Last New Year’s Eve, Christina Cho and her daughter, Eliana — whose birthday falls on the same day — watched the San Francisco Ballet’s performance of The Nutcracker on Zoom while Eliana’s friends joined virtually from home. Before the event, Cho dropped off a box at each guest’s house filled with chocolate, fruit, hot cocoa bombs, charcuterie, and fairy flower headpieces so the group could feel “together” for the experience. “We even played Nutcracker Pictionary on the Zoom whiteboard during intermission,” she says.
This year, although many people will be gathering in person again, less than half of US adults say they plan to travel, which means creative ideas for gathering from a distance will still be key to helping friends and family celebrate together. That rings true for office parties, too, with some employers sticking with virtual events and others hosting in-person activities. There is a happy medium: The hybrid party, in which some people gather in person and others connect virtually to celebrate together.
“People still are a little hesitant to gather,” says Russell Pinto Jr., founder and executive creative director of the New York City-based events company Little Red Bean Productions. “It’s looking like it’s going to be more hybrid parties this year,” he says.