Our Ultimate Guide to Online Celebrations for Christmas will keep you full of festive cheer well into the New Year with Zoom Christmas games galore.
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We can confirm Christmas is NOT cancelled!
There’s no denying that Christmas 2020 is destined to be a bit different and we are going to be further from family and friends than we’d like.
But that doesn’t mean we need miss out on all the fun and festive frolics of old!
You asked us for help coming up with ways to bring the family together despite the covid challenges, and we don’t like to disappoint.
So, just for you, we’re delighted to share our Ultimate Guide to Online Celebrations for Christmas. Packed with Zoom Christmas games and activities, there’s sure to be something for every group, age range and taste.
Zoom Christmas Games Galore!
What’s included in the Ultimate Guide to Online Celebrations for Christmas?
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This Guide to Online Celebrations at Christmas is your one-stop shop to a 2020-style festive season, packed full of seasonal cheer and revelry!
Don’t let social distancing restrictions dampen your Christmas spirit this year. We’ve been hard at work gathering and creating a plethora of ways for you to connect and share the festive season with your loved ones, despite the physical limitations currently in place.
So, schedule your Zoom call, download the House Party app, or arrange a time to meet on WhatsApp, and decide which activities you’d like to enjoy together! The problem is going to be fitting them all in!
21 Zoom Christmas Activities To Enjoy
Online Christmas Party Ideas
1. Christmas Quiz
Let’s start with a classic! Whilst we might not be able to enjoy a traditional Christmas Eve pub quiz in its usual venue, quizzes lend themselves really well to an online set-up.
You can of course make your own, or give each household a round or two to prepare, but if you’d like someone else to do the work for you, we’ve found three great resources:
- Ken’s Quiz Site has a huge number of both traditional quiz-style questions and paper rounds that will keep you busy well into the New Year! From Christmas adverts to traditions around the world and a chance to test your knowledge of pantos, there’s a round to suit everyone!
- Freepubquiz.co.uk have three sets of festive general knowledge questions as well as three rounds specifically about Christmas music. There’s also a couple of printables to get teams working together in each household, and you can finish off with a Christmas cracker joke marathon! Or if you’d prefer, just print out their Big Christmas Quiz – 100 questions and answers listed and ready for use (you’ll just need to finish off the review of the year questions quickly)!
- Quiz Coconut have a great ready-made list of 50 questions, which includes a few more unusual challenges.
2. Mince Pie Taste Test Party
Don’t let the distance stop you from enjoying festive treats together! Our Jolly Festive Mince Pie Taste Test Party will work just as well virtually as it will in one venue.
Of course the pies will be numbered differently for each household; we think that will just add an extra element of fun when one group proclaim pie five their favourite whilst another has already put them out for the birds!
Or, if you’d prefer to summon your inner Prue Leith and focus on the details of the bake, then why not spread out the tasting with a different brand of mince pie to analyse every day or two?
Harness your inner Paul Hollywood and see if you can pick out the nation’s favourite mince pie this year. Complete with free printable tasting chart!
3. GBBO-style Technical Challenge
One person selects a festive recipe and sends around a shopping list (but no further recipe details!). Schedule a time to get together and, at the beginning of the call, send around the recipe details and set a timeframe.
Stay online and keep each other company whilst you get busy creating a delicious Christmas treat. Then display your finished product for all to admire before ending the call with a drink and chat whilst you tuck in!
These delicious recipe ideas from our very own professional chef in the Jolly Festive kitchen which would be perfect for this technical challenge.
4. Photo Slideshow
Christmas is a time for nostalgia and reminiscing. And, especially when we have been apart from loved ones too long, it is wonderful to recall those shared experiences over the years. So why not get together for an online photo viewing session?
You could enjoy putting together recaps of each person or family’s 2020, and recalling some of the happier moments over the last few tricky months.
Alternatively you could allocate each household a decade (or an event or two, depending on the group) from which to gather photos? Take turns sharing screens, and relish the laughter (and tears) as you remember fabulous shared memories.
5. Virtual Hot Chocolate Break
Of course, online celebrations for Christmas need not all be about full-scale activities. You could simply schedule a time for a catch up, hot chocolate in hand, and enjoy a good natter.
If you’d like to make more of an occasion of your hot chocolate break, we would suggest a little advance preparation. You can easily create a letterbox-friendly package of luxury homemade hot chocolate mix and selection of toppings to post out ahead of your planned virtual get-together.
Warmed by both the hot drink and your thoughtfulness, this activity is guaranteed to spread Christmas cheer with your loved ones!
Create a beautiful festive hot cocoa break for your friend with our indulgent homemade recipe gift set.
6. Paper Chain Challenge
Image Credit: Paper Chains. Image Credit: Stephanie Chapman. Flickr. CC BY 2.0. Adapted by Jolly Festive.
Everyone will need some ready-to-make paper chains for this quick and easy bit of festive fun! Make your own if you prefer but be sure to have the glue close at hand as speed is of the essence here!
With a timer set for three minutes, everyone gets busy making the longest paperchain they can. When the buzzer goes, compare how many rings you each managed to include.
(You can thank us later for speeding up the Christmas decorating too .)
7. Cocktail Creator
Looking to have a very Merry Christmas? Harness your inner Tom Cruise and become your own bartender for the night!
You could either agree to get ingredients in-house in advance for a particular cocktail to enjoy together, or have fun dusting off the spirits in the cupboard to see what weird and wonderful cocktails you can design yourselves. Kudos for any festive flair that can be included!
Check out our Christmas Drink ideas for some fabulous seasonal creations. (And for those who prefer an alcohol-free tipple, we’ve got plenty of mocktail inspiration as well.)
8. Story Time
Create your own Jackanory with the elder members of the family hosting regular story time for the littlies. With so many wonderful Christmas classics to enjoy, you’ll want to start early with this beautiful tradition.
For older children, chapter books are a wonderful way to savour a story together over a week or two. The Christmasaurus, A Boy Called Christmas (and its sequels), and Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol are all super choices.
And of course no Christmas Eve is complete without a rendition of ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas!
Looking for more activities to enjoy? Click here for other fun ideas.
9. Building Contest
This challenge can be played individually or by household. First, gather your building equipment of choice. From LEGO to playdough, items from the garden or even just a pen and paper, you can choose to all have the same equipment or vary for each participant.
Someone shouts out a festive theme and sets a timer for five minutes. Each group or person then gets busy creating.
When the timer sounds, show off your Tate Modern-worthy creations! This could be a great way to encourage reluctant family members to get involved in the decorating the house as well!
10. Zoom Spa Night
Zoom Spa Night anyone? Set up one device playing a spa meditation-style background video such as the one below.
Then everyone raid their beauty stores, and see what facemasks and nail polishes are hiding, or treat yourselves to some new products.
Each pour yourself a glass of water and add some cucumber, mint or lemon slices, and prepare a plate of fresh sliced fruit. Then hop on your video call and enjoy relaxing together whilst you mask up, buff & polish away, and catch up on the latest gossip.
11. Gingerbread House Competition
Honeywell Biscuit Co Gingerbread House Kit. Image Credit: Honeywell Biscuit Co.
Organise your own Gingerbread House Showstopper competition! Either leave everyone to make their gingerbread walls and gather the decorations. Or, you can post out gingerbread house kits in advance, such as this gorgeous set from Honeywell Biscuit Co.
Then agree a time for everyone to go online and enjoy decorating your houses together. Showcase your virtual gingerbread village on social media afterwards to spread Christmas cheer with others too.
12. Gingerbread Selfies
Keeping with the gingerbread theme, why not bake some gingerbread men and women, and then again hop online together to enjoy decorating.
You could do selfies and then try to recreate the whole online group. Make sure you leave lots of time to enjoy comparing biscuit form to the real thing; this activity will surely end in giggles all round!
More Like This?
Looking for other festive activities to enjoy? Whether it’s at home or out and about, we’ve got a whole host of ideas to keep you in the Christmas spirit!
13. Online Christmas Book Club
Why not gather a small group and select a festive read to enjoy? Then arrange a call for drinks and discussion to see what people thought of it.
We love this list of twelve Christmas books to read by Prima if you would like some ideas.
14. Have A Wrap-Off
Everyone wraps a Christmas gift to a pre-agreed standard (ribbon? bow? shape of present?) before the buzzer goes. See who has the superior wrapping skills!
Once you’ve done the basic gift wrap, you can take this challenge up a notch by adding additional rounds: one-handed, with your hands tied together, blindfolded, unusual shape gift, etc.
If you’d prefer not to be wasteful with wrapping paper, either use old newspapers or wait until after Christmas morning to play this game and reuse larger pieces of wrapping from gifts received.
15. Wrap Scene Creations
The Other Side. Image Credit: Erich Ferdinand, Flickr. (CC BY 2.0). Adapted by Jolly Festive.
Speaking of wrapping paper leftovers, why not use them for a game of ‘Guess the Movie’? Each household uses their wrapping paper discards, and any spare boxes, wrapping paper rolls, etc to create a scene from a movie for other groups to guess.
Go to town completely if you want and dress up as the characters in the scene too!
16. DIY Christmas Jumper Fashion Show
Create your own virtual catwalk! Each person creates their own homemade Christmas jumper from items found around the house. Then hop online to strut your stuff on the living room catwalk and marvel at each other’s handicraft skills (or lack thereof!).
17. Origami Christmas Trees
These origami Christmas trees from Crafty Daily are really pretty and a good beginner-level design to follow as well. They’ll make a fabulous forest decoration for your mantlepiece or sideboard!
18. Learn The Art Of Wreath Making
Why not sign up together for an online wreath workshop? There are a whole host of workshops being offered which can be enjoyed from the comfort of your own home.
Of course these can be attended individually. But we love the idea of sharing the experience so you can discuss the details and your ideas with a friend or loved one afterwards. Check out Eventbrite for workshop availability.
19. Synchronised Movie Night
Get the popcorn in and your PJs on! Then settle down with the TV and your device of choice to share a synchronised cinematic experience.
Whether you chose to do your own Opening Night extravaganza or put on an old favourite that you’re happy to chat through, the evening is made extra special when shared with the ones you love.
You can agree to put a movie on in the background and face your devices towards each other to extend your sofa to share virtually with your loved ones. Alternatively, use an app to synchronise the watching. Netflix Party is specifically designed for simultaneously watching of Netflix programmes with a chat feature at the side of the screen to share comments. And there are similar apps available for some of the other streaming products.
Be sure to check our free Christmas Movie Bingo game and add an extra layer of fun to your festive movie viewing! There’s a family version and one just for the grown-ups!
Take your Christmas movie viewing to the next level with our free printable Christmas Movie Bingo game for up to eight players! Versions available for the whole family and just the grown-ups!
20. Drinks Tasting Night
There’s no need to miss out on your Christmas drinks this year. But, what about taking things up a notch and doing a tasting session instead?
If you live close to one another, you could each drop a bottle of pre-agreed choice (someone sorts the white wine, another group red, rose or bubbles?) around to the other households in advance. Wrap the bottle before you hand it over for a blind tasting!
For those further afield, either agree together on the contestants and each household purchase their own bottles, or find a set of miniature bottles to send to everyone in the post. We love these tasting gift sets from The Whisky Exchange or what about these craft beer mixed crates from Best of British Beer?
21. Christmas Karaoke
We’re not sure that the online factor adds positively to those dodgy notes but who cares?! This is about celebrating the season in all its glory and having fun with loved ones. There are all sorts of backing tracks available on YouTube.
We highly recommend including a rendition of The 12 Days of Christmas, complete with actions of course!
Spread The Word!
Like what you’ve seen? Be sure to share with your friends.
Let’s sprinkle Christmas cheer far and wide!
11 Easy Parlour Game Ideas To Play
Zoom Christmas Games
Another great option for online celebrations for Christmas are these easy parlour games.
They can made online-friendly very easily, and there’s a whole host of websites providing free tools to make light of the set-up of these family-friendly games.
Here are eleven of our favourites:
1. Guess The Parcel (20 Questions)
Someone places a wrapped item in view on their screen.
Everyone then takes turns asking questions – which can only be answered with “yes” or “no” – to try and guess what might be inside.
If no-one has guessed within twenty questions, the presenter of the gift wins!
Perfect for all ages and group sizes. You can ask each player to create their own board to an agreed size and with a specified number range, or use an online system like My Free Bingo Cards to produce them. Select your bingo caller and off you go!
Get Charades Ideas is a great free website which generates charades for a whole host of categories to be acted out to your loved ones online.
4. Name That Tune
Pick a Christmas song, turn your microphone onto mute and start singing as loudly as you desire. First person to guess the song wins!
We love this great use of the online video technology to give a new spin to this musical game classic.
5. Christmas Songs Emoji Quiz
OK, so it’s not a traditional parlour game (!) but emoji quizzes are great fun, and this Christmas Song one is perfect for the whole family.
We’ve created a FREE printable Christmas Songs Emoji Quiz ready for you to play with your family and friends. Find out more here.
6. Would You Rather..?
Would you rather chat with a reindeer or fly with one? Eat mince pies for breakfast or yule log for dinner? Be a fairy at the top of the Christmas tree or an Elf on the Shelf?
Such a simple game and perfect for online get-togethers, Would You Rather asks people to decide between two hypothetical scenarios. Make up your own festive question set, or use this mammoth set created by The Best Ideas for Kids.
7. Christmas Mad Libs
A classic American game of ‘fill in the gaps’. You can buy the Christmas Mad Libs book from Amazon here.
One person is in charge of requesting the words and reading out the final story, while the rest of the group just need their creative hats for their contributions, and can then sit back and prepared to be wowed (and highly amused).
A firm favourite at Jolly Festive HQ!
Each player is provided with a list of categories and a letter from the alphabet. Once the timer is set, try to come up with the most unusual item you can think of from each category. There’s a point available for every unique answer.
We love this simple free online version from Swellgarfo which would be perfect to display on a shared screen.
9. Santa Says
Sometimes the old ones are the best!
Give Simon a festive make-over by putting Santa in charge of the ‘Simon Says’ instructions this time.
Your Santa could even dress up for the occasion if they fancied.
This game works particularly well with the shared screen whiteboard facility on Zoom (and equivalent). Try to chose festive words to keep the mood Christmassy.
This is a perfect low-key game when digesting a Christmas meal!
Again, another brilliant one for the shared screen whiteboard facility, or there’s an in-built pictionary game that comes free with House Party.
Choose a theme such as Christmas movies or songs, or if playing with children what about ‘Things you’d find at the North Pole’ and then let people come up with their own ideas. It’ll get harder to draw as the game progresses and the ‘easy’ items have been done!
New for 2021, The Christmas Carrolls should be on every child’s wishlist this year! We chatted to author Mel Taylor-Bessent to learn more.
Grab the family, make some popcorn & settle down for 24 nights of Christmas films with Jolly Festive’s Christmas Movie Advent Calendar!
We’ve rounded up details for over 70 Christmas Fairs in England and put them together in an interactive map. Time to get shopping…!