Hosting a virtual Christmas feast or party

Leading up to the holidays, we make a tradition of getting together with another couple specifically to have fun and connect. All joy, no expectations is our theme. Gathering in person is very out this year, so I suggested a virtual cheese tasting instead.

Spoiler alert: We had way more fun than we expected.

The idea expanded to an exchange of cheese + accompaniments (us) and Lebanese mezze (them) at an outdoor meeting point. Then at dinnertime we had a Zoom conference to enjoy the goods together.

Here’s what the setup looked like on our side. Course 1 was the cheese tasting. (I didn’t bother breaking out the green salad or the focaccia I made—saved for another night.)


Course 2 was mezze they bought from a local restaurant. Dishes included tabbouleh, hummus, kibbeh, flatbread, lamb kebab (reheated too long by me because I was chatting), and rice pilaf.


Being able to share the same food—even at a distance—felt great. The experience was nothing like a video call for work, phew!

Being just our two households felt as close to an in-person experience as we could have hoped for. Plus, unlimited free Zoom time because this was a one-to-one conference.

We’re all happy we gave this a try.

I’m curious to hear if other HOs have tried virtual holiday feasts or parties. What worked? What didn’t?


You should probably check out the Thanksgiving 2020 thread. Here’s my contribution - things went well with the three-household Zoom dinner. The below post has pix, but they aren’t showing up in the link.


@tomatotomato What a lovely idea! Thanks for sharing!!

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My parents and us along with my twin sons and their wives and our 2 grandsons, and grandparents had thought of doing a “virtual Christmas Eve” dinner.

Great idea. Natural-ness is important, as if you were with the people verses an uncomfortableness due to the video camera (Zoom).


^ Oh, what an excellent point you make here, @Barca.

We tried to imagine as much as possible that the camera wasn’t present. Not everyone is open to trying a virtual experience.

Edited to add: We were quite surprised that we spent three hours chatting, tasting, and enjoying. Much longer than expected.


It all looks and sounds lovely @tomatotomato, and happy you enjoyed it!
Early on in the pandemic I/we did a few zooms, most but not all, successfully. We hosted a roast lamb tutorial for DD2 and SIL on Easter, which was fun, and instructive for them.

One that involved the sisterhood had way too many people, who all tried to talk over one another. It devolved quickly from there, so I signed off early!

But we are lucky in this pandemic to have technology that can keep us connected.


I love your idea of a cooking tutorial. I’m going to try to get my aunt to show me how to properly construct something called a langos. Our family‘s version is baked, not fried, and stuffed with sauerkraut. Something like a calzone would be if made in a sheet pan and the top surface rubbed with a cut clove of garlic after baking.

I have tried making langos before but the sauerkraut doesn’t distribute to the edges properly for me. My aunt is the only living relative who knows the “secret.”


Yes! I think it’s so important to learn family recipes from the older generation, or to make sure the recipes are recorded. Sadly, many people wait until it’s too late. Your idea about you Aunt showing you how is great, especially given the Covid situation, but could work for many who live a long ways from their relatives. Let us know how it goes @tomatotomato!


Wow … 3 hours ! This was very “natural” … This is fabulous …

Many people do not like to be on camera or filmed or photographed. This has to do with their own lack of self confidence and / or they do not feel they are attractive etcetra …

Have a very wonderful Holiday Season and a Healthy, Successful and Happy 2021 just ahead.

Felices Fiestas y Feliz Año 2021 …

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Felices Fiestas y Feliz Año 2021 to you too, @Barca!

May hope and health be with us all in the coming year.

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Thank you very much and the same to you and your dear ones.

Best wishes during these highly challenging and difficult times worldwide.

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