It’s looking like the 2021 holiday season may be similar to last year, with large, in-person parties being replaced by smaller household gatherings with some guests attending remotely. Maybe you fumbled through your first few events hosted on Zoom, Skype, Google Meet, or any of the other popular video conferencing apps. But now we’ve had more than a year to practice, so here are some ideas that can help make your remote holiday event a success:

Have a plan – Just as every good video conference has an agenda, it’s good to have a plan when you bring together family or friends at a virtual holiday event. To start, make sure everyone gets a chance to speak. Maybe each person could share their fondest memory from the past year. Or, each guest could open one gift while all the others watch. You can even play a game where everyone participates, such as Trivial Pursuit. 

Go mobile – An online holiday party doesn’t have to take place in a sterile home office environment. Most of the popular video conferencing services have free apps that can be downloaded to your smartphone or tablet. Download the one or two used most by your friends and family. Android users can go to the Google Play Store and search for “video conferencing.” If you’re an iPhone user, you’ll want to go to the Apple App Store and conduct a similar search.  

Add some entertainment – There’s no need to hire a live band for a virtual party. You probably have several ente­­rtainers already on the call. The kids can sing Christmas carols. Aunt Susie plays the piano. Grandpa can lead a New Year’s toast.

Get to know your settings – Most of the video conferencing apps are simple to use, but there are a few settings you should get acquainted with. There’s usually a “Grid View” (or similar name) for seeing everyone in a single screen, but you’ll want to swi­­­­tch to “Speaker View” where the person talking takes up the whole screen. Virtual backgrounds can add a festive mood too. Swap your current background with a photo of snow-covered hills, holiday lights, or a nighttime cityscape.

Set a time limit – While you could sit in a living room and catch up with old friends for hours, there are limits when those friends are two-dimensional. When you notice that people are starting to drop off the call, that’s your cue to wrap up the virtual party. If you’re using the free version of the Zoom app, for example, you have a time limit of 40 minutes. That just might be the perfect time for keeping everyone engaged. 


  1. Mary Flicker says

    How do I setuo & restore contacts from my CC red flip phone to this new Motorola phone? Can I change sim card from one to another?
    Still new at this stuff !

    • Hi Mary, great question! You can move those contacts using the SIM card if they’re saved there, or if you have a microSD memory card, you can use that as well. If you have any questions about that process, just give us a call at 800-686-4460 or chat with one of our agents here for further assistance.

  2. Bernard Turner says

    I’m trying to transfer pics from my phone to my computer. I’ve done it in the past with no problems, but now, when I plug the phone into the computer with the USB cable it just starts charging the phone. The computer doesn’t even recognize the device. What’s going on?

    • Hi Bernard, thanks for your post. I would recommend making sure your computer is seeing the phone as a connected device and if not I would reach out to your computer’s manufacturer for further assistance to see if there is something needed in order to allow for those files to be moved for you.

  3. Queen Ford says

    I just switched to consumer,and purchased a phone from y’all,phone acting crazy can I switch phones?

    • Hi Queen, thanks for your post. We’d definitely be happy to help you with your phone to see if we can get that up and running properly for you. Give us a call at 800-686-4460 or chat with one of our agents here for further assistance with that.

  4. Don M. says

    Bernard Turner,

    Many of the cables which are sold are only charging cables (to make them cheaper). I’ve found when I run into the issue you have with connecting to your computer, that it’s just a charging cable and I have to use a different cable that will also carry data through the other connection pins. So try a different cable until you find one that works.

  5. James Gregory Miller says

    This is the worst….30 minutes for a call back and then they sound like I am bothering them….of course I am trying to add a line before the ” deadline” how poor is that…get real about your customer support and not a bunch of “oh not again”

    • Hi James, thank you for your post. We understand that the wait times are frustrating for our customers, and we are diligently hiring and training new agents to get this resolved for our customers. This process can take time because we want to make sure our agents are properly trained to provide the best customer service possible, and we appreciate your patience during this time.

  6. Marie v Griffiths says

    I’m now a happier lively customer! Better phone and customer service Yay!

  7. Julie Baker says

    I’m trying try to find a protective cover that fits the phone I bought for my brotherinlaw who lives an hour away and doesn’t know how to look on his phone to see what it is. I thought I would be able to find that information on my account but having no luck in my searching for it.All I remember is that it is an Android and not an iPhone purchased at a Target in September 2021. How can I find out without driving all the way over there spending money on gas and tollroads? BTW is homeless and difficult try track down and I am 75 yrs old