No matter how crazy this year gets, there’s no way I’m giving up the magic of the holiday season and the joy of seeing everyone I love — even if it all has to happen virtually. See, shortly after the pandemic shut down the country in March, my relatives and I canceled our Passover celebrations scheduled for April. The holiday, which commemorates when the Jewish people were freed from slavery in ancient Egypt, is huge in my family. All of the cousins get together with copious amounts of love and brisket, and canceling this dinner was the first time I realized how much this pandemic would be taking away from us.
Many months later on the cusp of end-of-year holidays, I’m once again gearing up for canceled celebrations and dinners. I can’t possibly see everyone I love safely for the holidays. But that’s fine! Because this time I’m much better prepared.
Instead of skipping over holiday celebrations altogether, this year I'm drawing on nine months worth of virtual happy hours and online social events to throw my very own virtual holiday party. Though I’m still working out some of the details, I can say that Walmart is a key player in helping me make this vision a reality. With free curbside pickup and free two-day shipping, I’ll be able to send and receive everything I need to take my cherished holiday memories and traditions online. Here’s how you can do it, too!
1. Set The Mood
Even if you live alone, setting the tone for a virtual holiday party is key. Whether you’re hosting or simply “attending” the event, your physical surroundings need to be just right.
If you live in the city but want the cozy atmosphere of an upstate escape, try setting up a mini space heater (this one even resembles a fireplace!). In addition to actually keeping you warm all winter, it also looks super cool when it's set up in the background of your virtual call. Light a couple of Yankee Candles (I can't get enough of the tried-and-true balsam & cedar scent) and throw on your coziest cable-knit sweater, then consider those winter vibes served.
2. Find Affordable Gifts For Everyone
With so many of us under financial stress these days, it’s a great year for a simple gift swap. This way, everyone only needs to buy one thing and everyone receives a gift, too. With their low prices on top gifts all season, Walmart makes it easy to find affordable presents everyone will love. Open them during the party for the ultimate feeling of togetherness.
Looking for some fun ideas? For the friend who’s been documenting their unprecedented year, this Fujifilm Instax camera bundle will take things to the next level. Instead of memories living only on their phone or social media, they’ll be able to physically hold them and easily display them — maybe even send them to loved ones with a touching note.
Got a friend with a green thumb — or maybe just one who wishes? Send them an indoor herb starter. Not only will this interactive gift become a fun new hobby, but in a few months, it’ll become food!
Lastly, since everyone’s been spending a lot (seriously… a lot) of time on the couch lately, send a gift that encourages exactly that like a cute pop culture fleece throw that's perfect for cozying up with some hot chocolate and their favorite TV show.
3. Don’t Forget The Seasonal Eats
The holidays are a great time to whip up treats like pumpkin pie, glazed ham, and eggnog, so make sure you have the tools and appliances you need. If you’ve been thinking about getting an Instant Pot all year, now is the time. This adorable Disney version will make cooking and cleanup a breeze, plus it's good for roasts of every kind: ham, brisket, chicken... the options go on and on.
Air fryers are having a moment, and for good reason; they make better-for-you versions of everything from fries to fried chicken — and they do it in an instant. Holiday sides like crispy Brussels sprouts and Hasselback potatoes have never been easier with this 10 quart air fryer oven.
Store-bought eggnog won’t hold a candle to homemade once you have a Ninja blender. With just a few ingredients, you can whip up your own batch in less than five minutes. Then after the party, you can mix yourself green juice to detox from all the indulgent eats.
Ready to get creative with your own virtual gathering? Check out walmart.com to get inspired by everything from their seasonal (adorable!) home decor, must-have gifts, and everyday low prices on all the food and drink items you'll need to make this holiday season one to remember.
This post is sponsored by Walmart.