Editor’s note: This article was originally published in 2020, during the pandemic. However, online Christmas parties also work well to help you connect when friends or family members live far away. Choose from these tips and ideas for your own meaningful online Christmas Party.
Meeting in person may be out of the question for your family and friends this Christmas, but you can still lead the way for a festive celebration!
Invite neighbors, coworkers and/or friends of all different spiritual backgrounds to enjoy a time of sharing and getting to know each other better.
Email an invitation that fits your situation. Here’s a sample that you could tweak and send.
Let’s have an online Christmas party! We’ll share fun memories, traditions, and games. We’ll also read and discuss a short account of the first Christmas from the Bible.
Monday, December 14, 7-8:30 p.m.
Everyone in our group [or on our street, in our office, etc.]
Details [Be sure to include any instructions for activities that need advance preparation.]
- Dress with a Christmas theme (hats, scarves, be creative)! We’ll take a screenshot and send it you!
- Make a favorite Christmas dessert. There will be time to share why that dessert is a favorite for you, and then we’ll all enjoy them together.
RSVP by Saturday, December 12 to this email or to my cell: [555-555-5555], and I’ll send you the Zoom link and more information!
Options to consider for your party
- Christmas Icebreaker Questions: Choose a fun question to start your party. (See below for ideas.) Group icebreakers can help everyone open up and learn more about each other. They also set the stage for more openness when you are reading and discussing Scripture, so consider using more of the questions as an activity during the party.
- Christmas Quiz: Look for ideas online and play a short Christmas game together.
- Festive Refreshments: Bring your own refreshments to enjoy.
- Dress Up: Have everyone dress up in a Christmas theme (hats, scarves, etc.). Take a screenshot and send to participants afterwards.
- Ornament Exchange: If your group lives close to each other, draw and share names in advance so each person can give another group member an ornament as a gift before the party, and then everyone can unwrap the ornaments during the party.
- Christmas Cookie Exchange: If your group lives close to each other, make Christmas cookies to show and enjoy during the party, and then drop small bags of the cookies off at each other’s houses after the party.
- Show & Tell – Have everyone share one of these . . .
- A favorite ornament and why it’s a favorite
- A photo from a past Christmas and why it is meaningful
- Something that is associated with a Christmas memory (a dish, a gift, etc.) and reasons why it is special
- Short Discussion: Choose one of Q Place’s four Christmas discussions to discuss together or use the simple discussion ideas below.
- Music: Find a beautiful rendition of “Silent Night” on YouTube, screenshare and play it, or have someone read through the words.
Christmas Icebreaker Questions
Choose 2-4 of the following icebreaker questions for a time of fun and meaningful sharing in the group. Alternatives: (1) Have group members pick a number and respond to the question after you read it. (2) Print the list and cut them apart in advance and then draw out slips from a festive container and read a question for each person.
- What is a funny Christmas memory that you have?
- What is a favorite Christmas memory from your childhood?
- Do you practice Christmas traditions? If so, what are they? If not, why not?
- What does a typical Christmas day look like in your household?
- If you could receive any Christmas gift you could imagine, what would it be?
- What do you like least about Christmas? What do you like most?
- What is a strange or funny Christmas gift you have received?
- If you were limited to giving out only handmade Christmas presents, what might you give?
- Why do you think Christmas is such a significant holiday in our society?
- If you were given the gift of time for Christmas, how would you spend it? And would it be with others or alone?
- Did you believe in Santa Claus as a child? What was it like when you realized he wasn’t real?
- If you could give any gift regardless of its cost, what would it be and who would you give it to?
- What is a memorable Christmas you have had and why?
- What one “essential” element makes you feel like it is Christmas each year?
- What is an unusual Christmas food you’ve eaten?
- How will you be spending this Christmas?
- What does Christmas mean to you?
Read the Christmas story from the Bible (Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 2:1-20). Use a modern translation such as the NIV or NLT, or consider using The Message paraphrase. You can pull up the passage from Bible Gateway, Bible Hub, or YouVersion and screenshare it so everyone can hear and see it. Consider asking those who feel comfortable to read one section at a time. Invite everyone to share their general reaction to this passage or go deeper by asking questions like those below. Of course, don’t become the answer person or teacher or be confrontational. Simply allow people to discuss and respond to the Bible narrative, respecting each person’s viewpoint.
Use these discussion questions for a meaningful time together:
- What’s familiar to you in this story? What’s not familiar?
- What surprises you?
- How do you think this event impacted Mary, Joseph, and the shepherds?
- What kind of impact, if any, does this story have on our culture today?
- What element of this story stands out to you as particularly meaningful this year?
Instead of dwelling on the things we can’t do this year, let’s use the abundant opportunities we have through technology and lead celebrations that could be a new treasured time for our family, coworkers and friends. Your online party this year could be the highlight of someone’s Christmas season!
Q Place National Field Leader
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