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How To Have A Zoom NYE Party

Because we're all just surviving and want to scream 2020 into the void... together.

by Cat Bowen

Screw 2020 and the apocalypse horseman who rode it in. Let's kick its butt to the curb in the style fitting the occasion — separately, in our own homes, while drinking from whatever glass is handy. While the idea of a perfect Zoom New Year's Eve bash might sound like an oxymoron, I swear, you might never go back to fancy parties with way too high Uber fees.

First things first: if you make the Zoom link, you're the host of this shindig, and therefore, it's on you. The theme, the time, the dress code, whatever. I don't make the rules, that's just how it is. It seems like a pain, but really, it will be a lot of fun if you make it that way. Also this year, we're not buying respiratory droplet spray cones, aka those little blow-horns with streamers and noise. In fact, we are never buying those again. They are dead. Even in our own homes, blowing our spit everywhere no longer seems like a great idea. But you can still toss confetti, you can still listen to Ryan Seacrest countdown a ball drop, and you can still time Forrest Gump so that "Happy New Year, Lieutenant Dan" is the first thing you hear at 12 a.m. And you can have a great Zoom party.


Matching Backgrounds

Sure, you can do a generic "Happy New Year" picture as your background, or you could even do something cheesy like Times Square, but why not go for broke making your Zoom background? If your kids are attending, you could do something cool like a scene from Soul. But if it's just grown-ups? The sky's the limit. Personally, I'm thinking of doing a background of a 1990s Taco Bell interior. Just make sure to fit the Zoom parameters (you can do this in Canva) and email everyone the picture.


Drinks, Obviously

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You're obviously not providing food and drinks to everyone for this party, but for the locals attending, it might be fun to drop off a few beers, a bottle of premixed cocktails, or a bottle of sparkling wine. For the nondrinkers and the pregnant attendees, consider different seltzers, teas, or sodas. Just make sure you're staying socially distanced.


Keep It Short

This doesn't have to be a four-hour long affair like it does every other year. 20 to 30 minutes, tops. It starts at 11:30, and it's done the minute you yell "EFF YOU 2020, HAPPY NEW YEAR." That's it. That's the whole thing. The rest of the time is spent playing Animal Crossing or watching Bridgerton on Netflix. Set yourself an alarm so that you remember you even have a party.


Toss The Ring Light

We're doing candles, people. Hygge all the way, scented with the fragrance of power or healing or whatever floats your boat. We're lighting our Zooms with candles and mirrors and making ourselves look like the ethereal angels we all are. Also, symbolically burning down 2020.


Project, Darlings

Play your Zoom on your television. Using Apple mirroring or via USB cable, make those people and these memories large and in charge. Set up your camera right beneath it. You can use another device for the countdown. Here's the link for the webcast. Because remember, if everyone is watching on TV, there might be a lag. Have one person be the designated count-downer.



Ever heard of a Powerpoint party? They're my new favorite thing. Normally, everyone makes their own presentation of slides on basically any subject, but for this one, I want you to have your friends each make and send you one slide about the most ridiculous thing that happened in 2020. Could be a Florida man thing, could be your dad's at-home haircut. Then, put it in a slideshow for your guests. Share your screen and there's the party.


Keep It Light If You Can

Many of us have lost loved ones this year. It's going to be a rough New Year's Eve for so many. If you can, try to keep the party full of happy, light, positive energy that looks forward to new and better futures for all of us. It's all we can really hope for, right?