of fun. 

As you’re planning your own virtual gathering, there are a few things you may want to keep in mind.

The playlist makes the party.

Everyone loves music. And if you’re throwing a holiday party, a great way to set the mood is to have your very best Christmas playlist playing in the background. Even if you just plan on getting together to talk and catch up with family, having some music going can take that to the next level. Zoom has a feature that lets you share your computer sound, which makes this super easy to do.

You can still create the illusion of “togetherness” even if you aren’t physically together.

I think the easiest way to achieve this feeling of connectedness is to plan an activity that everyone can do together over Zoom. For example, you could pick out a recipe, send it to everyone in advance and then have everyone cook the meal from wherever they are, but do it together on Zoom. Then when it’s done, you can sit down and have the meal “together”. The idea is to get everyone doing the same thing at the same time, so you’re still having a shared experience, just not in the same location. Another simpler way to do this is to have everyone come in their ugly Christmas sweater, Christmas PJs, or whatever you like. This, again, will just help everyone feel connected, sharing a common experience from wherever they may be.

You don’t just have to talk the whole time!

There are so many things you can do together over Zoom. Even though my family usually just ends up spending the whole time running our mouths, laughing and joking, there are so many games and activities you can plan to do with your loved ones at your Zoom get-together. In the past, I’ve played trivia games, song association and name that tune, all of which were a lot more fun than I expected them to be. You could also play Pictionary, virtual card games, bingo for prizes, and so, so many more (Google has a wealth of ideas out there).

Jayda Lawlah is a senior at Loyola University Maryland studying Psychology. In addition to her interest in Psychology, she also has a love for all things studio art and graphic design. On campus, she is an RA and peer mentor, and she is also currently the Vice President of Loyola's Black Student Association.
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